Not a single person on sight. The thermometer in the car reads -7 degrees Celsius on the morning of 17 December 2019. It was our first day in Métis, and the first opportunity for a test flight. I place the phone on the remote control. It is basically like playing a video game but it turns out that the game is impossible to play with gloves on. It then becomes a test: how long my fingers could operate at subzero temperatures. Luckily, the drone’s battery runs out before my hands begin to freeze.
I learned that in Canada ice is classified in nineteen sea-ice types and six lake-ice types for navigation purposes. Where I come from in Mexico, snow and ice are oddities, seen only sometimes at the highest elevations of
the great volcanoes. From where I was
standing at the edge of the St. Lawrence, the ice resembled white lava rock.
It all appears to be still. It is hard to know for sure if the footage will be worth it, the small screen—with added glare and haste—does not really show much. The photographs and videos only really come to life when they are opened later on a computer. Plugging in the drone, loading the folders, and finally clicking through the images produces a great sense of anticipation, perhaps more like developing film from an analog camera than scrolling through photos on your mobile phone. And even though this type of drone image is now commonplace, I still find that the first gaze generates a certain kind of awe, every time.