I spent weeks working with my collaborator, capturing photographs and videos from above and surveying for 3D models: the things Mavic is designed to do. During one of our recurrent walks that summer, a colleague was telling me about the difficulties of bringing stakeholders on board for a new project. We concluded they needed to understand what it felt like to be in these places, which implied spending time there. It reminded me of a paper by John Dixon Hunt, called “Time of Walking.” He writes, “This is how landscapes can survive, can have a life, in our written, mapped and photographic accounts of walking them.”
John Dixon Hunt, “Time of Walking,” Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes 36.4 (2016): 301–2.
It occurred to me during that
conversation to bring the drone back down and have it “walk” with me. This required a more precise navigation, a feat probably impossible for winter. Training myself to steady, smooth, slow and low-altitude flying involved several disagreements with Mavic and angry encounters with trees. I tried to always keep the camera at eye-level and enjoyed seeing the propellers prune grasses and shrubs. I ended the summer spending afternoons on long walks with Mavic.