What's the Environment like?

Students should be prepared for an extreme desert environment and be in good physical shape. There will be some possible bouldering and hiking required. The days will be long and there is a significant amount of driving to position ourselves for the next spectacular location.

Opening night hosted dinner

Meet and greet your fellow drone enthusiasts. No host bar.

How will we travel and what will be available?

We will be traveling as a group in our dedicated 15 passenger van with a small RV to carry luggage and support gear and equipped with a WC for our comfort. There will be charging outlets to keep batteries and controllers topped up to maximize shooting time.  The RV will also be where Ian can work with you, individually, to edit your footage on location.  In the event of a thundershower, it can also provide us with additional shelter as we will not always be together in one location and may separated by several miles.

Where will we stay?

We will stay in limited local hotels that are typical of the area.

Every night we will secure a meeting room where we can discuss the day and talk about tomorrows agenda.

Should I bring another camera besides my drone?

Bring your still cameras. We will be driving through some amazing country and the opportunity to shoot some great stills will be available.  Ian will also be shooting stills at night and will be happy to share his night photography expertise. We’ll have plenty of time in the van and the occasional photo break will be welcomed by all to shoot a few snaps.  From Moab we follow the Trail of the Ancients and we urge you to read up on this ancient and historical area. Monument Valley is not included in our trip because it is prohibited to fly drones in the National Parks and Recreation areas and on Navajo Tribal Lands, however there are many, many beautiful spots along our route.  We’ve tried to limit our drive times but unfortunately the drive from Mexican Hat and returning to Salt Lake City is a long one, over 6 hours.

Does DAA provide drones?

DAA will not provide drones or accessories.  Each guest or team must bring their own drone kit with the necessary batteries, sd cards and controllers. Be prepared to fly for 90 min in each location.  Phil and Ian will have an Inspire 2 and you will get to watch and participate as we demonstrate how to work as a team to maximize a dual controller system.  We will work with you individually to teach you what to look for and how to create dynamic shots.

What should I have to be prepared for the desert?

DAA will provide water and snacks at all locations.  Hydration is very important in the desert. Even in October you can become dehydrated so its important to always carry water with you when you’re away from the support vehicles.  Likewise sunscreen and a hat is a good idea.  Some of our locations are near cliffs and steep uneven terrain. We will be shooting sunsets and sunrises and it is critical that we watch out for each other.  We will employ the buddy system so that no one can wander off and injure themselves because of being caught up in the moment while shooting.  Think of it as crossing a busy street and texting on your phone at the same time, you wouldn’t do that at home and in the Utah desert it is especially dangerous.

What will the weather be like?

DAA has chosen this time of year for a reason.  The temperatures are moderate, the “tourist” season has past and the wind is very light. Weather is the one thing we can’t control and in our drone world, the most important factor to our success.  We will make every effort, but can’t guarantee the weather.  We suggest purchasing airline tickets that give you some flexibility in terms of your departure date.  DAA will make a final determination of the weather within 10 days of the trip. If the weather looks to be unflyable then we would schedule for the following week. In any event, be sure to pack a suitcase for all conditions hot and cold, dry and wet!

Where can I post my work?

There will be a DAA Instagram account where students can post their work.