Drone Photography at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh
Updated: Dec 5, 2022
As part of an ongoing project, I've been making my way across the country capturing drone photography, aerial video, and orthomosaic scans of NFL and college stadiums. The next stop has my drone in the air over Heinz Field, home of the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, performing orthomosaic aerial scans to create 3D imaging. One of my favorite cities in the northeast, it's always a pleasure visiting the steel city for a video production assignment. Especially during the summer months!
Thanks for stopping by! First, let me begin by saying that I am a FAA-licensed (part 107), UAS (drone) operator. I follow the rules and regulations precisely, as this ever-growing industry has become my specialty and part of my livelihood. I also want to say to the aspiring pilots looking to fly around U.S. National Historic Landmarks, stadiums, and sensitive areas, BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE RULES!
Now, on to the drone story...
We schedule our time to coincide with the best possible lighting and weather of the day for the aerial scans. Obviously, we don't want rain and would prefer clear blue skies when using a drone to film from the air. Another often overlooked factor is the sun. The sun is both our friend and the enemy when doing these type of drone scans and photography. The best photographers are masters at manipulating light to get the best photo. From the drone, working within mother nature's lighting constraints, we kind of have to take what we can get. A good drone pilot knows the weather and researched the location beforehand for the optimal times of day to film. This is critical. Especially when you travel long distances and don't have the luxury of unlimited time on a site to wait for the best conditions. Which is why I usually give myself a two-day window to film on these type of projects out of town.
How does one use a drone for orthomosaic imaging at such a large venue? It's actually pretty simple. We link the drone (DJI Inspire 2, Skydio, or Matrice), to the imaging software (DroneDeploy) and the drone flies, autonomously, through a grid pattern snapping high-resolution aerial images. You'll need A LOT of batteries. These scan missions usually take a few hours to complete resulting in thousands of aerial photographs that then need to be taken and compiled into the 3D image. Pretty cool stuff, but its a lot of work. One photo off and the whole scan can be ruined. Trust me, I've been there.
Now these photos that I'm sharing in this blog, aren't the actual finished 3D images. Unfortunately, I can't share them with you here. You've gotta pay me to see those. Maybe someday they'll show up on your favorite football league's website...
So there you have it, another NFL stadium filmed by drone. Be sure to check back for more of my tales from the field as I travel across country filming drone aerial photography, video, and scans of NFL stadiums and other interesting projects.
Dan Oshier Video Productions
Drone Photography, video, and aerial imaging