Photographer uses drone camera to capture aerial shots of solar projects
Published 5:41 pm Friday, August 21, 2015
If you spotted a small flying object hovering above both the solar panel project sites in Decatur County this week, don’t worry.
It wasn’t an exotic bird or a UFO. It was Tim Nauman’s flying camera.
Nauman, a professional photographer from Kansas, has been taking pictures and filming video for 20 years. He’s done projects for ESPN, H&R Block and Hallmark. In the past year or so, though, he’s been using a newer form of technology—a small flying object installed with a camera, also called a drone.
Email newsletter signup
Nauman was hired by Tradewind Energy, the developer of both solar panel projects in Decatur County, to gather video footage and photographs from the ground view and the sky. The goal is to showcase what the process of putting these projects together looks like.
This being Tradewind’s first project with solar panels, Nauman’s instructions have been to document the installation process from beginning, to middle and end.
“This is my third visit to each of the sites and I’ll do one more when they’re finished,” Nauman said Thursday. “They want to create all kinds of promotional material, a video of the site. My process is out here, I shoot stills and video from the ground and from the air.”
In the back of Nauman’s car is roughly $3,000 worth of equipment for his photography, including protective cases, expensive batteries and other controls. Nauman uses a remote with an iPad attached to the console to monitor what the drone camera is seeing.
At the end, he will have spent a grand total of six days throughout the project taking pictures of the Decatur County Solar Project, a 168-acres site, and the Decatur Parkway Solar Project, an 800-acre site, both off Highway 27. Nauman’s aim is to show just how big these projects are and give Tradewind a time lapse of how the construction phase looks from beginning to end.
“It’s exciting for us, because we’ll get copies of those pictures,” Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Rick McCaskill said. “It’s so big, it’s so hard to get your head around what you’re looking at until you see it like this.”
Southern Power purchased the projects from Tradewind and will be operating them. Both sites are expected to be finished by the end of 2015.
McCaskill offered his praise for the work Southern Power and Tradewind Energy have put into the projects thus far.