Henry Do is one of those pilots with an eye that catches what others sometimes don’t. He’s a professional photographer who hails from Las Vegas, Nevada and takes every advantage to capture the beauty and wild side of Sin City.
But he’s not just landlocked in Vegas. Henry travels the world thanks to his love for seeking out new destinations for his passion for photography. As an adventure-seeker, he doesn’t shy away from some of world’s most beautiful canyons and islands.
When he’s not piloting his drone, you can catch Henry snapping pics of fast (and ridiculously beautiful cars). Whether it’s a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, GT-R…Henry doesn’t discriminate. But he does capture the sheer elegance of every machine he points the camera at (check out his website below).
But today is all about Henry Do and his drone work. That’s why we’re happy to honor him as this week’s talented pilot Behind The Controls. Enjoy!
Behind the Controls: Henry Do
We see you are very talented in photography in general. At what point did you introduce the drone to your arsenal?
I have been seriously interested in photography for about 6 years. I first picked up a Phantom 2 Vision+ with the GoPro attachment in the summer of 2015 and quickly realized the great potential of this new technology. It was fun to fly at first, but I was flying blind because I couldn’t use the Wi-Fi from the GoPro with my phone to see what was going on. Soon after, I picked up a Phantom 3 Advance after a week of having the Phantom 2 and fell in love with it ever since.
What is currently in your drone kit?
My current drone is Phantom 3 Advance. I upgraded the camera to the 4k camera from the Phantom 3 Professional so you could say I have the P3P, haha. In addition, I use an iPad 2, antenna range booster, polarizer filter, and the GPC backpack to carry all of that. A lot of people outside of the industry were surprised when they see the pictures I’ve taken with the P3. It’s often not the gear that matters, but more of what you capture and what you create.
Living in Las Vegas must be a trip. What’s it like to shoot there (with the drone)?
Living in Las Vegas is a dream location for many drone pilots. The Las Vegas Strip is an awesome place to fly and due to many incredible landmarks, amazing attractions and just an awesome view in general. If anyone looking to fly your drone in Vegas, please be safe, because the airport is at the south-end of the Strip and there are many low flying tourist helicopter. Always fly with line-of-sight and know how to judge your distance from any objects to avoid an unfortunate mishap.
Do you have any Las Vegas landmarks you love to shoot most?
The iconic Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel & Casino is one of the most popular landmarks here in Las Vegas and I often included that in my shots.
Do you have your Part 107 or Section 333? Do you think the government has a good plan in place for the explosion of drones on the market?
I’m in process of obtaining part 107, no 333 at the moment. I think when the FAA came out with the finalized Part 107, although it took a very long time and they missed many deadlines, they were finally heading to the right direction and put safety first for the future drone pilots.
What’s your favorite drone shot you’ve ever captured?
My favorite drone shot that I’ve ever captured is this sunset shot of the amazing coastline of Oahu, Hawaii. This side of Oahu hasn’t been green for a while, but thanks to the recent increased in rainfalls, it has helped the mountains to get back its colors. I only had a few quick minutes to get this shot since the sun was going down rapidly and rain clouds were moving in.
How have others reacted to your work? Where do you find your images make the most impact online?
The response has been great. A lot of people enjoy viewing my work. I love flying because it motivates me to travel and explore. It allows me to see things from new perspectives. I hope my creations have helped to inspired other photographers and drone pilots. I post a lot of my aerial shots on Instagram and have had other Instagram accounts shared that awesome image. It also got retweeted and shared on Twitter, although I am not active on it at the moment.
Tell us about your most epic drone crash
Haha, I am a little superstitious. Although I haven’t had any crash (yet), I’m hoping that it doesn’t happens after I say this (knocks on wood).
How much of your knowledge of still photography carries into your drone? Do you find it helps? I mean, there are a ton of settings on those DSLR cameras!
As a photographer, one never stop learning from the art of photography. I don’t know how to put my knowledge to scale, but comparing images that I’ve taken 6 years ago to now, I can say that there’s a night and day difference. Having prior experience in photography helps a lot in understanding the setting and knowing exactly what it does. Also, you must know how to compose your image perfectly. Drones are pretty easy to fly these day, anyone can bring them up in the air and press the shutter button to take a picture. Knowing the art of composition, how to frame your light, and post-production is a must for anyone looking to capture unique view from a drone.
Any advice for someone who just got their first drone?
My advice is, before spending a huge amount of money on drone, get a small and cheap drone to play with. There are plenty of them online and some are indestructible if you install the props guard. You need to get familiar with the controls, orientation (reverse orientation), and practice flying with it. It’s important to understand how to navigate a drone safely.
When you are comfortable, then move up to the Phantom series. Learn about ATTI mode, manual mode and GPS-assisted mode. Also, learn about how to deal when you lost signal, drone acting up mid-flight, and battery maintenance. Battery for the drone is extremely crucial and I’ve seen many people ignoring it that end up crashing their drone because of it. Ambient temperature can affect the battery significantly so learn about that. Also, people need to know the safe operational voltage of each cell (bring the drone home when your battery is at 3.5V).
There are a lot of information that one needs to learn before flying. I can’t stress how safety is a number one priority that no one should be ignore when flying.
A lot of people ask how they can take images like pilot’s featured in Behind the Controls. Any quick advice you can share that would help their efforts?
- Find interesting locations to shoot. I usually scout Google Earth Pro (Free) before I fly.
- Always shoot in RAW format.
- Make sure the sun isn’t above you when shooting. This is usually around noon and the light will be very harsh around most subject, making your image uninteresting. Best to shoot during sunrise, sunset, or cloudy day.
- Learn about post-production to make your images come out alive after the shoot. I mainly use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to edit all of my shots.
Where do you see drones in the next five years?
Within the next 5 years, I can see a huge increase in drone enthusiast and professional services using drones. Inspection, mapping, survey, and search and rescue just to name a few. I will expect to see a bigger increase in beginner pilot reporting about crashes, increasing in complaints about the annoyance of drones and people’s privacy, and increase in property damage causing by reckless drone pilots. Hopefully the government will develop new rules and guidelines that will remediate these issues.
Where is your dream location for a drone shoot?
My dream locations would be Iceland, Norway, and Maldives.
Check out Henry Do on the web!