Behind the Controls: Tobias Hägg of Air Pixels

We hope you like beautiful landscape photography. Because that’s precisely what Tobias Hägg of Air Pixels creates. Tobias is a photographer/filmmaker who was born in Sweden. And while he’s captured plenty of Swedish landscapes from his camera and drone, he is also very well-traveled – and you’ll see it from his breathtaking images.

Tobias is also quite and accomplished photographer having some of his work published in National Geographic, The Telegrapher and Daily Mail.

At the end of this read, you’ll notice that Tobias is quite a perfectionist. He knows he’s far from perfect, but he pushes the envelope in getting the finest details just right when it comes to his photography and, as a result, his work really sticks out.

With the advent of Instagram, Tobias thought it was a good idea to start showcasing some of his work on the platform. He created the @AirPixels account about a year ago and he says things have really blown up since. As a result, he now gets to live out his dream of traveling the world as a landscape photographer. That hard work, dedication and keen eye for details are all reasons we selected Tobias as this weeks talented pilot Behind the Controls.

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Behind the Controls: Tobias Hägg from Air Pixels

We see you’re a photographer and you have a very particular way of shooting your landscapes. How would you describe your style?

I’m not really sure how to describe my style when it comes to Aerial Photography but i love a creative “nose-down”. It’s more about executing an idea I have. Like always with Aerial Photography you don’t really know what to expect until you actually are up in the air. But you can have an idea of what it might look like then try to execute the vision from your head with the actual scenery.

How did you ever get involved in drones?

I have always been a fan of making films and editing. Shooting pictures and film from the sky has always been a dream but not possible for me before. When I realized I could get my hands on a drone and do the things I always wanted there was not so much to think about anymore. I Purchased the DJI Phantom 3 Pro, started a Instagram Account and here we are.

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What do you currently fly? What is in your drone kit?

I still have the DJI Phantom 3 Pro, but a GoPro Karma coming. And I am waiting for a new DJI Inspire or something bigger to be released. Hopefully something comes soon. In my Kit there is the DJI Hardshell Backpack, 4 batteries, extra props, loading kit and a Snickers. You never know when you get hungry.

What has the drone been able to do for you that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to capture with traditional cameras?

Well, pretty much everything. Since I am a big fan of doing shots from above and shoot straight down it really opened up the possibilities for me to experiment with some creativity. But, of course, also the potential of moving yourself into positions you couldn’t get to before.

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You mention that you started your Instagram page about a year ago. How has Instagram changed your business and photography?

Yeah, that’s true. Well to be honest it has actually flipped my life upside down. I don’t know anything anymore I just know i work very hard now to make AirPixelsMedia a successful business together with enjoying what I do. It’s going very well and the response on my work have been tremendous so far. I really don’t know what the next day will bring but I am excited and open for pretty much everything coming my way.

Have you ever crashed a drone? Tell us about it!

Sadly, yes! It was a stupid mistake. I was all alone in the forest and had just done my flight and was all excited to bring it home. When i went up there was nothing disturbing and I really thought I had 100% control of my surroundings. When I was going down trough the tree line I lost focus for a second and the props hit a tree and fell straight into the water of a little forest lake and sunk to the bottom.

It was winter in Sweden but it was just before the ice had covered the lake so I made a swim for it. Out in the lake I could see the low battery blinking and the motors still running. I thought it was dead forever. I took the props of and shut of the drone. Brought the drone home and waited a week before I powered it up.

Everything worked as it should and I’m still using it. Haha.

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You mentioned you were featured in National Geographic, The Telegrapher and Daily Mail. Awesome! How did you manage that!?

Yes,  my work has been published lately and it is really inspiring to keep on doing what I love to do when I notice people actually like it. National Geographic was a big one for me personally since it has always been a dream. I sometimes upload images to National Geographic and one day I got lucky with a feature. The Telegrapher and Daily Mail wrote articles about my photography above Sweden and i don’t really know how they found me. But Social Media is powerful and shouldn’t be underestimated.

How did you come up with Air Pixels and what does it represent?

Again I’m not 100% sure. But i knew I was gonna shoot a lot of film and photos from the air. And i just wanted something catchy for it.

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You have mastered the ability to capture breathtaking images – especially of landscapes. Do you have any tips you can share with readers who are working to improve their drone photography?

Yes, I do ! The most important thing when it comes to droning for me is to learn how to handle the altitudes. Every Image or every object work best on a special altitude. I see a lot of Drone images where people don’t really care. They smack the drone up to the highest altitude possible and just go on top of a forest and a lake and starts shooting. That’s not how you get the perfect images. At least not in my case.

I usually fly very low. Be aware of your surroundings and stay close to the target you are about to shoot if you can. This way you can see everything and sometimes even find new images around you. People wanna know what it is they are looking at.

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You mentioned you love to travel. Where do you hope to travel next to capture drone images?

Yes, I do. I just got back from Iceland and also Lofoten, Norway. My Next trip will be in January where I will hook up with the boys from @SaltyWings and hopefully we will create something cool together.

Who are some pilots you admire in the drone space?

Theres a lot of good droners out there but some i would definitely recommend would be @SaltyWings and @Dirka.

We notice you’re from Sweden and we just came across this post today mentioning that Sweden plans to ban drones in public places.  Is that true and have you heard of that? If so, how will that affect what you do with your photography?

Haha, yes! This is the most ridiculous new law I ever heard of and it really shows how bad Sweden is when it comes to development. They actually killed a branch/buisness in one day. Serious droners will leave their drone on the ground for awhile until there will come a new law in February. Other droners will just keep doing what they do. I guess we will be saved by EU on this one. I’m not sure where this will land though. We will just have to wait it out and see. If they ban drones in Sweden I will probably leave the country. =)

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Where do you see drones in the next 5-10 years?

Wow, this one is tough. But hey, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be on the moon by then in the speed technology is going right now.

What is something interesting people don’t know about you? Where can we find you when you’re not Behind the Controls?

When i’m not behind the controls i am taking care of my dog and girlfriend. If I’m not there you would probably find me on Söderstadion cheering for Hammarby. (Hammarby Football Team) Forza Bajen.

Follow Tobias Hagg of Air Pixels Media on the web

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