I’VE BEEN STOKED on the photographic innovation just exploding around UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles, aka ‘drones.” Several of the editors here at Matador have their own MataDrones, and I got a chance to see Joshy Washington fly his–a DJI Phantom–at Leo Carillo State park North of LA.

It was impressive how in control Josh could pilot the drone out over the surfers at the point, and later, trying to follow dolphins. Josh was seemingly transformed into a little kid at seeing their fins, grabbing his remote control, and yelling something about “getting some dorsal porn.”

Anyway, check the shots these kids are able to capture in the video above using the Cinedrone (a pro UAV, capable of carrying a DSLR), especially the way they’re able to track the skier launching off that kicker. This is something Kelly Slater commented on at the recent Pipe Masters event, basically that all this sick aerial footage was coming out, but that “you didn’t even know they [the drones] were up there.”

Even just the cinematic, non-action-sports shots this team captured, such as the train rolling across the trestle, or the opening shot with them in the water: Drone photography just gives so much dynamism, a kind of ‘god-like’ view in and out of scenes. Josh and I were talking about modifying his DJI phantom so it could actually railslide and carve obstacles in a skate-park. Who knows where people will take these? It’s literally just beginning.

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