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 In Lifestyle

Agents at Leisure:

Bayside From Above

Marshall White Director and Auctioneer, Stephen Smith, has always had a passion for photography. Experimenting with a drone earlier in the year resulted in these breathtaking landscapes of the Bayside area. We discovered more about his hobby and those that have inspired him along the way.

How did your interest in drone photography begin?

I’ve always been fascinated by the way things appeared from the air. The way landscapes fit together, the extended horizon and the change of perspective of everyday items and places. I first started flying remote controlled helicopters about 10 years ago. At that stage they were incredibly challenging to fly and lacked serious camera technology. Earlier this year I decided to revisit this hobby and a general love of photography and invest in some serious airborne. I fly a DJI Mavic 2 Pro. though it would be more accurate to describe it as my flying camera.

What do you like to photograph?

For me it’s landscapes. A lot of real estate photography focuses in on the property for sale, either an elevated façade shot or an area shot showing the nearby points of interest. If I’m shooting a home I prefer to use it as the foreground object in an evocative sunset or sunrise scene. Although COVID-19 has somewhat limited my ability to travel, living in Bayside we are spoilt for great scenery; the bay, great parks, the city on the horizon and lots of little tucked away spaces look fabulous from the air. I’ve managed to get a couple of shoots in Barwon Heads between stage 3 restrictions. I really can’t wait to be able to get further afield again.

When is your favourite time of day to shoot?

It depends on the subject but almost invariably is at sunrise and sunset. I like shooting into the sun which has its challenges but yields great results. If you are shooting with an SLR on a tripod you can use exposure bracketing really effectively to merge multiple exposures. It’s more challenging on a drone given the less stable nature of it but still achievable. I prefer to work with a single image, however, and take it under exposed to avoid blowing out the sun and the sky and then to lift the other elements in post. In most of Bayside if you want a city horizon then it’s a going to be dusk shoot. But if you want something really special and your subject is on or right by the water then a dawn shoot grabs all those gorgeous reflections of the water in the foreground and you can get some beautiful purples and blues.

What software do you use to process your images?

I work with a combination of Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. The learning curves are pretty steep but Adobe includes great tutorials built into both applications.

Which photographers inspire you most?

When it comes to aerial photography it’s hard to go past Tobias Hägg and Deryk Baumgärtner. Deryk does the most beautiful moody mountainous landscapes.


About the Author
Stephen Smith, Marshall White Director and Auctioneer

Marshall White Director and Auctioneer, Stephen Smith, has always had a passion for photography. Experimenting with a drone earlier in the year resulted in these breathtaking landscapes of the Bayside area. In a past career including postgraduate studies in Italy and Wales, Stephen enjoyed a 20-year journey performing tenor lead roles around the world, on many occasions before heads of state and royalty. 

View more about Stephen here.

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