Flying is Easier Than Hiking

The path at right is a fairly treacherous, dusty way up to the top of this hill; it’s the one I took last year to capture images like this one. Flying to the top with my drone is, by comparison, a bit less strenuous.

Flying Is Easier Than Hiking

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Where the Houses Stop/Palm Trees and Sprawl

Like a child’s legos, spilled out onto the floor until they reach the wall of the room, the sprawl of Coachella Valley reaches from one mountain range to the other.

Palm Trees and Sprawl

Of course, when that sprawl does reach the edge, modern California’s land conservation kicks in and a hard barrier appears between homes and desert.

Where the Houses Stop

Night Arrives Above Empire Polo Club

I guess I’m still discovering new tricks up the DJI Mini 3 Pro’s sleeve. I’ve never managed to create a panorama (much less one looking up) from drone images before, but this massive shot of the sunset over the San Jacinto Mountains has changed all of that. The pink clouds arc above and the Empire Polo Club (home of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival) spreads across the foreground.

Night Arrives Above Empire Polo Club

(You’ll definitely want to click through for full resolution on this one.)

Water Escape: Coachella Valley

Coachella Valley is a desert that was once home to a lake, so careful management of water—both where it should go, and where it shouldn’t—leads to some fascinating human-engineered structures. I like this image for the sense of depth, but also for the way that the unmodified hills rise above the human-produced forms in the fore- and mid-ground.

Water Escape: Coachella Valley