The ‘HighTechHobbyist’ of the Week: Francesco Cattuto

This is a weekly article featuring a fellow ‘HighTechHobbyist’. Some of these guests will be well-known in the tech community, while others will be up-and-coming amateurs. Included will be an interview of the ‘Hobbyist’, along with some of their ‘HighTech’ work. I will  also ask the featured ‘Hobbyist’ to give any tips that may help out the ordinary hobbyist.

Francesco Cattuto is this week’s ‘HighTechHobbyist’. Similar to last week’s featured ‘Hobbyist’, Francesco is an aerial photographer. Using his drone, he was able to capture an image that was awarded 1st place in Dronestagram’s 2016 International Drone Photography Contest in the category of Travel. Time magazine recently called the photo “the Coolest Drone Photo in the World“.

1st Place Photo Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Umbria, Italy

1st Place Photo “Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Umbria, Italy”

Francesco is from Italy, and currently resides in Modena. He is a passionate photographer, and loves travelling all around the world.

1. What got you started in drone photography, and what was your first drone?
I bought my drone a year ago to extend my photographic point of view. My first and only one for the moment is a Phantom 3 professional.

2. I must say the rolling clouds (in the award-winning photo) are beautiful. Did you just have lucky timing, or did you plan this out?
It was lucky timing. I was in Assisi for a walk after lunch. It’s about 45 minutes from my parents’ home , and I didn’t check weather condition before. I started to see clouds from the road when i was approaching Assisi. I thought that was a great occasion to take a photo.

Civita di Bagnoregio, the dying town

“Civita di Bagnoregio, the dying town”

3. It’s difficult to tell with the fog, how high up are you when you took this image (award-winning image)?
It seems very high but it’s a little bit over 70 meters (230 feet). Italian law is very restricted in this way.

4. What type of post-processing tools/software do you use?
I love to edit my photo with Adobe Lightroom… nothing else. I usually shoot in Raw and then post-process my photo to express my feelings. In that photo, for example, I choose to emphasize the warm colours to capture the magic of the sunset.

5. What tips would you give to a new drone photographer?
Well, drone photography opens a new incredible point of view of ordinary object or places. The first tip is the same that I use in standard photography. Plan before shooting. With drones it means plan before you start flying, because battery decreases fastly, and you don’t have much time to take photos when you are in the air! Keep in mind to stay creative and try to look at the same day places with a different perspective. When you are in position… take your time, fly around, up and down, even if for a meter or two, to find the right point… and then shoot!

francesco cattuto interview beatiful image

“Isola della Maddalena, Sardegna”

6. What is your next drone upgrade?
Nothing at the moment. The first one was quite expensive. Maybe, if I sell some pictures, I will get a new one with a better camera!

7. Do you have any other ‘HighTech’ hobbies?
I’m a computer engineer… so everything is technological. It’s a fundamental part of my life. I have many interests and hobbies in my life. For example, I’m a scuba diver. I would love the day that a scuba drone will be available to take incredible shots under the sea!

francesco cattuto photography drone

Want to see more of Francesco’s work? Visit these sites:

Francesco’s Website:

Francesco’s Dronestagram:

What do you think of Francesco’s aerial photographs? Please feel free to comment. And don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly newsletter to get updated when more articles like this are published.