The ‘HighTechHobbyist’ of the Week: Michael B. Rasmussen

Michael Rasmussen Interview

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 person.

Award-winning drone photographer Michael B. Rasmussen is this week’s featured ‘HighTechHobbyist’. Michael is becoming well-known in the drone community for his beautiful aerial images of landscapes. He recently was awarded 1st place in Dronestagram’s 2016 International Drone Photography Contest sponsored by National Geographic in the category of Nature Wildlife.

1st Place Prize "Kalbyris forest Denmark"

1st Place Prize “Kalbyris forest Denmark”

A little about Michael: his hometown is Naestved, Denmark. He has been taking photographs for nearly 20 years now. I asked Michael several questions about his ‘HighTech’ hobby. Here’s the full interview:

1. How long have you been shooting aerial photographs with a drone?
I have been shooting aerial photographs for about 6 months now. I got my first drone about 8 month ago as a birthday present from my wife, and used a few months learning to maneuver the drone and getting to know it.

2. What got you started in drone photography, and what was your first drone?
I have been looking at these amazing aerial photographs for a few years now ever since the early beginning, and always wanted to get up there and photograph from that perspective, I then was so lucky that my wonderful wife Maria gave me a Phantom 3 professional for my birthday last year and then I was sold.

Michael is known for his beautiful images of landscapes

Michael is known for his amazing images of ordinary landscapes

3. What gave you the idea for “Kalbyris forest Denmark” (the award-winning photo)?
I have always loved nature, and Kalbyris forest is almost in my backyard; only 5 minutes drive from my town and knowing the forest very well, I knew that somehow would be a great picture over there. It was just my luck that we had a heavy snowfall that morning. As soon as it cleared, I was out there.

4. What type of post-processing tools/software do you use?
I subscribe to Adobe Creative suite; so both Lightroom and Photoshop. But before anything, I clean the images with DJI dng cleaner to remove all the small red spots the DJI phantom has in its dng files.

5. Do you use any special settings on your Phantom 3 to shoot photos?
Yeah I always capture 5 pictures in AEB mode then stack them in Photoshop and do final edits like color correction in Lightroom, it gives me so much more image data to work with in the final image. I have written a guide on my blog about it here.

Quadcopter Photo Michael Rasmussen TheHighTechHobbyist

His top-down images offer a unique perspective

6. What tips would you give to a new drone photographer?
Take your time, learn to fly your drone and get to know it 100% before you go on dedicated photo trips. It is easy to get lost in camera settings and image compositions when you have a good frame. Before you know it, you are out of battery or way too close to an obstacle. Always calibrate your compass, and make sure to set your RTH (Return to home) location before every flight.

7. What is your next quadcopter upgrade?
Well my next drone came today, since I won the 3DR Solo drone in the contest. I was out on a short test flight tonight actually. It is a very different drone, and works only with a GoPro camera. I will probably only use this for movie making. It’s not something I have been doing much in the past but I have a few ideas when the season comes :-).

Thanks for a great interview Michael! Visit him here to see more of his breath-taking work:


Michael’s Blog

michael b rasmussen quadcopter aerial thehightechhobbyist

What do you think of Michael’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.

  • Christian

    Those are some beautiful photos. How do they look so professional. does he use ND filters?

    • Hi Christian
      Thank you so much for your comment, I don’t use ND filters for photographing with my drone, you need a rather high shutter speed to avoid camera movement even with the best gimbal. But read my guide to Aerial HDR you can find the link in the article.

      • Mark Ziminski

        Hows the 3DR solo been for you? I’m thinking of purchasing one. Or should I go with the Phantom?

        • Well to be honest I haven’t been out flying to much with the 3dr yet. My initial thoughts are given the gopro camera and software of the drone is that the solo is great for movies and not the best for photography. So it all depends on what you want to capture movies or stills. The phantom on the other hand is really good for photography but don’t have the same software for filming as the solo so filming with the phantom is all manual control and really difficult to achieve stable long shots with like solos cablecam as a example.

          Hope this helps you decide which drone to put your money in.

  • Darren

    I always use AEB mode. It’s a must to get high quality results. Great interview by the way. I’d love to see more like it.