The sun rises for enthusiasts and their love of drones

An aerial photograph taken by Mr Joseph de Villa at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on July 10, 2022. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MR JOSEPH DE VILLA
Marina Bay Sands Night Lights: An aerial photograph of Singapore's skyline at night taken by Mr Nick Lin in 2022. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MR NICK LIN
Gardens By The Bay Morning: An aerial photograph of Gardens by the Bay during the day by Mr Nick Lin in 2022. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MR NICK LIN

SINGAPORE - Almost every other day, there will be a literal buzz in the air as the morning sun peeks over the horizon at the Marina Bay area.

Professional aerial photographer and videographer Nick Lin will be there before dawn, sometimes with other enthusiasts, trying to capture the fleeting sunrise with his trusty DJI Mavic 3 Cine drone.

"I like to take photos of the sunrise because at that time, the light is the most magical and everything captured on the drone looks nice," said the 39-year-old, who travels to Marina Bay from his home in Outram about three to four times a week just for this.

Mr Lin, who owns five drones, is part of a growing community of drone enthusiasts in Singapore.

He also heads back to the Marina Bay area or places like Marina South Pier at around 8pm three to four times a week to take aerial photographs of the night skyline.

"I carry my drones every day in case I feel like flying them at other times in the day," said Mr Lin, who began flying drones in 2019 because of his keen interest in photography since he was a child.

"I tried underwater photography before, but I have always wanted to try aerial photography, and I am glad I did because it offered me different perspectives for my photos," he said.

Mr Lin bought his first drone, the DJI Mavic Mini, in 2019, and his most expensive one - another DJI drone that cost $14,000 - just a few months ago.

So far, he has spent about $31,000 on his drones, which come in handy for his job working with hotels, wedding planners, shipping companies and government agencies to take aerial photographs and videos of events.

At the end of 2020, he took a course on flying drones commercially as he wanted to become a professional aerial photographer and videographer.

He has different drones for specific uses. For example, one is good for indoor videos or photographs as it is small and quiet. Another drone, which is bigger, produces images that are good enough to be used in movies.

Mr Nick Lin, who owns five drones, is part of a growing community of drone enthusiasts in Singapore. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MR NICK LIN

Mr Joseph de Villa, a newcomer to flying drones, got his first drone, a DJI Mini 3 Pro, in early July as a birthday present from his girlfriend.

Since then, the 29-year-old aircraft technician has spent about $400 on accessories, such as screen protectors and extra batteries, for the drone.

"Drones can allow you to have a different kind of perspective and see the beauty of the earth. This made me more attracted to being a drone user," said Mr de Villa, who is learning how to fly his drone from YouTube tutorials.

So far, he has flown his drone at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

He said: "I am hoping to learn how to manoeuvre just by looking at the screen, and be able to confidently fly the drone as far and high as possible."

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