New Brunswick from a New Perspective: Eric Goggin’s Drone Photography

Drone enthusiast Eric Goggin rises to new heights of creativity as he captures the beauty of his province from above.

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Eric Goggins flying his drone camera
Photo: Our Canada

Capturing New Brunswick with a Drone Camera

Halloween 1982, I was dressed to kill in a homemade Superman costume that my super mom came up with. Feeling indestructible, made of steel, like at any moment I could take flight and view the earth from high above. What ten-year-old hasn’t dreamed of flying?

Fast-forward to the summer of 2015 in our little village of Salisbury, N.B. It’s “Community Days” and my wife Sharon and my daughter Gabby are taking in the parade. Suddenly, that thought of taking flight once again grabbed me when I saw a quadcopter-a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle)-hovering above our heads as we sat on the sidewalk. The operator was controlling the aircraft from two blocks away! How?

As he approached us on the sidewalk, we could then see that he was peering into his mobile device attached to a remote control. An integrated camera on the drone allowed the operator to fly and view from the mobile device. Wow! I wanted one. Without ever even having owned a remote-controlled toy car, I proceeded to order my personal UAV-or drone to most.

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Saint John River in Evandale
Photo: Eric Goggin

The Phantom 3 Advanced Drone from DJI was my choice of bird. It has a fully integrated camera that films in 2.7k video up to 30 frames per second and a three-axis gimbal that insure smooth shots. It’s able to fly over distances up to three miles and you can view it all on your mobile device in 720p HD. The view is streamed live to the operator in absolute clarity, enabling you to get the perfect shot and experience flying in a totally unique way.

Goggin Signs & Graphics has been my day job since 1994. Although being a good artist and having a keen eye for design, layout and colour is great, the time spent earning a living doesn’t always fulfill my quest to create art. Painting has been a pastime I enjoy and I do like picking up the brushes when time permits, but shooting images and video with the Phantom has proved to be a very exciting way to express ideas and share my point of view.

Many times things that may not seem overly interesting from ground level, such as a corn maze for example, take on a whole new life when viewed from 200 feet above. Travelling at speeds up to 35 miles per hour, a farmer harvesting his crop or a flight over a river or ocean beachhead can be fascinating to see.

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A dairy farm in Boundary Creek
Photo: Eric Goggin

UAVs are most often associated with the military but they are also used for search and rescue. With enough onboard computing power to achieve significant levels of autonomy, a drone can be a stable platform for photography and filming, which really doesn’t take that much skill to fly. It’s like a flying robot-intuitive and easy from take off to landing.

People seem drawn to the view provided by a drone; the perspective from up there is amazing! Shooting images and video far above New Brunswick has proven to be fun and I enjoy sharing the images with others. I’ve been lucky enough to have three of my drone videos featured on the recently cancelled TV show, Canada AM.

The first was a surfer on the tidal bore here on the Petitcodiac River in Moncton, N.B. The second video aired last February and featured a team of black Labs mushing through the winter wilderness with a dogsled. Finally, the third drone film featured Kelsey McNeil, an award-winning Canadian figure skater on a frozen mountain leak near Elgin N.B.

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Close-up of drone
Photo: Eric Goggin

The Figure Skater was downloaded on my YouTube channel and between the national press and TV coverage is garnered, the video quickly went viral. The province was thrilled with the positive attention and all the inquires as to where this winter wonderland was located! The video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times from folks around the world.

It’s been a blast going on weekend adventures with my girls in tow-they’re patient with my “droning” and allow me to stop frequently to get a shot of whatever I spot that interests me along the way.

Editing the footage I capture is also a fun step in the process, as well as choosing the music, which sets the mood for the video. Once I have an idea, I envision the location, terrain and all the endless angles that can be achieved up there with a drone. The endless beauty of our country, and all the things that make each province unique, need to be shared. I want to share my New Brunswick as seen from above-seen like it has never been before!

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