Drone captures hostile but gorgeous location

Just yesterday, we invited drone content creators to send us their best. And already, we’ve been receiving some great submissions. We’d like to highlight some great work capturing a really hostile environment.

There’s a lot of talent out there. Whether it’s cinematography, piloting skills, or both, we love nothing more than finding and sharing great videos that showcase great talent. The latest to cross our path comes to us from Daniel Haussmann of Haussman Visuals. Daniel is a Frankfurt-based landscape photographer and aerial drone photographer/videographer. His work has been licensed by major brands, including Heineken, Korean Air, Die Welt, Visit Norway, and Deutsche Bank. So he clearly knows what he’s doing.

He has also taken his drone to a location most of us will never, ever see in person.

Landscapes from above

Daniel has been flying for six years, and a Mavic 2 Pro is his go-to drone. His website explains that he’s drawn to unique landscapes that really showcase the natural world:

What I love is to go to those special epic places, like Norway, Faroe Islands or other areas with beautiful nature. I try to capture the beauty of those places with my cameras and drones. My favorite subjects are the elusive northern lights in Iceland and Norway. Also I am lava addicted. I already visisted a couple of volcanic eruptions. Starting in Iceland in 2014 with the huge Holuhraun eruption, the Stromboli and Etna in Italy. I recently also visited the Kilauea volcano in Hawai’i.

Daniel Haussmann

Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen three of the volcanos mentioned here in person: Kilauea, Stromboli, and Etna. (My hotel room in the Sicilian city of Catania had a great view of Etna!)

But this next place? No chance I’ll be going there – though it would be pretty cool to see.

One of the harshest environments on earth

Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression is one of the most hostile places on the planet. It lies at the junction of three tectonic plates, so there’s a lot of things happening just beneath the surface. It is, based on average temperatures, the hottest place on the planet. It’s also one of the world’s most arid locations.

There’s nothing around here but geology: No running water, no lodgings, no source of electricity. But plenty of sulfur, other hot gases, unusual geological formations, and lava. It’s also considered a somewhat risky place to travel, with bandits regularly looking for opportunities.

But that didn’t stop Haussmann. Or his incredible drone work:

This was quite a shoot!

So, what was the trip like?

It was a pretty great, but also exhausting trip. The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is one of the hottest places on earth. Also one of the least developed one, also dangerous due to various terrorists, rebels and other folks in the area. Anything was a challenge. No water, no power (just the cars), no toilets etc. But the area is pretty active volcanically, the Erta Ale volcano is the highlight.

Daniel Haussmann; Haussmann Visuals

Any tips for drone pilots?

We asked Daniel if he might have some tips to share. He has some good ones:

“Get up early, stay late – catch the good light. Be pretty radical in editing. If something is not good, do not use it, despite the effort that went into capturing the shot,” says Haussmann. This last bit is a very good tip. As a career journalist, I once fell into the habit of trying to include a quote from everyone I interviewed because – well – I’d done the interviews. Then a colleague told me one day: “You’re writing for the reader.”

The same rule applies to drone shooting and editing. You’re pulling this together for the viewer, not for yourself. Unless every shot is adding something to your edit, leave it on the cutting room floor.


Daniel also adds that drones provide an incredibly unique perspective for landscape photography, revealing features you could never capture from the ground:

“Creating motion in landscape videos is always difficult, drone videos easily can add all types of motion into shots,” he says. “Plus, many landscapes look much different from above. Sometimes there is simply no other way to get a different vantage point.”

Send us your best!

Have something cool you feel is worth featuring on DroneDJ.com? We’d love to have a look, though it may take us some time to get to you. If you’d like to be considered, please fill out the form you’ll find here.

If you’d like more info on our plans to feature more videos from the drone community, check out our original post on the topic here.

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