Location, location, location: Wild Iceland volcano FPV drone video

Yes, you’ve likely seen a video taken by drone of that Iceland volcano by now. But we’re betting many of you haven’t seen this video, or the story behind it.

We’ve been watching this volcano – at least via YouTube – since all this began. And we’ve seen some pretty incredible videos. One of the highlights was a video we wrote about here, where the pilot actually melted one of three Mavic 2 Pros he took to the site. (What’s even more wild, in that story, is that his drone still flew after being scorched.)

Today, something equally spectacular (and possibly more). A beautifully produced FPV flight over the same volcano.

First Person View

As all of you know, flying in FPV gives a pilot the ability for a far greater range of shots than a standard quadcopter. And so Iceland Aerials decided to take an FPV to the site. We spoke with Hjörtur Geir Björnsson about how this shoot was carried out.

Iceland Aerials, at the moment, is a collective of three friends who live in the Icelandic capital city, Reykjavik. They’re all total drone and R/C geeks with a real passion for flying – and who’ve been making the shift over the past year to more cinematic FPV work. Though they’re hobbyists, they hope to work on some pro shoots in the future. They are:

  • Hjörtur Geir Björnsson (@hjorturg on Instagram)
  • Ólafur Hrafn Björnsson (@olafurhrabn on Instagram – and yes, they’re brothers)
  • Kristján Broder Lund (@kristjanbl on Instagram)

They’ve certainly got the talent.

The FPV advantage

FPV flight, generally, involves being constantly on the move. It’s very rare (though the new DJI FPV might change this) to see a hovering shot in an FPV cinematic film. There’s almost a liquid flow to FPV videos, and that’s an advantage in this case.

Why? Because hovering over that intense heat is what led to this with a more conventional drone:

That Mavic 2 Pro really took some heat…

Let’s get to it

Are you ready? Let’s gooooooooo….

This is a fantastic video

What were they flying?

Two quads were involved with this shoot; one analogue and one running the DJI FPV system. Footage was captured with a GoPro 6 and GoPro 8. No special precautions had to be taken with the quads because, although they were still in intense heat, they weren’t hanging there in one spot.

But that doesn’t mean there weren’t challenges:

The main challenge is the windy and cold winter weather which makes it nearly impossible to keep warm while setting up the gear and while flying. The low temperatures also makes the batteries perform very poorly.The fact that we cant recover the sd card if we crash also presents a challenge to back up the footage after each flight in case the next one goes wrong. For ourselves, we followed advice given by the authorities with regards to our safety while visiting the volcano. This means, for example, we have to take measures to avoid exposure to the toxic fumes.

Hjörtur Geir Björnsson, Iceland Aerials

Did you see that tent toward the end?

Sure you did. We asked Hjörtur if that was his team – and yes, it was.

“The tent belongs to photographer Håkon Broder Lund,” says Hjörtur. “Check out his Instagram account @broderlund for amazing photos taken from that location. Håkon is Kristján’s (Iceland Aerials pilot) brother.”

So. What was it like to actually be there?

“Indescribeable,” he says. “Especially being there at early hours when there is almost no one there except us. It is a surreal and somewhat scary experience. You feel small compared to Mother Earth and her amazing power.”

Want to go fly this?

Can’t blame you. I’d love to go see this, too. And Hjörtur says this event might be ongoing for quite some time:

The current volcanic activity is quite stable and might last for weeks, months or even years. It is quite accessible and close to Reykjavik. This is therefore a very good opportunity to experience a volcano in person, for anyone willing and able to travel to Iceland. 

Hjörtur Geir Björnsson, Iceland Aerials

Amazing video. Thanks, Hjörtur and the rest of the Iceland Aerials team!

While you’re here, consider subscribing to the Iceland Aerials YouTube Channel. And since you’ll be on YouTube, might as well subscribe to ours as well. We can’t promise you volcanos, but we do deliver with thoughtful reviews like this one, on the new DJI Air 2S.

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