Don't try this at home: photographer flies drone over waterfall at night to light kayakers

Canon Australia is responsible for some pretty awesome photography videos on YouTube. The latest is a behind-the-scenes featurette following adventure photographer and Canon Master, Krystle Wright, as she attempts to photograph kayakers going over a 60-foot waterfall. At night.

To get the shot, Wright combined the low-light capabilities of her EOS-1D X Mark II with some off-camera flashes; two Canon 600EX-RTs mounted to a custom-built drone, to be exact. That particular model of flash contains a built-in radio transceiver, making it perfect for such an application. While the drone operator held the craft steady over the waterfall, Wright fired away from a variety of angles and distances, knowing the light would always be in the right position.

This was a passion project for Wright, who approached Canon for support after coming up with the idea for the shoot. “With the way the world is these days, you really have to push hard to create something that is unique,” Wright says in the video. “I now have an image I’m really proud of,” she continues. “I want to process this image and print it, and see how people react to it.”

Wright credits the improved autofocus capabilities of the 1D X Mark II for making the shoot possible. In near-dark conditions, the flagship DSLR managed to lock focus easily where many other cameras would have had difficulty. “I noticed a huge difference,” she says.

Still, it wasn’t always easy to get the shot, as the flashes prevented Wright from using the camera’s 14 frames per second burst mode. She had to time each exposure carefully, which took some trial and error. “Sometimes I was off, even by a microsecond. But I like that challenge,” she says.

The video itself is equally well made, with some impressive low-light footage and gorgeous slow-motion shots. It’s not clear what camera it was shot on, but it’s available in 4K, so it may also be from the 1D X Mark II (presumably, it was made with a Canon). Be sure to watch the full video above, or check out Canon Australia on YouTube for more inspiring content.

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