16 Jan 2022

Eye in the Limerick sky: Peter captures life from above....and even indoors!

FOR the first time in this series on photographers we look at drone technology. And one of the local visionaries is visionAir’s Peter Tiernan.

A love for photography and flying meant cameras in the sky were a marriage made in heaven.

“Growing up in the South Roscommon countryside, the open landscape and rolling hills most likely set the seeds for my interest in landforms and landscape photography. This coupled with a fascination in all things aerial was most probably responsible for igniting my interest in drone photography and videography,” said Peter, who now calls Caherline home after moving to Limerick in 2000.

He always looks for the story behind a photograph and attempts to understand how the sunlight will affect the subject.

“Natural light is tricky and unpredictable and for landscape photography, there’s no escape to the safety and controlled conditions of a studio … so I guess this means I am a light chaser by definition!”

Peter’s formal qualifications are in engineering.

“As a chartered mechanical engineer, I love the technical side of both the drones themselves as well as the software and editing aspects of this business. I bought my first camera drone in 2013 after flying planes and helicopters for over 20 years. Since then, I have built both small first-person view (FPV) and heavy lift drones for lifting movie cameras.”

Peter says the laws and rules around flying drones frequently causes confusion and disquiet in some quarters.

“However, they are straightforward once they are studied and understood. As an Irish Aviation Authority licensed and fully insured drone operator, I take utmost care and attention to detail in both the flight planning and the flight itself. That’s not to say I have never had an ‘oops’ moment during a flight but, by taking the correct precautions and with good flight planning, the results of any technical failure or pilot error can be mitigated,” said Peter.

Music isn’t something that most photographers have to think about but Peter and his ilk do.

“At visionAir Technologies we provide a full video editing service. Clients will typically look for a complete service – the footage, editing, and music overlay. Choosing the music for a video is critical. I spend many hours choosing the correct track for each video I produce. I have seen first-hand how a poorly chosen piece of music can ruin an otherwise great video.”

Peter has produced video and photographic content for RTE, OPW, Fáilte Ireland, GAA, local authorities and numerous private organisations.

“I have provided aerial footage for movies and documentaries, most recently doing aerial shots for a movie starring Cillian Murphy. I love the variety that comes with the drone videography business. One day I could be doing a roof drone survey for a local authority and the next, I could be shooting a landmark structure for Tourism Ireland.

“I see drone videography and videography as a fusion of art and technical know-how. It takes many years to develop the artistic precision required to produce quality aerial video or photographic content. Every job I undertake with the drones is an opportunity for me to learn something new. Indeed, I have some exciting projects in the pipeline using drones for a very novel application. I never stop learning or researching drone technology. It is a field that is expanding rapidly with advances happening every few months.”

Peter says the day he thinks he knows everything about the drone technology business is the day he should stop flying.

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