Drone Racing in Johor Bahru (1st Oct 2016)

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Here we are at the Ecoworld MultiGP Drone Racing Championship to watch the qualifying heats prior to the races the next night. I thought this would be a good chance to try out some long exposure photography to catch the light trails of the drones. Well, that was the plan and you can see below it did not quite work out!

This event was held at a new housing development in the north of Johor Bahru. We parked some distance from the main gate and were soon given a ride by the offical minivan; this was a very well organised event. There were booths selling this and that, and food trucks, and displays of home-made drones, as well as drones to try out. 

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The race course was completely surrounded by wire mesh to protect the spectators, and the route was shown by the red path on the ground. These drones were tiny and went at some speed, and, as Lawrence has discovered with his new drone, they are very easy to crash! If you look very carefully at the next two photos, you can see the red and blue light trails. But, because the drones were so small, their lights were tiny, so the light trails are very thin. I am standing at the end of the course which had a slalom section, and it was amazing how fast the drones managed to get around this.

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At 8 pm we were given an arial display by a group of Singaporeans controlling kite drones (you can see the guys as black shadows in the photo below). These kites were lit up and their tails were strings of lights as well, so the resulting long exposure (30 sec) shots show the kite drones in motion.

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The cloudy night skies of JB makes it hard for me to isolate the lights from the kites from the background, but I hope you can still enjoy these photos.

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