Andres Amador uses the Phantom 3 Professional to create beautiful Earthscape Paintings


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Andres Amador is a unique artist who combines the latest in aerial photography through his use of the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, with the natural world by adapting the beaches of the San Francisco Bay Area as his canvas to create Earthscape Paintings. His artworks are made during low tides and are washed away by the sea just hours later. To preserve his work, he uses the powerful photographic capabilities of the Phantom.

With a background in Environmental Sciences, his original choice of medium is a reflection of his own personal history. The origin of his intricate designs are the organic shapes found in nature and the lives and environments he sees in his daily life. The patterns he draws up in the fresh sand are winding and complex yet have a feeling of being endless and alive.

“Patterns in nature feel alive, there is no beginning or end to them.”—Andres Amador

To create his Earthscape Paintings, Amador needs a location with the right conditions and to time his visit there perfectly. A day after full moon will ensure the lowest tide and thereby the largest size of the beach and the longest time for him to work before the next tide erases his designs. The tide is also essential to wash away foot prints and create a blank slate for his work. To maximize his available time, Andres prefers getting to the beach as early as 6 A.M. to scope it out and make the necessary preparations. In fact, getting the timing right is so important for his work that Andres may study the tides and make his plans half a year in advance.

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Amador’s work is closely tied with the practice of aerial photography. With the help of his DJI Phantom 3 Professional, he is able to more easily get past obstacles to explore new sites. Once arrived, he is able to use his drone to see his canvas from a higher vantage point and compare the sketch he’s made with the conditions of his present time and location. The planned out designs may need to be adjusted to the beach, or may be re-created from scratch to match the exact conditions of the beach.

The tools he uses are simple: a set of a gardens rake for the regular lines and a hand rake for the finer ones. For very large designs, he may also use a rope to be able to create larger circles in combination with the use of his drone.

“Aerial photography capacity has me feeling like I have entered a new universe – the possibilities feel almost overwhelming.”—Andres Amador

Andres’ work has an interesting and perhaps unexpected relationship with impermanence. Only lasting for a few hours and created at unusually large scales, the Earthscape Paintings are magnificent when experienced in person, perhaps from the top of a nearby cliff. Yet only a few people will ever be able to see Amador’s work in person. Using the DJI Phantom to photograph the paintings turns them into something else by capturing the temporary and site-specific work and making it possible to share it with a larger audience, be it online or as a print in a gallery. With his flying camera, Amador can capture his work from an ideal perspective and thereby make his impermanent art everlasting.

“For me, the fullest completion of a design is when I’m able to get a good photo of it.” —Andres Amador

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It is in this way that the use of the DJI Phantom 3 Professional is vital for both the creation and the preservation of the artwork. It really goes to show how providing creators with new perspectives opens up new possibilities for creative expression in diverse and unexpected ways.