The 15 Dallas Landmarks Most Worthy Of Inclusion In Your Drone Video.
Welcome to Ranked, a new, recurring column where we take a long, hard look at oddly specific things pertaining to Dallas and tell you the order in which you should care about them.
A quick search on YouTube reveals that Dallas ain't lacking when it comes to drone videos of its skyline.
Below, you can check out yet another — this one coming from these guys.
And, no, there's certainly no shortage of intriguing visuals and vistas in this latest one, either.
It sure got us thinking, though: If you're gonna take the time — and spend the money — do a drone shoot of Dallas, you better do it right, capturing the right landmarks at the right times.
Here, we've decided to rank the 15 Dallas landmarks most worthy of inclusion in a drone shoot — plus how to shoot them and, arguably most important, when to shoot them.
15. Bank of American Plaza.
Why to include it: Because it's the “Green Building” (even if it's also sometimes not), and, after Reunion Tower, it's the most recognizable fixture in Dallas' night-time skyline.
When to shoot it: Night, duh.
How to shoot it: The way they do it in the above video is pretty cool, actually, with the drone backing over and then down from the tower so that its argon piping slowly comes into view from the bottom of the frame, upward.
14. Reunion Tower.
Why to include it: Because it's Reunion Tower.
When to shoot it: Not late at night, because then you might get some lame promo from the Omni Hotel's LED lighting on there, but not during the day either, because then it's just ugly. I'd aim for the “blue hour.”
How to shoot it: Rising up from the ground, starting from the northwest. Time it right with the color of the sky and you'll get a cool effect where the tower's attached building blends into the overall picture, noticeable only through its glass window frames' reflections.
13. The Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive.
Why to include it: Because they're fun and they're cattle and they'll fulfill your Texas stereotype quota.
When to shoot it: Daylight hours, so as to best catch the bronze color of the steers.
How to shoot it: With the camera aimed downwards as your drone swoops in on a horizontal plane over the herd.
12. The Neon Pegasus atop the Magnolia Hotel.
Why to include it: Because it's dope, that's why.
When to shoot it: Night or day.
How to shoot it: Revolving around it, as you can see pulled off quite nicely in the above clip.
11. Southern Methodist University.
Why to include it: Because it's a good school, it's a pretty campus, and it's not as horrible as everyone says. This city could do well to embrace SMU more — and vice versa.
When to shoot it: On a fall Saturday morning, before an SMU football homegame, as the streets are filled with “boulevarding” types.
How to shoot it: A high, wide shot that then sweeps down into the action from below.
10. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
Why to include it: Geometry! Real talk, those cables are magic.
When to shoot it: Night or day — or maybe both, as the above video pulls off well with a bend edit.
How to shoot it: More congratulations to the video above: The cascading effect provided by backing out and rising from betwixt the cables is a nice effect.
9. Greenville Avenue.
Why to include it: Because it's the soul of Dallas social life, in a lot of ways.
When to shoot it: St. Patrick's Day, so as to capture the crowds. A big problem with a lot of these videos is that they're shot at weird hours and feature empty streets. Well, here's one easy way to fix it.
How to shoot it: Wide shots from above.
8. The Texas Star.
Why to include it: It's the tallest Ferris Wheel in the Western Hemisphere!
When to shoot it: Either night or day, but I'd lean toward night for the neon.
How to shoot it: Up and over the wheel, approaching it head-on. Or a sped-up rotation a la the above Neon Pegasus shot.
7. The Wilds of Africa Exhibit at the Dallas Zoo.
Why to include it: Because it was the first North American exhibit to combine elephants with other animals, and also because it shows a side of Dallas most people wouldn't expect to see.
When to shoot it: The daytime, duh.
How to shoot it: A wide, sweeping shot of the elephants like this manufactured one of horses running along the Trinity basin.
6. Any (and maybe every) area sports stadium.
Why to include it: Because we love our sports — and we've got plenty of venues for it between the Cotton Bowl, Gerald J. Ford Stadium, the American Airlines Center and whatnot. But it'd be nice to show these places where there's a little action going on, for once. (Note: Do not include AT&T Stadium or Globe Life Park, as these are in Arlington last we checked.)
When to shoot it: Immediately before, during or immediately after a game.
How to shoot it: A wide shot from above. If at the AAC, do it from the stadium outward, showing people walking in. If at the Cotton Bowl, do it from the outward in, showing the bare outside pavilion leading into a crowded bleacher setting.
5. Klyde Warren Park.
Why to include it: Because everyone likes it. And it's one of the most talked-about projects Dallas has unveiled in recent years. So it needs to be in there, end of story.
When to shoot it: For Christ's sake, not on a weekday morning, as everyone seems to do. Do it either on a weekend afternoon as the crowds lounge about the space or do it during a Decks in the Park bash. Hell, do both.
How to shoot it: I don't know why more people don't shoot it this way, but, to me, it seems like a no-brainer to try to sweep along, just above the traffic of Woodall Rogers, and then pull up to show a wide angle of the park before continuing to pass over it.
4. Fountain Place.
Why to include it: Because, for my money, it's easily Dallas' coolest skyscraper.'
When to shoot it: The it overhangs Main Street and not enough people talk about how awesome that is.
When to shoot it: Daylight hours so the street can be seen below.
How to shoot it: An overhead shot from above that starts as a generic-looking pool shot — until the pool drops off and the drop down to the street can be seen in full glory.
1. Chase Tower.
Why to include it: Because the hole in the tower's pretty underrated, and shot a very specific way, it could be so rad. (Keep reading.)
When to shoot it: Night, if you want to the blue LED lighting that illuminates the hole, but daytime works, too.
How to shoot it: OK, thing is, there's only one shot I have in mind here, and it would take a lot of balls (and skill) to try it with your expensive drone, but it would be so worth it and it would pretty much make your entire video, so it could be worth it. Basically: You fly through the hole. You do it with a wide-angle lens so that, once through the hole, the whole city comes into view. It would be gorgeous. And it would be enough to set your drone footage apart from all the clutter. Totally worth it, from our non-drone-owning perspective.
Speaking of which: Someone wanna buy us a drone?