Solar energy projects have been popping up everywhere. I recently was hired to provide aerial photography for five new solar arrays; one here in Chico on top of the Sierra Nevada Brewery installed by Chico Electric, two in the bay area, one just north of Bakersfield and one near Los Angeles by Perpetual Power. It’s really hard not to love your job when it includes grabbing quality images while banking hard turns a mere 1000-feet above the ground. Usually, I hire small Cessnas like 172’s or 162’s because they can fly nice and slow and two of my favorite pilots are Jimmy Bryant who flies air attack missions for CDF during the fire season and Amy Ellis of Bridgeford Flying Services. However,  for the trip near Bakersfield, no regular fixed-wind aircraft were available, so I flew a little after midday in a very cool small ultralight.  Now that time of day is when thermals make for a pretty bumpy ride in a regular plane…so I was very, VERY,  glad to have fast optically stabilized lenses with me!

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