Drones make me feel like living in a future — — A Conversation with a 2017 SkyPixel Video Contest Winner

Vadim Sherbakov is the first prize winner in the Nature category of the 2017 SkyPixel Video Contest. Judges and viewers alike have recognized his entry Icarus for its exceptionally cinematic feel, choice of music, and image-driven story. Sherbakov is freelance art director specializing in interactive web design. On his free time, he is also a passionate photographer and aerial videographer.


Click to watch winning entries: https://www.skypixel.com/videos/3b3473d6-6129-41d6-bc5a-d76a494233cd

We had a chance to speak with Sherbakov about his award-winning video and his experience.

Senja panorama

SkyPixel: Congratulations! Can you tell us how you feel?

Vadim Sherbakov: Thank you so much! I am honored for this recognition, and thankful to the judges. I still can’t believe it to this day.

SkyPixel: Did you produce Icarus specifically for the contest?

Vadim Sherbakov: I created Icarus after I upgraded my beloved Phantom 3 Pro to the Phantom 4 Pro. I have a lot of great footage traveling with the P3P, and I wanted to turn it into something special to show my appreciation. Because of this, I hadn’t intended Icarus or any festival or contest. It was just a labor of love that I wanted to share with other SkyPixel users. This was right about the time the video contest began, so I figured, why not? So I submitted it, which I’m really glad I did!

SkyPixel: In your introduction to this video, you mentioned that the footage came from all your travels in the last two years. What place stands out in your mind?

Vadim Sherbakov: That’s a tough question! I love every place I visit, but if I had to choose one, it must be Iceland. Its magnificent landscape seems like it was made for aerial cinematography. The environment is diverse and every location unique, you can never get bored there.

Icelandic coastline

SkyPixel: What’s your favorite aerial theme?

Vadim Sherbakov: Nature, landscapes, and places where is no one around. Any location like this is what I think of raw, untouched nature. You can’t see anything better than that.


SkyPixel: When did you start learning about aerial photography?

Vadim Sherbakov: As a photographer, I’m accustomed to shooting with traditional cameras, so I feel that my know-how in this technology is fine. Once aerial photography and videography became widespread, I saw it as the new frontier in the field. Naturally, I had to get onboard!

When I was looking for my first drone, I asked as many questions as I could to anyone with any knowledge of the subject. The consensus was to invest in a Phantom 3 Pro, and the moment I had it in my hands, I knew it was the right choice! Even though I needed to learn how to fly from zero experience, this drone gave me the tools to not only pilot it confidently but to look for new angles and compositions.

Neist point lighthouse

SkyPixel: What difficulties did you experience while you were learning about drone photography?

Vadim Sherbakov: The most difficult thing for me — like most newcomers to aerial photography — was overcoming the fear of flying, losing, and losing control of the drone.

Again, I owe the Phantom 3 Pro for overcoming these. Even for a novice like I was, it was easy to control, and there were so many functions that helped you fly safely.


SkyPixel: With this in mind, would you like to share some drone-flying tips for beginners?

Vadim Sherbakov: I’ve already written two articles on SkyPixel that shares beginner advice. Aside from these, you just need to know your basics. >learn the camera settings, fly at the right time of a day, and stick to the rules. Flying a drone is a great power that comes with great responsibility.

Vadim Sherbakov’s tips:



SkyPixel: How do you think drones are changing our lives?

Vadim Sherbakov: They are changing the world in many different ways. It’s revolutionized the film and TV industry faster than anything I’ve ever seen. Aerial shots that were once impossible or too expensive just a few years ago can be done in no time with a drone. Outside of this industry, I often read about how drones are helping with search and rescue, disaster relief, firefighting, and more. It’s so useful in emergency situations that it’s become a hero.


SkyPixel: Finally, what’s next for you?

Vadim Sherbakov: I am planning to go back to the Italian Dolomites in the autumn to capture the dramatic change of colors with both drones and traditional cameras. You’ve seen my work; do I need to tell you I love mountains?

SkyPixel: Sounds great! Thank you for your insight, Vadim.

Vadim Sherbakov: Thank you! I appreciate the opportunity.

Click to see more: https://www.skypixel.com/user/vadim-sherbakov

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.