Feature: Pinellas from above with local artist John Hooper

Aerial shots from Bay to Gulf

What began as a youthful passion for vacation photos has become an everyday aerial adventure for St. Petersburg resident John Hooper. Family trips, bird spotting, moon and planetary shots — After dabbling with his first Nikon Coolpix 4500 back in the early 2000s, the upgrade to a DSLR was an obvious choice.

In the side-by-side photo below, you can see how John takes several versions of a DSLR image and combines them in a unique way to create his own brand of photographic art.

← Before and after →

But, as you may have noticed, his Nikon D100 isn’t airborne. The majority of his work — especially what’s featured here in our blog — is taken from his DJI drone, usually well over a hundred feet in the air. When combining the two techniques, the results are undeniably stunning.

If you’re interested, you can read up on the latest regulations for drone piloting here. John keeps up with it, and intends to get his license once the FAA catches up to the growing trend.

You can view his latest style and take a scroll back through its progression on John’s Instagram page, @johnchooper. For even more of his work, you can visit his Flickr website.

Professional experience

A favor for a friend and good reviews eventually turned into a camera for hire. John has more than a decade of experience shooting a variety of personal events or projects.

  • Graduations
  • Weddings
  • Family portraits
  • Band shoots, etc.

If you’d like to reach out to John to arrange a shoot, discuss a project or order prints of his work, you can email him at jjphotomasters@gmail.com

Photo workshops right here in St. Pete

Tips from complex to first-timer

From advanced tricks to beginner know-how, John teams up with local photographer Jane Perez at venues such as Fort DeSoto State Park and the Grand Plaza Hotel for regular workshops brimmed full with camera and photography tips.

If you’d like to sign up and check out the schedule, contact John at 727–599–6977.


More example work, 2016 —

Drew Whiteman is an award-winning Digital Editor for ABC Action News. He is the lead Culture Writer for the station’s local-focused blog on Medium. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram and Beme.

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