A Drone’s Eye View: The Green Scene Landscaping & Pools

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A local landscape and swimming pool company has recently found a way to break ground by taking to the air. The Green Scene Landscaping & Pools, a Los Angeles based design and construction firm specializing in high end residential pools, outdoor kitchens, outdoor fire features, and landscapes has recently begun using an aerial drone to photograph their work.

“Our designs are typically conceived from an overhead perspective, but in the past we were rarely able to see the finished product from the air,”

Owner and garden artisan Scott Cohen believes his is the first company of its kind to use drones to capture their brand of outdoor magic. “If other people in our industry are using drones, we have yet to see their videos on line or any place else, as of yet,” he says.

Using a quad-rotor drone equipped with a GoPro high-resolution video camera, the firm has found a fresh and compelling way to demonstrate design ideas to its client base.

“Our designs are typically conceived from an overhead perspective, but in the past we were rarely able to see the finished product from the air,” explains Cohen. “The drone now enables us and our clients to take in the environment from above. It’s a game changer in terms of project presentation and promotion.”

The Green Scene enjoys a well-earned reputation for often extraordinarily elaborate projects that typically feature a variety of elements, with a majority including highly customized swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, ponds, streams, waterfalls and other water features.

The company’s design schemes routinely include a range of elaborate details associated with luxury swimming pools including vanishing edges, a.k.a. infinity pools, attached spas, perimeter overflows, fountains, Baja shelves, beach entries, and colorful plaster, pebble and tile finishes, often featured on national HGTV shows.

Those aquatic features are usually accompanied by outdoor rooms featuring outdoor kitchens, pool houses, cabanas, arbors, pergolas, shade structures, fire/water features, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, dining areas, elaborate decks and patios, barbecue counters, landscape lighting, outdoor sound systems and finely tailored planting plans.

Because of that multi-faceted visual sophistication, capturing the scenes in land-based still photographs can be challenging. Now with the freedom of the aerial platform, Cohen and company are better able to show off their work from a variety of airborne focal points.

Cohen explains: “An element such as a vanishing edge, for example, is all about visual perspective, but that can be tough to illustrate using strictly land-based photography. The drone enables us to show clients how these features visually enhance the setting in just a few seconds.”

In addition, he adds, the smoothly shifting perspective of the drone affords views that reveal the aesthetic relationship between the exterior setting and the architecture of the home itself, as well as the surrounding environment.

“It’s a tool that allows us to see the entire setting in context within a continuous moving image,” Cohen says. “Otherwise you have to use multiple still photos to capture the scene, which forces the viewer to make those visual connections in their minds’ eye. This technology changes that.”

Cohen admits that using the drone has required a learning curve. Early attempts to operate the system resulted in the drone stuck in trees and in one mishap taking an unintended plunge into the water. “The drone enables you to fly just inches above the water’s surface, but we’ve learned to be careful because if you splash down into the water, you wind up buying a new drone.”

Now, having learned to pilot the drone, The Green Scene has published a number of videos of pools from the air on their Web site, as well as on their YouTube channel.

“The drone images will never completely replace traditional photography,” Cohen adds, “but it’s another tool we have that enables people to see the work from a dynamic new perspective. It’s fun and exciting, just like swimming pools themselves – a perfect way to convey that sense to our clients.”

Check out The Green Scenes’ drone videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/scottcohengreenscene.

By Eric Herman

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Scott Cohen
since: 04/2009
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