Jeffery Oliver

Working through art and life, often on a bicycle.

Aerial Photography Mission: Silver City

Looking south from our place in Boise on a clear day I see the Owyhee Mountains. They seem huge from Boise. Google maps believes these are just over two hours from our place, but Google maps doesn’t know that I get lost driving through downtown Nampa’s one-way grid with streets named by number, direction, and designated “street” or “avenue.” It’s rare I get directionally confused, but Nampa, Idaho does it every time.

My goal was to drive to the ghost town of Silver City, Idaho, located in the Owyhee Mountains, and make some aerial videos and drone photos. I found Silver City Road off Idaho Highway 78 easy enough. A sign at the highway indicated that Silver City Road was closed, but I thought I’d drive as far as I could and see what I could see.

The pavement became dirt which became less maintained dirt and finally became covered in snow. I didn’t think to take a photo of the road disappearing under three feet of snow just a mile or so from the town.

The thing about drone photography and aerial videography is that I only have three batteries which will provide me about 15-17 minutes of flight time each. It’s like the old days of photography when there were only so many pictures per roll of film and you only had one roll in your camera. I’m enjoying the consideration that goes into each video I shoot with this camera.

Because for me it is a camera. I don’t care so much about flying as I do being able to take video and photos from novel angles that a typical tripod does not provide me.

I noted several places on the drive up the mountain that looked like they would be great for both flying and photography. It was starting to get cloudy, but there wasn’t a lot of wind so I thought I’d hit as many spots as I could on my drive back to the highway.

I stopped several times thinking of photography, but there were too many trees or no level place to launch the DJI Inspire 1 Pro, the drone I’m using. I’m not ready to try a non-level take off.

I found a couple of places, and tried to get some good aerial video footage, but I’m still not used to the camera. The video quality is ok, but not fantastic, but that’s on me the operator, not the Zenmuse X5 camera which I’ve played with without flying and I’m very impressed with its abilities. I shot the b-roll with my iPhone 6s (even though I had my “real” Canon with me (!?!)).

Here’s what I got. I hope you enjoy the video.

Jeff O.


  1. Beautiful scenery. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love the aerial geology Jeff! Sweet video

  3. That Inspire is a beast! I have always wanted to visit Silver City… thanks for the tour.

Your thoughts?

© 2017 Jeffery Oliver

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑