Vadim Sherbakov, and award-winning videographer and commercial photographer, pushed his DJI Mini 2 drone to its limit with his latest masterpiece. ‘The Noor’ is a short non-narrative aerial film shot in Lake Baikal – located North of the Mongolian border in Siberia. Almost as impressive as the crisp, clear and detailed footage Sherbakov was able to acquire with the Mini 2 is the fact that he was able to accomplish this feat in subfreezing temperatures.
The DJI Mini 2 is a sub-250g drone capable of capturing 4K/30p video at 100 Mbps. Its 1/2.3″ CMOS image sensor can also capture 12MP stills. Looking at the drone’s manual, you’ll immediately notice the recommended Operating Temperature of 0° to 40°C (32° to 104°F). Sherbakov filmed this rather serious piece in temperatures that dipped to -18ºC (0ºF).
|Lake Baikal is known for its thick white cracks in the ice during the winter. It looks especially dynamic from a top-down, aerial point of view.|
‘I was worried about low temperature and batteries, strong wind (that Baikal is famous for) and [the drone’s] small size. But this little monster handled it perfectly. I was so surprised, especially I wasn’t expecting much after owning the Mini 1. But it’s like a whole new drone,’ Sherbakov tells DPReview. ‘The only issue I had was becoming frozen, myself, before the drone even had a 50% batteries. I had to fly from a car to stay warm,’ he adds.
Lake Baikal is not only the world’s oldest lake, it’s also the deepest lake by volume. Sherbakov was sent there to create this film by DJI as one of their content creators. The lake, popular with tourists during the winter, had already been on his bucket list for some time since it’s ‘known for its beautiful ice and rocks formation and the famous deep white ice cracks in water,’ he reveals.
|The ice formations of Lake Baikal make it an especially appealing tourist destination during the winter.|
As for the film’s more somber theme, Sherbakov says ‘many if not most videos from there reflect a happy (travel video) style of that place, but I wanted to show how it would feel for a people who lived there many years ago. A single traveler trapped in a frozen environment stood against the harsh conditions, witnessed the raw beauty of this place. I tried to translate that in a way of sound, cinematography, and color. And of course to stand out from the rest if Baykal videos/films.’
As photographer Chase Jarvis famously stated, ‘the best camera you have is the one that’s with you.’ Vadim Sherbakov certainly proved this point with the masterful, cinematic work he created in harsh conditions with a small consumer-grade drone.