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Martha's Drone Captured These Gorgeous Aerial Shots of Her Bedford Home

An early and enthusiastic adopter of drone photography, Martha loves to head out and capture sweeping aerial shots of her property. From season to season, she documents the evolution of life and takes in the natural beauty of the changing landscape.

I've always been interested in landscape architecture and design, and when traveling I love to visit spectacular places, like the great châteaux in France and the stately homes of England. I’m endlessly fascinated by the vastness of these masterpieces, and how the designers could comprehend their visions when they had no aerial photographs of the land they were asked to transform into the parks and gardens we enjoy today.

 

[TRAVEL: See How Martha Plans for A Trip with Kids]


 

This is the beauty of drones. They make capturing a bird’s-eye view simple—there’s no need for hot-air balloons, helicopters, or planes. I received my first one about five years ago, as a birthday present from a friend who knows how much I adore trying out new technology. It was a single-rotor model (meaning it had only one set of blades). While cutting-edge at the time, it was challenging to navigate, easy to lose while flying, and even easier to crash, because it had none of the bells and whistles that today’s models offer.

Now drones are more accessible and affordable, and they come equipped with multirotors for smoother flying, GPS systems, sophisticated cameras, and features like “return to home” and “hover.” Plus, they hook up to a phone app for quick and seamless steering. There are rules to keep in mind, though: Check with the Federal Aviation Administration and your local officials before taking flight. In my neighborhood, the maximum altitude is 400 feet, and it is required that you keep your drone in sight at all times.

 

[TOUR: Martha Takes Us Inside Her Bedford Kitchen]

 

I’ve gotten comfortable flying mine over my property, and I find the results both breathtaking and useful when I’m planning new features, such as fencing, gardens, and structures. I also like to think about great landscape designers and architects throughout history, like Louis Le Vau, André le Nôtre, Capability Brown, and Humphry Repton, and what they would have been able to achieve with this technology.

This coming year, I look forward to seeing how the orchard by my pool will look as it grows, how the trees will color up next fall, and how peaceful everything will be covered in a blanket of snow. 

(Pictured above: In winter, boxwoods wrapped in burlap flank the stables and paddocks at Martha’s Bedford home.)

The Aerial Artist

My current drone is a DJI multirotor Mavic Pro (dji.com). It maneuvers well and has a high-performance camera that takes excellent photos.

Spring

Here, the farm is waking up, marked by the vibrant light-green grass and foliage, and the new orchard I planted near the pool is budding into a grid of tiny dots.

Summer

In late July, the pergola border bursts into vivid oranges when the tiger lilies open (left). I love how this shot shows the geometry of the terrace parterre outside my house (right). It even captured a group enjoying lunch. Smile for the camera!

Fall

Sometimes I hover low to capture details; other times I go high to see the lay of the land, like in this picture. It shows a kaleidoscope of autumn trees at the farm and beyond, and a glimpse of the nearby reservoir.

Winter

A nor’easter storm brought about a foot of heavy, wet snow last year. But once it was over, the farm was wonderfully quiet. Three of my Friesian horses were enjoying the fresh covering.