Nelson Aerial Productions Opens “NC’s First Drone Gallery,” Grand Opening Friday

Published Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 12:10 pm
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Nelson Aerial Productions captured this scene of App State and surrounding Boone on a winter day. Nelson Aerial Productions

By Jesse Wood

Nelson Aerial Productions is hosting the grand opening of Sky Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.

Jordan Nelson, the founder and owner of the aerial photography company, dubs Sky Gallery “North Carolina’s first drone gallery.” The images in the gallery are solely shot from his drones.

“I’ve looked and looked and can’t find anything [to prove otherwise],” Nelson said.

Nelson has been shooting photos and video from drones for three years now, long before the technology became part of the mainstream. For example, think of how many people you know that received a drone this past Christmas.

unnamed-1But while drones are now as popular as banjos in Watauga County and whatever else is popular in other parts of the country, Nelson doesn’t have much competition to fear from a professional-quality standpoint.

“They are certainly a lot of hobbyists and amateurs starting to do this, but what I tell people – and I get this question a lot – is I say, ‘You can buy the best paint from Lowe’s but that doesn’t mean you can paint a room well. Everyone has an iPhone but that doesn’t mean we are wedding photographers,” Nelson said, adding that it has taken a lot of practice and dedication make it this far.

Less than two years ago, Nelson was able to open Nelson Aerial Productions full time. Prior to that he worked at Appalachian State University while honing his drone-photography skills. Locally, he said his photography has been concentrated around Appalachian State University and the Blue Ridge Parkway. He has shot football games in Charlotte and the beaches on the coast.

But his website specifically notes golf courses, real estate, construction and university projects under the “drone services” header.

He’s travelled to golf courses in Minnesota and Wisconsin for the popular “tee-to-green” shoots and has some courses lined up in Texas this coming spring. He’s captured Hound Ears Golf Course locally.

Another niche market is shooting for the architectural and construction industry, Nelson said. He described it as filming a construction site, so the clients can track progress of building projects by essentially looking at something similar to a live Google Earth 3D map of the site.

“Mapping is starting to become pretty big,” Nelson said.

According to Nelson’s website, Nelson Aerial Productions has flown 1,012 flights for 90 clients. He has 18,241 followers on Instagram and his videos have been viewed more than 2.3 million times.

“Just about everything I’ve done at this point has been through word of mouth,” Nelson said.

As for the grand opening, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, the Farm To Flame food truck and Which Wich will cater the event with beverages and food and a projector will show loops of Nelson’s footage.

Sky Gallery is located in the Heritage Court shopping center next to Ross Jeep Dodge dealership on N.C. 105. Reach Nelson at 828-850-0603.

For more information, click to Nelson Aerials Productions’ website.

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