How Daniel Neuhoff went from a musician to a certified drone photographer creating aerial art.
A huge, rainbow-colored manta ray floated above the Chattanooga buildings while Daniel Neuhoff and his girlfriend Sarah drove down Dayton Boulevard.
To Daniel Neuhoff, it looked “like a sci-fi movie monster” the size of a bus.
It didn’t take long for the pair to realize that the manta ray was a giant kite anchored to a van. Seeing his opportunity, Daniel hopped out of his car and asked the kite’s owner, Chuck Jones, if he could shoot footage of the kite with his drone. Chuck agreed.
“It was amazing to fly next to this massive, colorful beast and see its perspective,” Daniel recalled.
By trade, Daniel is a musician and writes original songs. However, he sometimes felt pigeon-holed into this niche, believing that he wasn’t allowed to pursue anything else. That mindset changed a few months ago when Sarah convinced him to try aerial photography.
“It can be scary to try something new from scratch, to call yourself something new and pursue it,” Daniel said.
In February, the local musician decided to give drones a shot and bought a cheap, remote-controlled quadcopter online. After a month of test flying, Daniel decided to dive in. He purchased a commercial drone and studied to obtain his FAA certification so that he could legally pilot his drone.
Yet instead of abandoning his musical aspirations, Daniel has combined his skills to offer something truly unique.
“Sometimes the hardest part of editing a video is finding the right music,” Daniel explained.
While most drone pilots use other artists’ music while editing their footage, Daniel writes his own music, inserting his own rhythmic soundtracks into his footage.
“It’s a fun challenge for me to plug in a piece of mine that I think works or write something completely new,” Daniel said.
Even though Daniel is relatively new at drone photography, it has already helped him make many new connections in Chattanooga, allowing him to be “more involved with the city and its inhabitants.” It’s why meeting Chuck Jones and his colorful kite was such a rewarding experience for Daniel.
“It’s allowed me to see my hometown in a way that I’ve never seen before, and I can’t wait to see where it will take me,” Daniel said.
Check out Daniel Neuhoff’s Instagram for more footage from his aerial adventures!