Tarmo Haud opened a drone photo exhibit in Tartu Observatory

Kairi Janson | 19.01.2018

Photographer Tarmo Haud who opened a drone photo exhibit in Tartu Observatory on January 15 2018, earned money for his first camera working at the observatory. Now his skills have even been noted by National Geographic: they picked one of his photos to the Daily Dozen selection.

Tarmo Haud näitus tigutorn

Haud has been an active photographer for about ten years. He has been interested in the field for as long as he remembers, though. He grew up in Tõravere and in secondary school, had a chance to join in the fieldwork led by Tartu Observatory researcher Vello Ross. Haud used the salary that he earned from the observatory to buy his first camera.

Haud calls himself a semi-professional: he works full-time as product manager at Playtech, but still does custom works quite often. He considers himself to be a sports photographer because he has been taking pictures at Club Tartu Marathon events for about ten years now.

He has been moving vertically – using a drone – for the past two years. At first, he bought a drone as a toy but then discovered that a good drone should have a good camera as well. “The views that can be seen from up there are worth capturing with decent quality,” Haud thinks.

Haud’s Tigutorn (eng Snailtower) picture is the embodiment of the last sentence. One of the pictures of the Tigutorn series was even picked from thousands of photos to the National Geographic Daily Dozen.

It was end of October last year. Haud was driving into Tartu on a road that lets one look down at the town. He saw that the centre of the town was in thick fog. The only thing sticking out was the top of the Tigutorn. Of course he couldn’t let this chance pass and had to capture the moment.

Haud said that this was the only time ever that he had been obliged to fly a drone knowing only the indicators. “I couldn’t see the drone from the ground, neither could I see anything from the drone’s camera,” Haud described.

Haud wasn’t the only one admiring the foggy town. On the other side of the house there were two window cleaners who were sitting in the lift truck basket, drinking coffee, and enjoying the view. “I don’t even mind that they weren’t working at the moment. I think they had the most awesome time being there,” Haud said.

Drone photos taken straight down can get people confused. „Quite often they cannot tell that the objects in the photo are actually quite big,“ Haud stated. For example, the picture of the snowy trees at Kakerdaja bog looks like a picture taken of moss. Another of Haud’s pictures looks exactly like a child’s sandbox with toys in it. Actually it is a picture of an agricultural exhibition and the “toys” are real-sized tractors and harvesters. “It is quite exciting to be able to do this trick,” Haud said.

In order to fly a drone in a certain area, one has to have the permit. “Why aren’t there any pictures of Tõravere among the exhibition pictures? The answer is simple: you can officially fly a drone in Tõravere only when the Ülenurme airport is closed,” Haud explained. Tõravere is located under the landing trajectory.

The exhibit can be seen at Tartu Observatory’s second floor lobby.

Tarmo Haud näituse avamine
Tarmo Haud exhibition opening. Photo  Viljo Allik.
Tarmo Haud näituse avamine
Tarmo Haud exhibition opening. Photo  Viljo Allik.
Tarmo Haud näitus liivakast
Sandbox of big boys. Drone photo: Tarmo Haud
Angl windmills. Drone photo: Tarmo Haud