It was 2015 when we had this idea...
Humble beginnings (2015)
It begins in 2015 in the South West of WA with the Phantom 2, the first consumer drone to come with a camera that's ready to use out of the box.
Meaning, for the very first time, you could see a live video feed on your controller screen. You see exactly what the drone camera sees, live and in high definition.
Our first experience being at one with the drone.
We saw an opportunity to leverage a new medium.
We came up with the idea for a 'drone only' photography project, and coined the name Salty Wings.
In late 2015, the Phantom 3 was dropped by DJI. The Phantom 3 was the first drone capable of taking printable photos. This was a game changer.
We bought one each and immediately traveled to the South Coast of WA.
On this trip Salty Wings went from a concept, to reality.
First Image: Porongurup 2015, our first stop in the South.
Below: Esperance 2015
Fine Art Prints
Project Salty Wings is; Cataloging the Australian coastline and landscape from above.
It was always our intention to make our catalog available for purchase as photographic prints.
Our business idea was to focus on e-commerce.
We began cataloging our images from day one with the Phantom 3 drones, in 2015.
We started at 1. SW0001 - Shelley Beach to be exact. You can see our OG collection below, including many images from our first trip in 2015 to Albany and Esperance.
First image: Standing with SW2014 - Yallingup in a Deep Set - Raw Oak Frame.
Below: SW0001 - Shelley Beach, SW0002 - Thistle Cove, SW0003 - Esperance
The wonder years (2015-2016)
We recognised the popularity and unique opportunity with drones early on. Launching Australia's first drone only photography business.
We were also amongst the early drone adopters in the world, rapidly growing an audience on instagram.
We spent the first two years as a team traveling Western Australia, collecting a unique collection of imagery. Western Australia is possibly the best place in the world for coastal drone photography and we were lucky to be living here.
Video: Click play on the video to learn more about our early story.
Self Discovery (2016-2018)
As time went on, we learnt, we grew.
We could soon see the possibility of a sustained business model, doing something that we love. We went for it.
Mid 2016, we upgraded our drone to the Inspire 1 pro.
Mid 2017, we upgraded again to the inspire 2 pro.
We were fortunate enough to find work in some of the most beautiful places on earth, expanding our horizons to all corners of Australia and Internationally.
We travelled to faraway lands like Indonesia, Tahiti, Hawaii, Norway, Italy, Iceland, The Bahamas, Utah, Oregon, and South Africa. Whilst also falling more in love with our home country, Australia.
Image: Gear Selfie 2016
Pop Up Gallery (2018)
In 2018 we embarked upon our first Gallery / Pop Up store. Based in ENEX shopping centre in the Perth cbd.
We learnt so much from this experiment, and its success gave our brand the depth we felt it needed.
We loved meeting our customers face to face, it is something that we greatly miss with an online only store.
It was a unique time in our history that we'll never forget.
Image: The Salty Gallery (2018)
Helicopters and Planes (2017-current)
On a few special days each year, when conditions are just right, we have taken to the skies in helicopters and planes.
These aircraft allow us to cover more ground than ever before and gain a greater knowledge of what's beneath.
It is this blend of mediums; the drone, helicopter, and plane, that we use to create our unique style of imagery.
Our first heli flight was 2017 in Kauai, one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. Recognising the potential, we began using helicopters in Australia in the Perth Summer of 2017/18.
Planes then became an option for using in remote and hard to access areas. Locations too far for a helicopter to travel, or remote areas without helicopters available.
Image: Kauai 2017
Australia 🍃 (2019-2020)
After some travels overseas, we realised what all true blue Australians realise whenever they leave the country.
How good is Australia! 🇦🇺
We spent these two years travelling to every state, becoming familiar with this beautiful land and it's people.
We wanted our home to be Australia wide.
Image: Torquay airfield, January 2020
Pandemic years (2020 to 2022)
When the pandemic struck in 2020, we were still traveling on the east coast of Australia. Michael spent the next 3 months living in Hobart, whilst Jampal spent 3 months living in Canberra. This was not expected.
When we had our first chance to move on, the borders to WA were closed shut. So, Michael decided to move to Lennox Head (Byron Bay) and Jampal to the Gold Coast and eventually Sydney.
We spent much of the next three years in the East, travelling the East Coast when we could. We only managed to return to WA once in this time, for the summer of 2020/21. The minimal access to WA in these years was not ideal. But this time taught us a lot of valuable lessons and allowed us to become comfortable and familiar with the East Coast, which we appreciate.
In these years we updated our drone selection to the new DJI Mavic series, first the Mavic 2 then the epic Mavic 3. The Mavic 3 drone is incredible, we are amazed at how far this technology has come in our 7 years of business.
Image: Taking a winter trip to Thredbo, whilst the WA borders remain closed.
We now have a comfortable base on both the East and West coasts of Australia, and plan to travel back and forth.
Our intention is to keep experimenting and forming our unique styles via a merging of the two coasts.
Let's just hope the oil prices don't put a stop to our ambitious plans.
Image: Product photo shoot, Sydney, 2022
Connecting People with Places
We want for you to feel a connection with the coastlines and landscapes in our photographs.
When you hang your new art on your walls, you'll have a story that you can share with others.
Image: Adobe work trip, Tahiti 2017