Not up close, but personal: the aerial photographer prefers paragliding to drone | Florida Star


The video shows a photographer flying over Mexico’s Colorado River Delta in his motorized paraglider as part of his mission to tell stories from the air in a more personal way, rather than using an “impersonal” drone.

His aerial photographs capture some of the most spectacular places in the world.

Joe Orsi, originally from Kansas but now living in Mexico, said his goal with the paramotor, also known as a powered paraglider, was to “create narrative aerial photography that promotes sustainable tourism in the developing world.”

“Compared to drone photography, where the photographer is separated from his subject by hundreds of meters of air and never personally sees what his camera sees, paramotor photography is very personal. It tells the story of the photographer’s efforts to look at his subject with his own eyes, ”Orsi said.

Joe Orsi in his motorized paraglider. (@ skypacking / Zenger News)

“My favorite country in the world is Papua New Guinea. As far as I know, there is nowhere so intact. It’s hard to get there, but it’s rewarding. I also love the Baja California peninsula in Mexico, where I learned to fly my paramotor. The marine life and landscapes of Baja never cease to amaze me.

Orsi said the Colorado River Delta “is one of the most amazing places I have flown over. I am not sure about the geology of the formations, but they are probably formed by a relatively small amount of water flowing through an almost flat saline plane that receives almost no rain. Over time, erosion has carved out the strange patterns of the trees, which hardly change from year to year.

Joe Orsi films the Colorado River Delta in Mexico. (@ skypacking / Zenger News)

Orsi quit his day job and started traveling the world five years ago.

“Throughout my travels, I became interested in landscape photography, which eventually led me to buy a drone,” he said. “The drone was small enough to fit in my backpack. I became obsessed with flying it in remote places never seen from a drone’s perspective.

“It led me to spend a lot of time in Papua New Guinea and Africa. After years of filming with my drone, it started to feel stereotypical and impersonal, so I started looking for a way on my own.

Orsi started flying his paramotor a year and a half ago and said he fell in love with the sport.

“I hope to continue traveling with my paramotor and maybe continue south to Central and South America once the borders open.”

(Edited by Judith Isacoff and Fern Siegel)


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