East Petersburg water tower

Aerial view of the water tower in the park along PIne Street in East Petersburg Friday, July 5, 2019.

Through the Viewfinder is a weekly feature by LNP and LancasterOnline photographers exploring the art of black-and-white and color photography.

Many times while driving on Route 72 through East Petersburg, I've thought about taking an aerial photo of the water tower in East Petersburg Community Park.

The problem is this tower is within the Class D airspace that surrounds Lancaster Airport, and flying drones in this airspace requires clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The process for getting airspace clearance used to take 90 days, and because of that, I didn’t fly there. Recently, however, a new process to get airspace clearance became available in Lancaster.

Now, it takes a couple of minutes to get airspace clearance using my smartphone.

The result is the photo above, from the east side of the water tower, with views of a baseball field and East Petersburg Fire Company in the background left as well as East Petersburg Mennonite Cemetery on the right.

THE METHOD: DJI FC300X camera, which has a 3.6 mm focal length lens. Exposure shutter speed 1/8000 of a second, aperture f-2.8 and ISO 800. This camera is part of the drone and has a fixed aperture of f-2.8. The focal length of 3.6 mm is equal to 20 mm in a 35 mm camera.

​Blaine Shahan is a staff photographer. He can be reached at bshahan@lnpnews.com or (717) 481-8486.