ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A Santa Fe videographer is among the top contenders in a world-wide contest, but you may be surprised by how he captured video of one of New Mexico's top attractions.
The spectacular scenes unfolded as Luke Fitch tracked the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad from Chama to the top of Cumbres Pass.
The contest is simple. Who can get the best video using a remote-controlled drone no bigger than a shoe-box?
"I call it a drone, and that's a great catchphrase," Fitch told KRQE News 13. "It's really not a drone because it can't fly autonomously."
Fitch, who runs a Santa Fe production house, used a remote control to guide his drone equipped with a small GoPro camera when he shot the video two weeks ago.
His finished video is one of more than 500 entered in the worldwide contest sponsored by DJI Innovations , the maker of the drone.
"The scenery, the mountains," Fitch said. "There had just been a lot of rain, so we were fortunate everything was a green as it's probably going to get this year.
The drone even captured video of Fitch during his interview with KRQE News 13 and a view of the city as it took off.
Fitch says drones could get some amazing shots for movies without spending a lot of money. His setup was under $1,000.
"In the future it's going to be common for entire movies to be shot with these types of robotic aircraft," Fitch said.
For now, however, Fitch is not allowed to sell any of his video taken from the drone.
The Federal Aviation Administration doesn't allow drones to be used for commercial use, and it's looking at how to address safety and privacy issues. Fitch is hoping the laws change soon.
"Anything goes and that includes putting a camera on and flying over your neighbor's property," Fitch said. "So right now the law that prevents us from doing this as a business is not protecting anyone's privacy."
The winner of the contest, determined by the number of Likes the video receives on YouTube , gets a new drone and more high-tech equipment.
The Top 10 videos will be announced Sunday with the winner of the grand prize named on Wednesday.
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