Creative, Sweet

Petra Leary X BurgerFuel

Posted by Creative, Sweet

We have all been that person that forehead rides the window on the aeroplane trying to get that birds eye view and let the world know they're on holiday with all of the aerial fomo hashtags. Fast forward to the future of 2018, we don't have flying cars yet but we did invent the drone. We recently caught up with Petra Leary, a local Auckland (aerial) photographer who spends her time chasing the shots we could never get. 

HASER: So, I’m very familiar with who you are, but can you let everyone else know a bit about yourself?

PETRA LEARY: Heyo, Im Petra haha, Im 26 and based in Auckland, NZ.

I’m a drone (aerial) Photographer/ Videographer and am obsessed with all things drone, other than that I spend my time skateboarding, lighting fireworks, and hanging out with my dog Kodak.

I was born in a barn in Grey Lynn, Auckland and have pretty much been in the neighbourhood my whole life. 

Crazy, now you have made quite the name for yourself lately, what got you into drone shooting?

I have to thank my friend Jasper Jay for that, the first time I flew a drone was while I was working at Serato, I got Jasper on a job where they needed some aerial footage of the office and he gave me a turn on his Phantom and I was hooked! Previous to that I would just climb anything really high (Cranes, Rooftops, Construction Sites) to get photos from above but it always annoyed me that I couldn’t get the perfect symmetry and balance being constrained to a certain area, so the drone was like a whole new game with no limits!

Hmm, sounds safe haha, have you always been into art?

Yip, I’ve always loved to draw, paint, or make stuff, I grew up with both my parents being artists so I’ve always been surrounded by art. I can’t say I do that much drawing or hand made art now, I think my attention span for drawing was pretty axed once I got a computer and realised there’s no (ctrl Z) in real life, so now my art is more photography and digital focused.

Haha, I’m sure we could all do with some ctrl Z in our lives, who is on your inspiration feed?

There’s so many awesome artists and photographers out there, in terms of photographers my top picks would have to be: 

• JP and Mike AKA Abstract Aerial Art INSTAGRAM

• Costas Spathis INSTAGRAM

• Massimo Colonna WEBSITE

• Daily Overview (Satellite Images) WEBSITE

Awesome, will make sure I check them out, has anything gone wrong while you’ve been shooting?

Yep haha, I’ve had a lot of close calls losing drones or being dive bombed by birds, last year I was on a job down in Gisborne and was out shooting the sunrise at Kaiti Hill. I flew my drone way way out about 3km heading toward Tuamoto Island and the wind started to really pick up, as I was flying back the drone was struggling so much from the head wind and my battery was at about 15 percent and all of a sudden my drone decided it wasn’t going to make it and started to auto land. It disappeared way out on the hills at least 2kms from where I was. I had a rough idea from the GPS of where it might be so I jumped a fence that had a warning on it about the earth being unstable and dangerous and took about 5 steps forward in the grass and fell into this massive opening in the ground were I think there must have been some landslides recently haha, I had to climb through these overgrown paddocks and along the ridge of these hills for about 45 minutes till I got to where the GPS said my drone was but I couldn’t see it anywhere, and just as I was giving up and about to head back I saw this metal shining in a bush a few meters down the hill by some cows, and crazy enough it was still in perfect working condition.

Haha, sounds like a perfect ctrl Z situation, what’s the best location you’ve shot so far?

I think my favourite spot so far is Roosevelt Island swimming pool, NYC. I really love the dated but awesome patterns and colours used in the design of the pool area and the classic sunbrellas.

I need some NYC in my life, so what’s next for you?

I’m working on building a series for a show I really want to do in the upcoming months that focuses solely on my court photos and hopefully get some international venues to exhibit it. 

Other then that my plan is to head to Denmark at the end of the year to check out all the rad architecture and outdoor design that I think will look amazing from above, and then hopefully explore all the other surrounding places. 

Wow, can’t wait to see what comes of this, we will make sure your stomach is fed in the meantime, in saying that, what’s your favourite burger from BurgerFuel?

Combustion Tofu Burger all day! 


To see more of Petra’s work and what she gets up to, follow her on Instagram @petraleary or visit her WEBSITE, otherwise keep an eye out for the young woman rolling round Grey Lynn on her skateboard.