Award-winning photographer Oli Dickinson has been chosen by IBM to record an amazing project to create a Mayflower for the 21st century.
Built by marine research organization ProMare, and powered by IBM’s AI and edge computing technologies, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will cross oceans helping scientists to collect vital environmental data.
During testing of the new vessel, Oli, who lives in Plymouth, running his company Different View Photography, will use his drone to record the performance of the ‘Mayflower’ as it goes through sea trials just off the coast of Plymouth.
Once testing is complete, MAS will set sail in the footsteps of its famous namesake, crossing from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth Massachusetts in Spring 2021.
The work follows Oli’s involvement in the launch of the ship in September this year, when he was asked to use his drones to film the launch of MAS – a job which required complex piloting and camera manoeuvring.
Oli, who has run his own business for a year, has more than 15 years’ experience in photography and was an early adopter of professional drone filming and photography and holds a commercial licence to carry out such work.
“I’m over the moon and delighted by this opportunity. IBM was so thrilled with my previous work that they asked me to document the sea trial of the MAS. I’m so excited to have been invited to be a part of this important piece of ground-breaking work. I didn’t think anything could top winning an international award last February, but this does.
“It’s a huge compliment for a company as large as IBM to request the services of someone who is just starting out on their business journey.”
Oli, who is 35, is a sports-mad photographer who originally pursued a career in football playing for Weymouth though not under contract. He went on to attend Camp America in Texas working in a special needs camp and it was this experience that prompted him to take degree in sports science and teaching in primary schools. Photography was a part of his early career.
“Photography started at university where a friend showed me what could be achieved and it inspired me. Since then I’ve really studied the art and I keep learning. I never thought anything could come close to my passion for sport and teaching but it does.
“I can’t believe my journey over the last eighteen months. It’s spurred me on to believe that with tenacity and hard work anything is achievable.”
In his first year of business Oli won The People’s Choice Award in the architecture category of the British Photography Awards 2020 for his image at Rame Head Cornwall.
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