Between the introduction of drone technology, and today’s laws limiting or banning their use, there was a glorious period when you could fly a camera almost anywhere.

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These are the results of two years travel with a quad-copter in my backpack.

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The neatly arranged suburbs around Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Octagonal city blocks and spacious street corners create a spectacular view. Al fresco beer & tapas in the town become such a delight.

The Hermitage Pavilion, St. Petersburg in autumn mist

I can’t see what the camera is seeing. People find that weird but I quite like the suspense of not knowing what I have until I get the camera in hand.

Clouds swirl through the pillars of Sagrat Cor Church, high on a hill above Barcelona

The star fort at Bourtange

Three centuries after the last cannonball was fired in anger at the fort, it now serves as a museum and center of a sleepy farming village in eastern Holland. The low, thick walls were designed to offset the pounding force of cannon-fire.

Church on Spilled blood, St. Petersburg

In the early days (2013) you could fly drones almost anywhere.

A ruined college inside the breakaway republic of Abkhazia

Ethnic cleansing went down here in the 90s and areas like this one (near Gali) are now a twilight zone of empty buildings and overgrown farmland.

St. Peter & Paul Cathedral, Petergof

With tiny little Christians walking round the base.

The Lotus Temple, dotted with pigeons at sunrise. Designed by an Iranian exile, the building serves as the centre of the Bahai’i faith in Delhi

Jama Masjid, the heart of Islam in India

Russia’s candy cane capital

Taj Mahal and gardens as the day’s first tourists trickle in

Security there is incredibly tight and I got busted.

The Taj Mahal in morning light

Morning over Maximum City

Known to the locals as a “Hill 3” this knoll jutting above Mumbai’s northern slums is no more valuable than the land below. Access to running water, which the hill lacks, is more valuable than any view.

The windswept Liberty Statue, overlooking Budapest

Buda castle at night

The barge in the center of the river is packed full of fireworks. An hour after this pic they were sent booming into the night sky to celebrate the country’s national day.

The Katskhi Pillar, where a Georgian hermit has lived for the past twenty years to be “closer to god”

If you look close you can see the ladder. The terrifying ladder which I eventually had to climb.

Paris’ Sacré-Cœur glowing in a hazy sunrise

Worker and Kolkhoz Woman striding into the future that was

Built for the soviet pavilion of the 1937 world fair in Paris, the steel masterwork now stands in the suburbs of northern Moscow.

Moscow’s Hotel Ukraina lit up at dusk

This picture was taken as the Russian stock markets crashed on “Black Tuesday”. Little whiffs of panic could be felt on the street. Moscow never looked or felt more like Gotham city.

New Zealand, where only the hobbits have a hard time

Kauri Cliffs golf course.

A knot of fishing boats at the entrance to Sassoon Dock, Mumbai