Seen through an aerial lens


Photos courtesy of Alan Zhang

Alan Zhang films videos of different scenery and posts them on SkyPixel

When Diamond Bar High School freshman Alan Zhang was 10 years old, his father gave him a gift that would change his life: a Phantom 4 Drone. The drone sparked a lasting passion and inspiration for Alan’s interest in photography and videography.

Several years later, as a reward for getting straight A’s on his eighth-grade report card, Zhang received another drone.

 After he edits his videos, Zhang posts them on his SkyPixel account. SkyPixel is an online platform that features photography and cinematography from people around the entire world. Zhang has over 800 followers on his account and over 1,000 likes on his videos. Zhang currently has 101 videos and photos uploaded to the online platform.

In his many scenery videos, Zhang showcases different buildings and speeds up clips of people walking. With the use of his drone, he shows the overview of the city, breathtaking views that not many people have seen before.

In addition to scenery videos, Zhang was hired to direct and produce a music video featuring teen rapper Sophia Kim, a 2018 alumna of DBHS. Her song, “Ride,” and the accompanying music video, was released on Sept. 23. DBHS freshman Erin Wong helped Zhang with parts of his project and made the process easier.

Zhang said that although it was not a paid job, he was excited that he was able to do what he loved and hopes to attract more people like Kim to work with him. After filming Kim’s music video, Zhang became even more interested in working as a video/film director in the future.

“I still find my passion in technology or those DIYs but I am leaning in this type of directing or filmmaking jobs,” Zhang said.

Zhang said his father inspired him to start shooting and editing, who was previously an advertisement director.

“After he switched to another job, there were still cameras lying around my house. Sometimes I would mess with them because I was bored. It was very fun so I started to do those stuff,” Zhang said.

Zhang has visited many locations to obtain shots he needs for many of his videos.

He has traveled  to many places, from as far as Lake Tahoe, to Twin Peak in San Francisco, Big Bear and Mt. Baldy.

Furthermore, using the skills and experiences of four years, he made a campaign video and earned position of Class of 2022 historian. During his campaign, he didn’t want to be like all the other candidates with just flyers and posters, so he posted a campaign video on Facebook to showcase his camera skills.