We’ve reported about crashes and near-crashes of drones and airplanes quite a few times. It has happened with both passenger planes and military jets, and it has now reportedly happened with Air Force One while Donald Trump and his family were on board. Reports from eyewitnesses note that they spotted a small object resembling a drone while the aircraft was making its final descent.
A drone video shared online has caused quite a stir over the past few days. It’s a drone footage showing the US Navy Blue Angels performing a flyover, with the drone flying way too close to the aircraft.
Hidden cameras have given us stunning footage of wildlife that we never would have seen otherwise. PBS has employed a pretty interesting one in the mountains of Mexico. It’s a tiny spy hummingbird that has infiltrated into the heart of a huge monarch butterfly swarm. It has filmed the incredible spectacle from up close, and it’s definitely not something you see every day.
The number of coronavirus-related deaths in New York City is alarming. Because of this, there have reportedly been more mass burials on Hart Island than ever. Photographer George Steinmetz was recently documenting a burial ditch on Hart Island with his drone, which put him in legal trouble. His drone was confiscated by the police and he was issued a Desk Appearance Ticket.
On 1 April, Baltimore officials officially approved that this city’s police can use surveillance drones. Equipped with hi-res cameras, these drones would reportedly be used to spy on the citizens. As probably expected, this caused quite a stir. And now, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore police over the use of this invasive surveillance program.
The coronavirus crisis has changed our lives in many ways. We’re taking photos via video chat, skiing in our living rooms or taking photos with them. Some photographers have found ways to turn their gear into exercise equipment… But Rotem Rogovsky of Skypro – 360 Video Productions has something else in mind with his gear, and it’s hilarious and brilliant at the same time.
If you’ve been disciplined during the coronavirus outbreak, you probably haven’t seen your friends for a while. And if there’s one thing all of us in self-isolation have in common, it’s this: we miss out friends! Photographer Jared Gruenwald is one of us, and he came up with a way to make himself less lonely. He started taking portraits of his friends who are also in isolation, all from a safe distance. The result is a series of pretty unusual portraits: some are emotional, but the others are incredibly silly.
DJI’s Mavic Mini made big news when it was announced in October, especially given that it was something so small. But being small and lightweight is exactly the point of the Mavic mini, weighing in at a mere 249g – 1g below the minimum limit required by many of the world’s governments before the operator requires licensing and regulation.
It looks like the DJI Mavic Mini might have something of a design flaw, though. Under certain conditions, particularly during Sport mode, the propeller blades seem to be able to hit the body of the drone. User djiuser_JXraXHrZCs7w posted images to the DJI community website along with a written note about the problem.
I took my drone and photographed people in their homes through their windows and on their terraces. It’s a 100% zero-human-contact way to see how people are going crazy during quarantine times.
When Lithuania went under quarantine, all my photography jobs in advertising were canceled, events postponed or canceled, and I was sitting without any job and thinking, “what the heck is going on and how can I solve this puzzle?” Eventually, I knew that I needed to photograph something interesting, but this social distance thing was a tricky thing.
With drone photography, things right now are very fast-paced, both in the development of the tech and the implementation of the rules. There’s a lot I can tell you about drone photography. Overarching all of the creative elements the single, most important piece of advice I can give you is this:
Make sure you know the local drone laws, wherever you are and wherever you’re going!
As I mentioned, there’s a lot I can teach about drone photography, I’ve written a lot about it and I have a course live on KelbyOne all about it right now. The appeal of drone photography is huge. It’s been maximized by DJI, who are now the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer (true story) and camera manufacturer. Others such as Parrot and Yuneec are also cashing in on us photographers and our constant quest for new angles.
These new angles are the big appeal, and rightly so. Creatives have it embedded within them. Since our childhood, we have been scoping out birds-eye views. Think about it for a second, when we’re on a plane and we come into land we often stare out of the windows looking for a point of reference in order to see what is familiar to us from a new perspective, such as searching for our home or our favorite stadium, or simply a city skyline. Drones are here to stay. The rules are being implemented and enacted for everybody’s protection. But what does that actually mean for photographers?