Drones have been said to date all the way back to 1907 (there are some reports of even earlier), when the first rudimentary quadcopter was used for military operations. Ever since then, drone technology has continued to improve and be used for a myriad of things, including drone photography.
So take a moment to spread your wings and soar as we delve deeper into the wonderful world of drone photography and explore the world from above.
It wasn’t until 2006 that the Federal Aviation Association in the US issued the first non military, commercial drone permit that allowed drones to be flown for recreational purposes. This opened up a wealth of new possibilities for the practical application of drones, particularly in the field of aerial photography. There’s even been a predicted $8.8 billion impact on the entertainment and media industry, thanks to this kind of technology.
The benefits of drone photography
Drone photography has become a game-changer in the craft of fine art photography, opening up a world of possibility for amateur and professional photographers alike.
Cheap and easy to access
Due to the spike in popularity of aerial photography, drones today are cheaper and easier to use than most professional cameras. The versatility of these lightweight vehicles means that they can go places that humans haven’t been able to, especially given their small size. This makes for epic landscape and beach photography opportunities.
With exceptional technology like 4k video, sensors for obstacle avoidance and decent battery life, unmanned vehicles are one of the most effective ways to capture a different perspective of life on our planet.
Many photographers have found that drones provide inimitable opportunities to compose images just right. Most drones today allow the user to get the right level of shadow or add different lighting effects. They also provide the ability to capture precise frames due to their easy manoeuvrability and offer a range of cool features including obstacle avoidance, intelligent tracking and smart GPS systems.
View from afar
Drone photography offers a unique perspective and an infinite number of composition possibilities. Rather than being limited to standing on your two feet to capture moments at eye level, drones allow photographers to free their imagination with a plethora of different viewpoints available.
Flying the drone allows me to find my own perspective on the static cityscape.
Drone photography offers a distinctive view that we are rarely able to access as humans. From wild and rugged natural landscapes to the buzz of a busy metropolis, aerial shots are capturing the beauty of our world as never before.
Taking pictures from above provides inimitable views and amazing patterns that you wouldn’t normally see when shooting on land. Additionally, drones are often able to get into certain areas that most planes or helicopters are not allowed to.
Drones have launched a new era in photography and continue to change our view of the world. A drone’s ability to hover closer to the ground than a helicopter ever could has revolutionized photography. Today, the creative potential of aerial photography in a world saturated with eye-level digital images gives artists an edge—without needing to rent an expensive helicopter.
There is a certain power we feel when viewing the world from afar; we feel more in control and able to handle things. When we are faced with a situation up close we often lose sight of the bigger picture and fail to see important details right before our eyes. What blinds us is directly in front of us. ‘Blinded by the forest’ you might say.
…the human desire to see the world from above has been a constant.
Did you know? The very first surviving aerial photograph was taken in 1860 from a hot air balloon by American innovator James Wallace Black of Boston, USA, 690 yards in the air. And it didn’t stop there: “adventurous amateurs” launched cameras into the sky using balloons, kites and even rockets!
The art of photography
Aside from practical and commercial applications, drones offer a myriad of artistic opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone— from amateur hobbyists to professional media firms. With just a little imagination, anyone can make use of drones to create amazing visual results. Think sweeping landscapes, bustling cityscapes and even spectacular abstract photography.
Did you know? In 1907, people started using homing pigeons fitted with cameras to take aerial shots. So even though drone photography is something we’re newly embracing, it’s been around for a lot longer than you think!
Less people power
One of the best things about drone photography is that it doesn’t need a lot of people power. Generally, it only requires one or two people on location to control the drone, which is an incredibly cost efficient way to get some of the most spectacular shots on the planet!
Due to their minimal noise and inconspicuous nature, drones are an excellent device for filming animals and people without disturbing natural environments and behaviour.
This creates an opportunity for some of the most captivating shots that we typically can’t achieve as a cumbersome human!
Did you know? In 2010, a French company released the first ready to fly ‘out of the box’ drone. Nicknamed the Parrot AR Drone it was controlled using a mobile phone, which made it much easier for amateurs to get a feel for aerial photography.
The future of drone photography
Commercial drones have come a long way and the next ten years will see even more advances in the way drones are used for aerial photography. Expect to see:
- better drone cameras
- improved co-piloting systems
- new technologies and innovation
- better hardware.
In the meantime, enjoy life with your head in the clouds as you explore the world from above. For a fresh new perspective, see our full range of breathtaking fine art photography.