Drones – the never-ending ‘hot topic’ in the world of photography and beyond due to their increasing adaptability and continued changes in licensing and regulations.
There are also exciting creative applications for them in photography, a medium that for well over a hundred years has allowed us to become familiar with places, landmarks, and cultures – all without having been there. Our way of life is saturated with images of spaces and places, whether it be online, on our phones, on our screens, to the point where the most iconic parts of a certain country are considered to be the only sights worth seeing.
Drones are being used as a means of enhancing an industry already dominated by landscape photography, adding depth of field and perspective to familiar settings that have not been seen before. Aerial and video methods of photography are beginning to revolutionise how we see and experience the world via mediated images.
With brand new eyes
In a highly competitive industry, photographers and other creative professionals are constantly looking for ways in which to make their work stand out amongst the rest; searching for alternatives to standard perspectives and ways of shooting famous landscapes can be incredibly rewarding to this end.
Drone-assisted photography explores a higher altitude and scope, allowing the camera’s lens to travel to heights and places that a photographer simply cannot. Not only this, it means the resulting aerial image or video shows what the eye cannot physically see – capturing cities, buildings, and entire horizons in ways that cannot otherwise have been experienced.
High up in the atmosphere, drones are also able to get in the midst of changing weather conditions, capturing images of elements that are usually only experienced on the ground. This drone footage of fog as it travels over countryside in Surrey allows a different perspective on these moody conditions, edited together with time-lapse photography which really enhances the ‘rolling’ movement of the fog.
Playing around with the speed of footage can also lead to other creative possibilities. With the technology constantly improving, compact cameras like the GoPro are suited to capturing from drones.
This stunning video by Fstoppers and Elia Locardi was shot at 2.7k at 30fps and then slowed down to 24fps in post-production. The slower speed giving the narrative an overall dreamlike appearance, contrasting against the ‘brutal’ peaks and troughs of the magical Icelandic landscape.
The changing movements enabled by the drone in areas off the beaten track, ranging from the Earth-scraping shots approaching the cliff’s edge, to the circular trajectories over snow-capped mountains and turbulent waters are awe-inspiring and can evoke an emotive response. Reminiscent of the kind of stylistic compositions often seen in high-end cinematic masterpieces, drone technology enables aerial photography and video to tell more dramatic stories.
DJI and the Revolution of aerial photography
The giant strides made in innovation and transformative aerial technology is in part down to the creation of the now globally-recognised DJI. A dynamic brand originating in Hong Kong, DJI are world leaders in the market that they helped to expand. They are now the leading company in the civilian-drone industry and are at the heart of a new era in aerial imaging.
Behind its success is a number of its innovative drone features, including high-res images and precision sensors, helping the company bring Hollywood-style filmmaking to the masses.
Smart motion camera design by DJI allows the possibility of more creative angles, tracking shots, easier usability and controlled camera movement, meaning that the company’s technology is amongst the most favoured for hobbyists.
Opening up the market to non-professional and amateur photographers can only encourage this burgeoning interest in drone-enabled aerial video and photography. And the revolution of aerial photography is only just getting going.