In its most recent drone video, the French film making duo BigFly captures breathtaking footage from inside the Saint Louis Byzantine Church in the French commune of Paimboeuf. The indoor flight resulted in two minutes of visual magic, definitely deserving the many awards it has gathered so far.
As a San Francisco aerial photographer and aerial videographer, I always have one ear to the ground when it comes to advancements in camera technology designed for flight. I like to think I’m prepared for most innovations, but this one totally caught me off guard. Peter Degerfeldt of Blue Sky, and aerial filmmaking company, challenged a Gyro-Stabilization company based in Grass Valley, CA to build a GSS 520 5-axis system that would be capable of producing perfectly rock solid and smooth images at a speed of more than 300 knots an hour to allow them to capture fighter jets in action for their client, Saab Defence and Security, and their multirole fighter, the Gripen.
There is a lot of information floating around out there regarding the proper “rules” of flying a drone, and they are not only at the Federal level, but also encompass specific rules regarding your state. Because of this, it might feel overwhelming enough to try and just “ignore it,” but that’s not really a good idea… especially if you’re caught and have to face a hefty fine. To help make it easier to understand, the folks at AllDigital made a super-useful infographic that you should really have a look at.
Over the course of two autumns, filmmaker Toby Harriman compiled some truly stunning footage of Colorado. “During September and October of 2013 and 2015 I drove from San Francisco back to my birth state of Colorado to experience a bit fall. Growing up there, I was young and not really into photography yet. So it is amazing to go back every year now and see it with a whole new perspective.” Toby shot a good amount of the footage with a Canon 6D and a 5D Mark III, but complimented a lot of the timelapses with his iPhone 6S Plus. The aerial footage was all taken with a DJI Inspire.
If you have owned a drone, or plan to own a drone between now and December 21, 2015, the FAA has announced you’re going to have to register it by February 19, 2015. If you get one after the 21st, you’ll have to register it before the first flight. “Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Though we probably never think about it, there are many completely isolated and un-contacted tribes of humans living in South America. Living in isolation, these tribes have been relatively undisturbed by the modern world. In this video from the BBC, silent observer Jose Carlos Morales flies high above the tribes in Brazil in order to prove their existence to the Peruvian and Brazilian governments, who would much rather either ignore them or pretend they do not exist. Their land is in danger due to illegal logging, and the only way to protect them is to get the protection of the government. Any direct contact with outside humans from the modern world could prove dangerous, as they likely have no resistance to diseases we can easily fight, such as the common cold. Not to mention that loggers would likely just shoot them to clear them out of the land.
This one sort of flew under the radar (ha, look! A drone pun!), but I stumbled on this video yesterday that shows what DJI is working on for a future product. Though it’s pretty clear much of this video has heavy use of computer graphics to create the drone that flies itself, DJI’s Phantom X concept goes right for the throat of drones like the Lily Flying Camera, and that’s exactly what we should expect from the industry’s largest aerial imagine company. Oh, and they stuffed as many big names into the video as possible.
Think of this as a kind of PSA for those looking to get started flying drones. If you’ve never done it before, you’re going to need a starting point and some advice so you don’t end up crashing your new quadcopter into a tree… or a marsh… or a house. That’s where a new book by expert Eric Cheng comes in.
Eric Cheng is an award-winning photographer, technologist and drone expert who spent nearly two years as Director of Aerial Imaging at DJI. He has also flown a camera drone above the Holuhraun volcano eruption in Iceland, which was broadcasted live to over 6 million people on ABC’s Good Morning America. Basically, Eric knows what he’s talking about when it comes to flying drones, and he has released a book that is basically an “Ultimate Guide” to the art of digital imaging from the sky.