I remember when drones first
started showing up at the
flying fields, many pilots were
intrigued, but nothing more, by
these awkward flying machines.
But my first thought when I saw
them, being a photographer,
was this was a way for me to
get a camera in the air and get
a different type of image, one
that was never possible before.
Fortunately, my job allowed me
to get the early prototypes,
which were not so easy to fly,
but I could attach small action cameras to them and get the
aerial images I was looking for. At the time, there was no real
way to communicate with the camera, and I wasn’t able to see
what the camera was filming. Before the flight, I would just
start the camera recording (for video) or set it to take a photo
every two to five seconds and then took off, documenting the
Drone companies like DJI soon came out with cameras built
into the drones. They also had a transmission link down to the
transmitter so that the pilot could control all the functions of
the camera and see the actual image in real time, from the
drone. These adaptations and advancements to drones made
them valuable tools for the photographic and cinematographic
industries. At the same time, this drone progression was
happening for photographers like me. Other drones were being
modified for use in just about all other professions. It seemed
that drones were of value to many others and made their
businesses easier to run and more profitable. In this issue, we
take a look at some of the ways drones affect our lives and
the ways we now work with them. Our feature “On the Job”
outlines how different industries are using drones as part of
their everyday work flow.
Our good friend Romeo Durscher takes us on a trip to
the Dolomites in the Italian Alps and shows us how drones
are being used for search and rescue. And if you are a
photographer like me, you are really going to enjoy seeing
how Joe West goes about getting some outstanding aerial
panoramas of the beautiful islands of Hawaii; I know that
when I was done reading the article, my drone was soon in
the air taking some shots that I planned on stitching together
in post. Speaking of post work, check out our Asked &
Answered column to see how to get free music for your
finished videos and learn how to back up those important
video/photo files so that if anything goes south with your
computer—and, trust me, it will one day—you can recover all
those images easily.
If you are planning on doing any type of commercial work
with your drone, you will need to take the Federal Aviation
Administration’s Part 107 Exemption test. This is something I
personally wanted to do for some time now, but my schedule
did not allow me the time to take a class. The classroom setting
is one of the best ways to learn all you need to know before
taking the test. I, however, had to go another route; for some
of you, this may also be the best way to go about preparing for
your test, especially if your schedule is a busy one like mine.
Check out my article on how I went about preparing for my
Part 107 test and what you can expect when you take it.
I have only outlined a small portion of all the great articles
that await you in the pages ahead. Take your time and enjoy
Agriculture is one of the many commercial
arenas where drones are earning their keep.
(Photo courtesy of Custom Case Group)
Working from the Sky!