In December of 2013, Amazon teased the world with the thought of delivering (small) packages to your doorstep using drones, as first reported here. It got a lot of people talking. But since that initial announcement from Amazon, there hasn't been any indication that it was real. Was it purely a publicity stunt? If it was, it was a good one. But what if it was real?
You can really get yourself into trouble putting your expensive camera gear on a drone, Lee Morris has personally lost two drones and Chase Jarvis famously crashed his DJI Phantom into a lake in Iceland. Now Swiss researchers are looking to change all that, or at least help prevent some minor crashes. Enter GimBall: while it may not be waterproof, this drone concept is looking to change the way we approach UAV-based photography.
Yesterday, Fstoppers writer John White shared news of an apparent close call between two irresponsible pilots' DJI Phantom drones and an NYPD helicopter. Naturally, this sparked a conversation about the safety of such drones in the hands of the public. But as with many hyped new stories, all was not as it seemed. Recently surfaced radio recordings catch the pilots in a rather calm mood as they seem to question the presence of the drones amongst themselves and take it upon themselves to chase down the Phantom to the remote pilots.
It's always a small handful of people that begin the process of ruining it for everyone else. On Monday, two drones nearly crashed into a New York Police Department's chopper while it was going over the George Washington Bridge. Luckily, the pilots changed course to avoid the collision.
It's hard to imagine someone not describing what Sergeant Larry Reid Jr. does as a dream job. Once you see what he does, the images he captures and the joy on his face as he explains his process, part of you (no matter who you are) kind of wishes you were him. With two cameras strapped around his neck firing shots off while his pilot banks at seven G's, Sergeant Reid is living the dream.
Ah July 4th. For us in the United States, this national holiday calls for hot dogs, beer and most importantly fireworks. YouTuber Jos Stinglingh may have published this video of a DJI Phantom 2 and a GoPro a couple months ago in West Palm Beach, Florida, but there are few dates more apt to view it than today.
DJI has been a major player in the quadcopter arena for quite some time. While there are MANY other brands out there, DJI has set out to make flying easy, especially for those with no experience. Now it will be even easier to start flying thanks to the addition of Autonomous flight. They call it Ground Station.
Russian photographer Slava Stepanov, who publishes his photography under the moniker “Gelio”, specializes in intriguing aerial photographs of massive Eastern European industrial cities. Gelio’s images of Siberia’s Norilsk, the world’s northernmost large city, reveal the dichotomy of devastating pollution and stunningly cold climate and colorful, neatly organized industrial architecture.
Have you ever considered creating an accurate and detailed 3D model from 2D photos? Probably not, it's incredibly difficult. Now, if you try to do it on a truly massive scale and have a huge castle as your subject, it makes it almost impossible to do by hand. The guys at Pix4D took it as a challenge to their software and not only modeled the outside, but also the inside of the castle, all in one interactive 3D model. To prove that it can be done by anyone, they decided to use only consumer cameras (GoPro, DSLR and a Mirrorless).
Those that know me know that Los Angeles is one of my favourite cities in the world. The city just feels like home for a number of reasons and this timelapse from Chris Pritchard absolutely embodies everything I love about it. The ever changing conditions and light, the mixture of urban and landscape and the way the city just feels alive.
A few weeks ago I released a video featuring my friend and fellow photographer Blair Bunting in the backseat of an F16. The video blew up on Reddit (#1 in r/Videos making it to the top 5 of the front page), was featured on Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Daily Mail, Telegraph, CNN, ABC World News with Dianne Sawyer, hundreds of other blogs and even was officially recognized by YouTube. But for reasons still unexplained to me, it has been removed from YouTube and there is nothing I can do about it.
During an initial meeting with local publication NFocus Magazine, the Editor-In-Chief asked for a unique aesthetic on Louisville's theater and arts community and wanted a massive group shot, but not your traditional group shot. I threw out the idea to shoot actors and their "characters" from directly overhead on a theater floor, as if they were action figures laid out and organized. Two seconds after I uttered the idea, I realized I had no clue how I would pull it all off.
Today, Southland shared a rare look at the growth of DisneyLand in Anaheim, California from construction site in 1955 to the bustling theme park it is today, in 2014. In the two GIF animations of the park's evolutions (below) you see orange groves turn into the parking lots, carefully landscaped jungles, and the themed buildings that make up "the happiest place on earth".
Videos like this help bring awareness of disaster situations which in turn brings aid and funding for recovery efforts. It can be argued that videos like this are pivotally important in the modern age for any area of the United States to get the help they need. But the FAA, still miffed about drones in general, is considering fining the videographer $10,000 for taking the footage.
"Here come the G's." Words that might not mean anything to you sitting at your computer, but if you're strapped into the back seat of an F-16, it means remember your breathing training and don't pass out. Blair Bunting, recent addition to the Nikon Ambassadors list, took to the skies with the United Air Force Thunderbirds in part to see if he could sustain 9 G's.