Photographer's Aerial Shots Show N.Y.C. From a Different Perspective

Photographer's Aerial Shots Show N.Y.C. From a Different Perspective

New York City is the subject of many photographers' photos. No matter the perspective, it’s hard to take a bad picture of the place. But Manhattan-based Humza Deas has been using a drone to take a series of images that show the city from a different view.

The high vantage points of many of Deas' photos give insight into many of Manhattan’s geometric patterns, making the streets look like a model village. The shots also illustrate the contrast between gray buildings and roads, and the city’s many colorful green parks.

When Deas was 17, he used to climb as high as he could possibly get, taking pictures of his legs dangling over the edge of buildings and earning him the nickname, "outlaw photographer." Despite often trespassing, he took such great images that one even made it to the cover of New York Magazine a couple of years ago. As a native New Yorker, he is always looking for new ways to capture the city, but these days favors using a drone to capture his aerial shots; a method that is safer and also offers greater perspective in the photo.

You can view more of Deas’ photos at his Instagram, which boasts over 220,000 followers or purchase some of his works as prints from his online shop.

All images used with permission of Humza Deas.

[via My Modern Met]

Jack Alexander's picture

A 28-year-old self-taught photographer, Jack Alexander specialises in intimate portraits with musicians, actors, and models.

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So part 107 violations or is he actually getting a FAA waivers?

That was my question... I do notice that most of them are centered around parks, but I can't for the life of me remember which parks were approved to fly in (there were only a handful in the whole city). Otherwise, I was under the distinct impression that you were not allowed to fly drones in NYC at all outside of those specific approved areas. If this is not the case, I'm going out and getting one tomorrow...

Instagram is rife with drone shots over NYC, every single day. I always wonder about this and have to assume they are not all legally operated.

I'm guessing 99% violations. Flying over 400 AGL, over non-participants, night flights & in restricted areas...

I think it is shameful that FStoppers (and other similar sites) post these articles. It is pretty clear that you cannot legally fly a drone over New York City (unless you have an exemption of some sort). Then because of these kinds of articles other people will follow and do similar things. It turns out that the honest person once again gets the short end of the stick because violators ruin it for everybody. I certainly hope that FStoppers will think before posting stories like this in the future. Shame on you guys.

Gonna assume he has his part 107 and flew with FAA permission as NYC is mostly off limits to drones. As respected journalists, I'm sure you verified this before promoting this first, right? Maybe toss that in the intro of this article to discourage others of flying drones in airspace full of commercial airlines.

Different perspective? Hardly. Plenty of people have been shooting (legal) photos like this for years. If you can't afford a chopper, don't just buy a drone and break the law.

Who needs drone police when other photographers are so vigilant?

I think a lot of people get understandably upset because they are using their drones legally and responsibly and people who do stuff like this (assuming that he didn't have the proper permission) are the reason that they end up having to constantly deal with more restriction, more regulation, and more hoops to jump through.

It's essentially the "This is why we can't have nice things." frustration.

Of course this all hinges on the belief that he didn't have permission which is something that we're not certain about. All I know is that last time I checked (admittedly a while ago while I was looking into potentially buying a drone), you couldn't do this

Considering the guy would climb buildings illegally (and more likely face consequence) I doubt he's going through the proper channels. There are two other often neglected violations as well: shots over moving vehicles and non-participating people.

"You can’t fly a small UAS over anyone who is not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, or not inside a covered stationary vehicle." - FAA Fact Sheet

Funny thing about that last part - pretty much makes most of us who have their Part 107 non-compliant as our jobs are often in urban areas.

Consider illegally flying drones as a form of non violent protest. I understand not flying over airports/stadiums/etc, but most drone restrictions are ridiculous.

On a seperate but related matter, I work as a travel photographer where I have have pre arranged permission to use a tripod. When other photographers are told to put away their tripods, their immediate response is “why can he use a tripod?”, like a little child.

Photographers are mean to other photographers who are elevated above them.

Good point, but the first immediate reaction seems alright to me when someone tells me I can’t do something that someone else is doing at the moment. By the way the rule is kind of silly if you break it down isn’t it? “No tripods allowed unless prearranged” - if they don’t like people using tripods then no tripods. Period. Right?

Sort of, but the no tripod rule is to prevent commercial photography/film work. If you’re doing a project that will a. Benefit the company or b. Pay the company, they allow tripods. For example, St Pauls Cathedral in London do not allow tripods but if you’re hired by St Pauls Cathedral to take promotional images, it’s perfectly legit that the photographers uses a tripod.

I guess I can understand that view point. But I wonder how effective the protest actually is when it's just likely to cause more hysteria and even more ridiculous drone laws.

Perspective #1:
Look, those guys is breaking the law, but clearly nobody is getting hurt so maybe the law is just stupid.

Perspective #2:
Look, we went through the trouble of passing a law to avoid stuff like this and the fact that these people are breaking it just shows that drone owners don't respect the law and there has to be stricter regulation (such as mandatory regulation) and harsher penalties (criminal prosecution).

Generally the people with the first perspective whenever an event like this occurs are people who are likely already involved with drones and aren't the people that need convincing. The people that do need convincing (and the ones that tend to be in charge of the actual laws) seem to swing heavily toward the second view.

So I guess the question is why make things worse for yourselves? Is it really worth it?

I guess for full disclosure, I don't own a drone (largely because NYC drone laws making it pretty pointless) so I'm not really a person with a dog in this particular fight. It just seems very counterproductive to me if the goal is to try to get regulations loosened.

“Consider illegally flying drones as a form of non violent protest. I understand not flying over airports/stadiums/etc, but most drone restrictions are ridiculous.”

Um, no. Apparently, you don’t understand why restrictions are in place. Until you crack some unsuspecting person’s skull open because your drone malfunctioned or you lost control over it. I hope that’s violent enough for you.

With the literally millions of drones out there, how many times has this happened? Should we ban cars by your logic too?

It hasn't happened as often (yet) BECAUSE restrictions are in place. And yup, cars should be banned, given how many ppl die in traffic every day. It would be a start to make enforcement of violations and punishment much more severe. Mandatory 30+ hours with a driving instructor would help too, especially in the US.

So the author is just gonna sit there and ignore the comments?