AIG's recent move to begin insuring unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) marked the beginning of the first large, national insurance company to get ahead of (or catch up with) the "drone movement." Like this season's migration of Canadian geese, everyone seems to be flocking in droves, clearly intent on getting to the online shopping outlets and local electronics stores that sell the latest drones. But few actually know about how to use their newly affordable crafts safely and without risking their entire life's savings. A quick phone call with the Hill & Usher insurance agency led us to a few clues about where to start.
GoPro announced last month that it is working on bringing a drone to market in early 2016, and the go-to action-cam company just released the first video taken from their drone. Thankfully, the footage looks incredibly stable — so stable that some shots look incredibly similar to something that would come from a track-mounted or cable-mounted rig on the ground. Of course, the slight slow-motion nature of the shots help mitigate the perception of any small movements throughout the flights, but the footage is surprisingly smooth nonetheless.
Not so surprisingly faster than the FAA, apparently, AIG sprung into action to allow drone operators and owners to purchase insurance that covers not only their drone and camera equipment, but also a number of other terrible things that can happen while you're piloting a UAV.
We’ve long passed the beginning of the end and are now certainly in middle-of-the-end territory with respect to the freedom to fly drones. The latest high-profile drone incident further ensures that drone piloting will remain a privilege and not a right, though rightly so, as some people apparently can’t exercise enough common sense to stay away from populated areas (i.e. Los Angeles) and critical city infrastructure (i.e. power lines).
According to NBC News, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is getting close to announcing new rules for recreational drone use, beginning with the requirement to register every drone a person buys. Registration itself, however, is not a large obstacle to drone ownership and operation, as registration will only be able to help the FAA keep track of just how many there are and, hopefully, identify aircraft that break rules or cause collisions. But just how effective will this be? And what other laws will come in the way of recreational drone flight?
If you're like me and you're sick and tired of the Drone Takeover, this state-of-the-art weaponry is for you. In an effort to defend the airspace around you, the Ohio-based, nonprofit Battelle has created the DroneDefender as a way to keep videographer drones at bay during that next wedding shoot. There will be no more swatting at poor-resolution cameras buzzing about your head; simply pull this bad boy from your quiver and "bang!" Drone down.
I'm not even sure they existed five months ago but since then the prolific crew over at RocketJump Film School have pumped out some really great educational (and often funny) content, quickly becoming one of my personal favorite crews out there. In this humorous short, "Droneward Bound," Ashly and Lauren (both adored) have to chase down a super sexy Inspire 1 drone as it takes on a life of its own. From there, director Kevin Senzaki jumps in on the second video to show us how they went about repairing the audio for the video. Senzaki jumps in on the second video to show us how they went about repairing the audio for the video.
Cinema5D founder Sebastian Wöber's latest three-part tutorial on drone shooting starts off with quite the introduction in Part I. Wöber could honestly be saying anything to accompany his to-die-for footage, but what makes it so fantastic is how great the information in this video is. From safety to beginner tips on getting started and how to get that cinematic shot you have in your head (don't worry, Wöber has plenty examples if you don't), Part I has you covered. And there's more to come...very soon.
A few weeks ago, I shared the second episode of the video series "Off the Beaten Track," where photographer Chris Schmid visited the land of the Maasai people, photographing their culture and the wild animals of the National Reserve in Kenya. Chris recently released the third episode where he explores a much cooler climate. Svalbard is one of the most remote places in the Northern Hemisphere. This episode is beautifully shot with the DJI Inspire 1 and DJI Zenmuse X5, giving you a new look into the quickly melting ice and the polar bears who live there.
When DJI announced the Inspire 1 drone, I didn't get it. It was a much larger and more expensive quadcopter that had only a slightly better camera attached to it. I had no interest in the Inspire 1 until they announced the new Zenmuse X5 Micro 4/3 camera/gimbal system. I currently have one and I can tell you, it's pretty amazing.
Designed to combat flights over private property by paparazzi photographers looking to get glimpses of celebrities in their "natural elements," a new bill, AB 856, signed by California Governor Jerry Brown Tuesday, broadens the definition of a "physical invasion of privacy" to include flying a drone to record images or video over private property. While countless issues surrounding invasion of privacy and drone usage have appeared on the Internet over the years (including one instance of a father shooting down a drone recording his daughter sunbathing in their backyard), this expansion could pose more danger to well-intentioned videographers.
Recently our own Lee Morris shot a model photoshoot entirely with an iPhone 6s Plus, showing that with proper lighting technique, a good model, and proficient use of editing software, you can obtain professional looking results with even the most humble of cameras. Andrew Weber, a professional sports photographer, decided to take it one step further by capturing the unpredictable environment of a primetime NFL game with only his iPhone 6s Plus in hand. Weber was kind enough to answer some of our questions and provide a great sampling of his photos from the shoot.
Aerial photography has always been something that I have found interesting. Seeing so many of our writers like David Geffin, Mike Kelley, and Noam Galai capture exciting photos and video from the sky has inspired me to finally attempt my first doors-off helicopter excursion. In just one short one-hour ride, I've learned a lot of do's and don'ts as well as a bunch of things to experiment with again. I even attempted shooting with a $7,000 lens that everyone told me would be a disaster — and it nearly was!