Unmanned flying objects, referred to as drones, are taking center stage as part of an exciting new branch of photography and videography known as dronography. It’s this aspect of drone technology that holds so much promise and potential, already evidenced by stunning aerial shots inside of volcanoes and above locations previously requiring risky helicopter flights to to capture views from certain angles.
Since drones can be safely operated from a distance, the boundaries of traditional photography, even traditional aerial photography, are literally being shattered as this new technology continues to develop. The photos and videos captured by drones have already expanded the capabilities of what humans can see and witness, such as a bird’s eye view of migrating whales that provided valuable insights for scientists.
Dronography requires the use of specially designed drones and, in some cases, specially designed cameras capable of being mounted to drones. In early 2015, Danish camera maker Phase One Industrial unveiled what is considered the world’s smallest 80-megapixel medium format aerial camera. The camera, designed to allow drone operators to have more flexibility with how it’s used, has already produced impressive results. The Phantom 3 Quadcopter by DJI is among the current crop of popular drones used for aerial photography.
The possibilities of what can be accomplished with drone photography and videography are practically limitless. Conservationists would be able to capture images and video of remote lands without disrupting pristine lands. On a practical level, rescuers could use drone imagery to assess disaster areas or better search for survivors.
There’s also the marketing potential to consider. For instance, real estate agents could display more detailed aerial images of properties than what’s now available. Car dealerships could take car buyers along for a virtual test drive while providing more encompassing views.
Cost-effectiveness is another part of the appeal of drone photography. While an investment would be required for the necessary equipment, the sheer volume of photographic images available, not to mention the dynamic views, make it an investment that’s likely to more than pay for itself over time given the vast potential of such technology.