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Drones in the News: Unbelievable Video!

Drones are making the news quite a bit lately. Between the ease with which people can share videos and photos on the Internet and the ease with which helicams can capture amazing examples of both, these little unmanned aerial vehicles have been getting a lot of press or, rather, the footage and images they capture have.

Here are some of the most interesting stories about drones in the news.

Reddit Drone Footage
DJI Phantom flying through FireworksReddit is always a good place to go to find something interesting to read or watch. One of their members, RedditSchmedit took footage of a fireworks display with his multirotor. 

He took his helicam—or a friend’s rather—through a fireworks display, capturing some amazing footage, according to C-NET. 

If you’ve ever wondered what a firework looks like going off in three dimensions, this is a video worth seeing. It’s breathtaking in parts, with the colored embers from the fireworks creating amazing patterns that rush outward from the bright explosions at their cores.

As a side note, in the aforementioned article, the editor doesn’t recommend doing this with your helicam. If you’re wondering: yes, this could blow your drone out of the sky. In fact, the daring friend who risked his drone for this footage lost it in the ocean on another escapade, according to the article.

Not recommended for a repeat performance, but this footage is definitely worth seeing!

Drone Flies near Volcano
Helicam video of erupting volcanoIf you’re like most people, you’d love to see a volcano erupt in person, but you’re too smart to want to get close.
Why not send in a helicam?

That’s what one Hawaiian man did with his drone. He might have risked an expensive  piece of equipment, but it’s hard to argue that the footage isn’t worth it. It's amazing. The helicam footage shows the volcano, blowing lava high into the sky, thick clouds of smoke and more, in both day and night footage. The caldera is clearly visible, glowing with an intense orange light. It was taken by Shaun O’Callaghan on Tanna Island. The volcano is named Yasur.

Getting this kind of footage, of course, greatly imperils your UAV. Again, unless you can replace it painlessly, it’s not recommended that you fly your drone into these dangerous situations. It’s also apparent, however, that multirotors allow regular people to get the kind of footage that would be endlessly interesting to specialists, such as geologists and volcanologists, who might find great value in studying these photos and images.

Drone Selfie. Dronie?
Selfies have a way of being boring but drones make them a lot more fun. One of the recent trends with helicams is taking selfies with the aerial vehicles, which offer some fun possibilities. Slate links to one such video, showing a group of friends taking a selfie in a very beautiful desert landscape, and zooming out to really capture the effect.

This could do a lot to make selfies more interesting. It certainly makes it easier to show 
someone what your vacation destination really looked like!

Drone Around the World
RC Helicam aerial video of big wave surfingIf you want even more amazing helicam footage, check out this article on The Guardian. From NYC to the Serengeti, there are some incredible videos out there being made by people with their own drones and they’re getting a lot of attention these days.

Credit it to the fact that people are creative and that UAVs are affordable right now, or whatever else you think may have gotten the ball rolling here, but there are some really phenomenal videos online that show off familiar places in entirely new ways. Take a drone and some basic video editing skills, combine them and you have the potential for some really unforgettable footage.

Risking the Drone
If you do want to get some incredible helicam video and photos, keep the following in mind before you take it out.

Range: Be sure whatever you want to get on video is in range. If you have a DJI Innovations Phantom or Phantom 2 Vision Plus, however, it’ll come back to you if you get out of range rather than just dropping out of the sky.

Population: Be sure you’re aware if there are a lot of people around. If there are crowds below and you’re doing something that risks disabling the drone—such as shooting video of fireworks—the UAV could become a hazard.

Your Money: Flying into an erupting volcano, between tightly-packed skyscrapers and in other hazardous areas does risk your investment. If you want to get some of the more extreme videos you can take with helicams, practice up on the tame stuff first at a local flying field. A shot of a golf course is much easier to start with than a shot of an oncoming storm or something else that could get intense quickly. The good news is that helicams are more affordable than ever and replacing them doesn’t cost that much.

Then again, don’t be afraid to let your creativity, your sense of adventure and the freedom of flight, soar!

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