When an organization like the Pulitzer Center decides to spotlight photography done using drone equipment and high quality flying cameras, it is time to accept that aerial filming is the way of the future.
What You Cannot See
A recent exhibition created by photographer Tomas van Houtryve (who "documents critical contemporary issues around the world" [Pulitzer, 2014]) revealed the amazing new perspectives that such a flying camera can provide. The view from the drone reveals an entirely different world of shadows, contrast, and dramatic scenes that are unseen with the normal human eye - even if seated in a plane or helicopter.
Though a lot of consumers are well aware of the beauty of an aerial shot over a large landscape or for dramatic effect in a film, the photos spotlighted by the Pulitzer Center all rely on black and white still photography (shot with a high definition camera) to tremendous effect. And although the underlying messages in the work are meant to be about government and privacy, the possibilities that a flying camera and drone equipment can afford to artists cannot be ignored.
As an example, using his drone and camera array, the photographer was able to capture scenes that border on abstract and yet which, upon closer observation, reveal themselves to be scenes of "everyday life". Weddings, burials, playgrounds at lunch time, and even prison yards are captured from far above and in entirely unique ways.
In this way, a flying camera becomes a means of creating very engaging art rather than a simple spy gadget, and this is an important statement to the other visual artists of the world.
The Current and the Future
Anyone interested in utilizing a helicam or drone to attempt unique photography or filming should give attention to works such as those done by Houtryve. They demonstrate the value that flying camera experts will bring to the art world of the future.
Currently, some aerial filming experts are at work in the creative arts industry. Heli Video Pros, as an example, is a company based in Vancouver, Canada and which has been making aerial filming experts available to film production teams, commercial agencies, and other similar enterprises.
The firm also makes top-of-the-line cameras and multi-rotor units available for sale through their online shop at store.helivideopros.com. However, instead of simply buying a camera and drone it is wise to consider enrolling for some of the company's training, as well.
The Need for Technical Expertise
It has to be stated that a drone or even a multi-rotor device such as a quadcopter is something that demands experience and skill to use safely and artistically. This cannot be ignored, as there are some limitations imposed on artists seeking to create unique films or photos.
What is a bit frustrating for many is the fact that a drone and helicam array can be tricky to use simply because of current flight rules at work in different parts of the world. It takes special licensing and training in some areas, and can impose limitations on the use of a multi-rotor or drone device. This is why some turn to those with the expertise, licensing, and know-how to discover how best to use a drone and helicam, and only then attempting to make works such as those of Houtryve.
Once you experience the endless possibilities of a flying camera, you may never want to limit your "view" to those on the ground. A helicam and drone work together almost magically to create unforgettable images. Take a page from helicam experts and master the technical aspects of the work, and then get started on making your own award winning and prize-worthy shots.
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Blue Sky Days. PulitzerCenter.org. 2014. http://pulitzercenter.org/projects/north-america-drones-surveillance-government-war-liberty-UAV