If there was any doubt that a lot of photographers are eager to get their hands on helicam devices and experiment with this new technique, it can be laid to rest. Only halfway through the calendar year 2014, the group known as Dronestagram recognized its winners in its first annual helicam photo contest. (Starr, 2014)
While the mere fact that there is a website known as Dronestagram already proves that helicam photography is no longer a specialty "hobby", there is also the fact that many photographers are taking the time to become flying camera experts too. After all, it is one thing to masterfully use a camera and to make beautiful photographs with it, but when partnered with flying a quadcopter or other multi-rotor device, it shows an extreme level of skill.
This contest was the first of its kind, and it might be easily assumed that the people using the helicam arrays were far from helicam experts. However, the results prove that to be inaccurate. From stunning shots of birds of prey and plunging waterfalls to panoramic views of harbors and massive athletic stadiums, it is clear that helicam experts were at work.
This is an interesting topic because the use of a drone or helicam can be particularly challenging depending upon your geographic location. Some countries have no problem with the use of a quadcopter while others (such as the U.S.) are still considering how to draft formal guidelines and rules.
While this can make things a bit confusing for helicam enthusiasts and current quadcopter owners, the good news is that you can still perfect your technique while you wait for complete clarity on the issue. You can turn to the resources at a flying camera store like store.helivideopros.com to learn about the latest gear and even to get certified.
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Heli Video Pros is an acknowledged resource for aerial filming as well as training and certification for drone experts and amateurs alike. Serving as a DJI dealer and helping people to become flying camera experts, they can definitely be a tool for anyone who wants to enter that photo contest next year.
Understanding the Opportunity
Taking a look at the gallery of photographs submitted for the competition makes it plain to see that aerial filming brings an unprecedented opportunity for artists. The helicam provides a previously unseen perspective, and it can be used to create a lot more than just a sense of space or height.
As many major films have demonstrated, a flying camera can create a unique sense of intimacy, even as it is at a distance. This too applies to the use of a quadcopter for photographic stills. Consider one of the winning shots - that of the eagle in flight. While in close proximity to the bird, it juxtaposes the majestic bird against the ground so far below. It creates a sense of nearness and intimacy and yet reminds the viewer of how far they are from the "real world" of life on the ground.
Learning how to master a flying camera would always provide this kind of rare and beautiful photography. Those who want to become aerial filming experts or proficient with a quadcopter will find an endless array of possibilities for using their skills. Drone experts are going to be in growing demand in the near future, but learning how to handle a flying camera can also provide inspiration.
With a helicam, you can leave your perspective on the ground, soar above the world, and record it expertly with a flying camera as your artistic tool of choice.
Starr, Michelle. Best drone photos of 2014. CNET. 2014. http://www.cnet.com/news/best-drone-photos-of-2014/