I am sure I don’t have to tell you that drone photography and video has elevated the opportunity for delivering those one-of-a-kind shots to new levels. Chicago’s astounding skyline immediately comes to mind. A couple of years ago, like any professional photographer who relishes new ideas, I tried out my wings, as it were.
After a few months of practice, I had a chance to put my drone skills to work at a large corporate outing at a beautiful venue in Arizona. Everybody loved the results, because we were able to produce a flyover piece that fascinated and impressed the attendees. Glorious aerial footage that doesn’t require the astronomical cost of renting a helicopter, with video results you can show the world on the same day – you can’t beat it.
Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one who got bitten by the Drone Bug. In 2016, the FAA was right behind us, making sure we knew all the rules and regulations before they would let us take to the air commercially.
Like anybody driving a car, you have to be sixteen. And pay a fee to get certified. There’s a two hour, sixty question written exam, which must be taken in person at an approved location. If you pass the test, your registration is valid for two years. And it must be displayed on the drone at all times. Did I mention the TSA also has to vet you?
There are speed limits for drones – no flying over 100 MPH. There are also altitude limits — no higher than 400 feet. And you need to keep the drone within your visual line of sight. Not to mention drones must always yield right of way to manned aircraft. Without a waiver, which costs more than you might expect, you can’t fly at night, or over crowds of people, stadiums and other crowded venues.
One more thing — I wanted to do a little video demonstration with the drone so here is a test shoot for Crimson Design & Construction. This footage (I will speed it up for the final video) will open a marketing video capturing the entire process with b-roll footage of the construction and interviews with the buyers, designer and architect.