Reaching For The Sky : How Drones Are The Next Big Thing!
It’s a bird – It’s a plane – It’s a… drone?
If you’re a movie buff, this might be familiar to you. Chances are, you have oohed and aahed at several gorgeous, long-range shots of snowy mountains and dew soaked valleys. The effect is magical – it’s almost as though the viewers are birds soaring through the sky as the scene unfolds.
What Is A Drone?
Simply put, a drone is a very small unmanned aircraft. Initially, they were used by military groups for work that was deemed ‘too dull or dirty’ for humans. Since then, the sky has been the limit (pun intended). Used for a variety of purposes – commercial, recreational and scientific – drones are here to stay.
Last May, Mumbai became the first city to have a margarita pizza delivered via drone!
Under current regulations, however, the use of drones for commercial purposes is still illegal in India. Francesco’s Pizzeria cleverly found a loophole in the law by delivering the pizza to the owner’s ‘friend’—not a ‘customer’. But the delivery made a lot of buzz in the country all the same! Drones are also used for disaster relief and other efforts, but its use is only now being explored in terms of aerial photography. In this, we’ll be discussing how drone photography for events is an attractive option, and what you’d need to get things going.
Already de rigueur at high profile outings and Bollywood films (Salman Khan’s Kick, for example) drones are taking off in a big way. (We also apologize for the number of drone puns in this post). Classic photos of people smiling stiffly in rows pale in comparison to stunning photos taken by drones. They throw a special spotlight on the beauty of the surroundings, the patterns and colors, the incredible vastness of the world around.
In fact, the very first aerial photography session in the world was carried out in 1858 by Gaspard-Félix Tournachon in France. With the help of a hot air balloon, he flew to a height of 80 meters to take his photos. Unfortunately enough for historians, none of his pictures survived to this date. However, as you can see, finding ways to take that perfect shot has been around for several centuries now!
Here’s what professional photographers have to say on Aerial Photography: A drone will serve you with excellent shots if you ensure that there is sufficient light in the area that you intend to capture with it. The ideal time for using a drone for photography and videography is just before the sunset. A lot of sunshine will be detrimental to the aerial shots in terms of quality. A drone will always disappoint you on days when it’s raining, snowing or windy out there. So, use your drone when the breeze is gentle, and the natural light is reasonable.
What’s The Difference?
While ordinary photos are wonderful and great for nearly all occasions, drone photography just adds that little sparkle to your photos. For example, take the picture below. Ordinary photos of the couple would include them smiling happily against various backdrops. This photo was taken by a drone, however, makes the viewer’s eyes go wide at the sheer beauty of the moment. It’s almost as though it’s a scene from a movie – the happy couple rowing blissfully across the lake in their little toy boat.
There is a certain je ne sais quoi about the photo that immediately captures your eye.
Drones are used mainly to record cinematic montages and dreamy looking candid shots. Imagine this: a camera pans across the incredible decorations and lights. Then slowly, it dips down and you see the incredible riot of colors and laughing faces – a sea of joyous people celebrating, with the couple laughing at the center of it all, as fairy lights twinkle in the background. Who wouldn’t want to capture such a moment?
Cost is not an issue for those who opt for drones as part of the wedding videography package. With the editing and other costs, it would add up to an extra Rs 30,000. But photographers admit that the recent ban on civilian usage of drones in Chennai has hit the emerging business.
You can see why many people are choosing to get their photos taken via drones. The most popular events are weddings, of course, but as more and more people are enticed by the magic of aerial photography, you could soon see drones at birthday parties as well. The demand for it is soon going to blow sky-high!
Follow The Law
As of now, drones are not permitted for use by civilians. Even though it’s relatively easy to procure a drone, the laws are quite strict as to its usage. According to India Today “… civil aviation regulator DGCA is yet to issue a notification on the use of drones for civilian purposes. The agency banned the use of drones for commercial purposes in October 2014.” Their concern lies in the fact that drones can be used to carry out aerial attacks if not regulated. Also, the process of obtaining a permit is quite difficult as it involves a lot of paperwork and tedium. The results, however, most agree are worth it!
Drones, however, can be used inside homes and halls after obtaining a permit. So if you’re having a grand wedding at one of the many banquet halls in Chennai, having a drone to take some photos adds some oomph to your album. Apart from that, here are some general rules to be followed:
- Buying drones is easy – they’re available at major e-outlets – however, importing them is prohibited.
- Register your drone with a Unique Identification Number
- Obtain the several permits necessary from the various government offices.
So, what are the types of drones available? According to the policy, there are four types of drones: micro (weigh less than 2kg); mini (more than 2kg and less than 20kg); small (more than 20 kg but less than 150kg) and large (more than 150 kg).
However, if you’re not interested in having a drone yourself, fret not. Every drone in the sky has a silver lining – there are photographers and studios who are ready to cater to the demand. In fact, in a recent article by Gadgets Now, photographers admit that drones often steal the show at weddings! Wedding-goers are astonished to see the little aircraft buzz past them, making it an instant celebrity.
Most drones are used only to capture special moments of the event and not the whole event itself. In fact, drones are used more in wedding cinematography than photography! It is the internet age after all – wedding videos are the next big thing. Drones add the extra oomph-factor by providing gorgeous shots that would be quite impossible to get in any other way. Most of them are only used to record about ten minutes of footage.
Next time you feel like adding a touch of élan to your photos and videos, you need to look no further than the skies – drones are here to make them Oscar-worthy. Keep in mind the various permissions that you need to get in order to fly drones in India, and remember that it’s illegal to import them! Otherwise, don’t worry, you can always ask photographers in Chennai for drone captured images. As weddings in Chennai are seeing all kinds of makeover and grandeur nowadays, drones are becoming more of a need than a want.