(Source: The Guardian)
We all have the right to a drone of our own. Admittedly, if everyone flies robot aircraft, the skies will get very full, and some drones are large enough and can go high enough to worry civil aviation authorities. But a drone equipped with a camera is an amazing perspective-shifting device that allows anyone to see the world in a new way.
American artists who make use of drones – from graffiti artists to anarchistic scrutineers of the security state – are worried that new regulations to be submitted to Congress by the Federal Aviation Administration later this year will make it impossible to use a drone to spray paint from above or make a video of the US-Mexico border.
But this is one of those cases where the Joseph Beuys saying “Jeder Mann ein Künstler” (everyone is an artist) surely applies. Drones are becoming one of the coolest toys around. You can get a small one for about £50, and a large unmanned craft that can carry several cameras is available for £500 to £1,000. These devices can fly astonishingly high and are remarkably stable. Aerial photography has thus been democratised.
What do people photograph using “toy” drones? A drone photography competition launched by National Geographic brought together some soaring pictures taken all over the world by drone fans. Tremendous views of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia from above are among the vertiginous shots selected as the best drone pictures of 2014. The competition was run in conjunction with Dronestagram, a site for sharing such mind-expanding images.
Drones offer the kind of changed viewpoint that fascinated cubist artists a century ago. One of the reasons the traditional confines of pictorial space were shattered in the early 20th century was the invention of flight. The new view of the world from the cockpit of a plane opened eyes in the imagination. Robert Delaunay’s 1914 painting Hommage à Blériot celebrates this new way of seeing.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com