Welcome To The Future: Forget Selfie Sticks; You’ve Got Drones!

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Photo of by Priyam Bagga

For those of you who spend their days living under rocks or have just stepped out of a time machine and have come from the past, drones are aerial vehicles that are controlled remotely, and some of them even have cameras mounted on them.

Photo of Welcome To The Future: Forget Selfie Sticks; You’ve Got Drones! 1/4 by Priyam Bagga

Credit: Ed Schipul/Flickr

Drones began life as unmanned instruments of war, but soon went commercial. They used to be just another fancy toy for the rich, but not anymore. If you’re an avid photographer or a travel freak, this nifty gadget will probably feature high on your ‘must haves’ list. DSLRs are too much work and selfie sticks are passé. Drones are the trendiest way to acquire cutting-edge images and video. These aerial RC gadgets will help you capture stunning photographs and videos that will leave you speechless! They offer every traveler an absolutely incredible way to catalog their expeditions. If you’re still not sold on the idea of a flying robot taking pictures and videos for you, take a look at this video:

No, that wasn’t shot on a million dollar budget or with a 100-person film crew. As you can see, drones are absolutely unbelievable at capturing natural landscapes. This is especially good news for those of you who love taking pictures and videos of natural scenery and wildlife. Here’s another video that captures the breathtakingly gorgeous Arctic landscape and one that managed to get a 2000-strong Beluga whale congregation so stunningly on film:

Drone photography lets you experiment with your frames and snap the kind of images that you would never otherwise imagine! Aerial shots provide you with a unique point of view, give your work a richer perspective, and add mesmerizing beauty and variety to an otherwise straightforward, not to mention earthbound, catalog. The staggering visuals that you will shoot with your drone camera are going to be enviable to say the least, and you get to do it all while playing with an actual flying machine! What’s not to love?

Photo of Welcome To The Future: Forget Selfie Sticks; You’ve Got Drones! 2/4 by Priyam Bagga

Credit: Pixabay

If you’ve gone ahead and decided that you’re going to buy a drone, here are some tips:

  • If you haven’t bought a drone with a camera, you need to buy a video camera separately that will provide you with the best image quality and is no problem for your drone’s size and weight. No fancy cameras are required either; you just need to make sure that whichever one you pick does not vibrate when your drone flies because that will completely ruin the photograph or video.
  • Small drones are more susceptible to vibrations than larger ones. If you’re having problems with yours, I suggest you invest in gimbals and vibration isolators.
  • Have your research in place when it comes to drone aerial photography and the extra equipment you will need to become a pro; for example, some drones require anti-gravity motors or a specialized RC remote.
  • Practice with your drone several times before you endeavor difficult, high altitude shots. You won’t get the hang of steering and capturing pictures in your first try. Persevere!
  • See what your drone can and cannot handle. Some drones can’t fly in extremely high altitudes because the air is too thin for them. Also, their motors tend to freeze. Test your drone’s ability before you take on a difficult shot.
  • Do not fly over large crowds of people. Even if you’ve become a professional, the equipment may fail you and may lead to an unfortunate accident.

Photo of Welcome To The Future: Forget Selfie Sticks; You’ve Got Drones! 3/4 by Priyam Bagga

Credit: Eugene Kim/Flickr

Traveling with a drone

Even when you’re in love with the drone you’ve bought, traveling with it can be a bit of a task. Not carrying your drone in a proper hard case is a rookie mistake that could prove costly, so invest in a good one. It doesn’t matter if it seems expensive; this epic machinery is worth that extra bit. If you’re traveling on a plane and you’re worried about its size, call the airline beforehand to see whether your drone will fit in the overhead compartment or underneath your seat. For additional safety, remove the rotor blades and place them in your check-in baggage.

If you plan to take your drone to document your visit abroad, check the local laws before packing it into your suitcase. Some countries do not allow international travel with a drone. You can expect curious questions at security checks because drones aren’t that commonplace yet. There are rules about batteries too because they can be extremely dangerous. Here’s an informative video about carrying batteries safely:

Oh, and if you’re a tech freak, this piece of news should get you excited. A new drone called the Ehang 184 was unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week and it can accommodate a passenger! Now, that would be an insane way to take pictures! There is no specific release date for this vehicle, but it’s good to see where drone technology is headed. Right now, there are no regulations that even allow this sweet piece of technology to fly because this drone has never existed before! But as more of these are produced, there will be. And I’m pretty sure we all can wait till then.

Photo of Welcome To The Future: Forget Selfie Sticks; You’ve Got Drones! 4/4 by Priyam Bagga

Credit: sUAS News

For now, drones are your best bet for capturing the most insane photographs and videos ever. Welcome to the future, travelers!

If you want to learn more about drones, you should join a drone community. Two popular ones are My First Drone Beginners Group and DIY Drones.