"Drones: The Case For and Against" - Digital Photography Podcast 530

This is The Digital Story Podcast #530, May 3, 2016. Today's theme is "Drones: The Case For and Against." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Back in April it was reported that a drone struck a British Airways Airbus A320. The story made headlines across the Internet only to be refuted a few days later. Apparently it was most likely a plastic bag that collided with the plane. We're quick to damn drones as an aerial nuisance, but are they really that bad? We'll take a closer look on today's show.

Drones: The Case For and Against

If you've ever been buzzed by a drone, you know what an uncomfortable feeling it is. It's in our DNA to dislike anything that approaches up from above. But to be honest, those are the rare situations, and most drone pilots appear to be responsible.

Personally, I don't use drones for my photography. But that doesn't mean that I've ruled them out either. As part of my vetting process, I've compiled a list of pros and cons that I want to share with you today.


The Case for Drones

  • Cost Effective Arial Photography - I've watched amazing footage that once required a helicopter rental, now able to record with an inexpensive drone.
  • A New Perspective - Many of us constantly search for a new way to photograph the world around us. Drones provide an unique opportunity in this regard.
  • Energize Our Craft - Combining drones and cameras can get one excited about photography again.
  • New Business Opportunities for Photographers - Whether it's real estate or some other commercial endeavor, drones may provide new opportunities for working photographers.
  • Just Plane Fun - What boy hasn't wanted to fly a model airplane, helicopter, or hovercraft? Apart from photography, flying an unmanned aircraft is a hoot.

The Case Against Drones

  • Irresponsible Pilots - Just like there are bad drivers, there are bad pilots too. And in these early stages of the drone evolution, there aren't clear avenues of recourse against irresponsible behavior.
  • Expensive New Hobby - Even those drones are cheaper than helicopters, the cost for aircraft, controllers, gimbals, specialized cameras, cases, and accessories can add up. Add this to an already expensive hobby of photography, you may be looking at a sizable investment.
  • Low Nimbleosity Rating - For those who like to travel light, drones take you on a different path all together.
  • More Travel for Less Shooting - Unlike traditional photography where you can walk out your back door and capture a great shot, you usually have to travel to locations for your arial work. I mean, how many shots of your backyard from above do you want.
  • The Drone Stigma - It's bad enough being a photographer these days, and being a drone photographer just compounds the negativity.

All of that being said, we're early in the drone evolution, so the best course is to keep an open mind and see what develops.

In the News

Fuji Giving Up On the 2/3-inch Sensor, Discontinues the X30 as reported by PetaPixel.

Fujifilm just discontinued the not-quite-popular X30, and while some might think this means an X40 is coming soon, they should think again. Fuji may never put another 2/3-inch sensor into an X-Series camera again.

Coming Soon: The Apple Photos Book for Photographers

I've been working on a guide to Photos for OS X that's written for photographers who want to use this application at a high level. I cover workflow, iCloud integration, and editing... at the enthusiast level.

We're releasing the eBook version soon, then will go to print after Apple announces its updates to the app at WWDC. This is an exciting, ongoing project that I think you'll want to be a part of. And you can join me every step of the way via the signup page we've created. This is going to be fun...

Win 5 Rolls of Tri-X 35mm Film

Film photographers, you can win 5 rolls of fresh Tri-X film just by sending me an About that Shot entry. All you have to do is go to www.theAnalogstory.com, review a couple About that Shot entries, then send me your version and accompanying text. I'll announce the winner on next week's show and on theAnalogstory.com.

Updates and Such

Eastern Sierra Reservation Forms Went Out - I sent out the workshop reservation forms to the Reserve List this weekend. If you were on the list and didn't get a form, please send me an email. The Eastern Sierra photography workshop begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the next round reserve list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

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