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Drones – a new perspective


Author: Tilman Wagner, DW Innovations


 

Six examples of drones adding new insights

Drones are all the rage when it comes to new, spectacular images and perspectives. With the new drone models becoming more and more powerful and also cheaper, more and more people are getting into shooting short clips and pictures from the sky.

While you can find a lot of amateur footage on the web, some media outlets and filmmakers are really taking drone videography to the next level, delivering sometimes spectacular new views or simply different new perspectives to us, we haven’t yet seen this way.

We looked for some prominent examples that were published over the last couple of years. They are very different, impressive, sometimes sad and tragic. But all of them show the possibilities of using drones for documentation and how it can change our perspective on things.

 
01. The Wreck of the Costa Concordia

When the Italian Cruise Ship “Costa Concordia” struck an underwater rock in 2012 and sank off the Italian island Isola del Giglio, Italy, the story quickly made the news. Public interest in the event was high and many international media companies sent their teams to the island to cover the shipwreck. But it took a small and unknown “aerospace company” named “Team BlackSheep” to produce really interesting views on the ship. The group that was later arrested for their actions deemed illegally at the time, used two quadcopters to fly around the shipwreck and give a completely new perspective on the situation.

 
02. Documenting Tchernobyl

The nuclear catastrophe of Tchernobyl in 1986 has been reported on many times. Just recently it made the news because of the new safety measures being put into place. But nothing shows the aftermath of the disaster so drastically, like the abandoned city Pripyat, Ukraine right next to the reactor, especially when seen from above, filmed with a drone. There are two slightly different videos, one produced in 2014 by Danny Cooke for CBS (“Postcards from Pripyat”) giving a spooky overview of the old apartment blocks, the hastily left public places and the remains of live in the city:

Then there is another one by Philipp Grossman, who teamed up with Chinese one manufacturer DJI to shoot drone footage for a longer documentary on the nuclear catastrophe named “Exploring the Zone” (started in 2011).

He later also used the material in a comparing sequence with Fukushima. Looking at more material from Fukushima (done by HEXaMedia) gives a similar impression on the devastation there. Both videos are worth watching and clearly show how drones can give new insights, getting us closer to a story.

 
03. Volcano Expedition

Another great example of drones adding a new perspective to a story is National Geographic’s expedition to Ambrym, a volcanic island in the South Pacific in 2015. The team took several drones with them to both document the trip and also map a volcano crater. The expedition came back with some spectacular footage of the volcano, and a few drones short, due the harsh conditions, especially heat and unstable winds inside the crater. The footage was also used to map the volcano into a 3D-CGI-model – the first of its kind, allowing for further scientific research and insights.

 
04. The Vast Extent of Auschwitz

Honouring the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi death camp in Poland, in January 2015, the BBC used drones for new perspectives of the camp grounds. The BBC tried to present its audiences with a glimpse of the large area the three parts of the camp covered. The drone footage gives viewers a new perspective on the sheer size of Auschwitz, allowing them to understand a little better the extent of the atrocities connected to this place and making history a bit more comprehensible.

 
05. The Syrian War

Ever since the situation in Syria has escalated to a full war between the different opposition groups and the government, it has become very difficult to obtain reliable news from inside the country. Most media companies are relying on Syrians inside the country to send out messages, images and short video clips about the situation on the ground. In the last year, several news outlets broadcast some drone videos of places like Homs and Aleppo. The videos dramatically show the devastation the war has caused on these places, giving us an insight into the terrible situation civilians are facing in Syria.

 
06. New Technologies in the Sky

To end our list on a lighter tone, here is an example of how drone technology and filmography is continuously improving, allowing for more spectacular shots. In this example film-maker Artem Pryadko created a stunning series of aerial shots of his hometown Minsk, Belarus. He used a new way of shooting time lapses certainly creating a beautiful view of the city throughout the seasons.

 

Of course there are many more examples out there, showcasing what is possible using drone-mounted cameras and providing us with new perspectives on events.

Do you have a favorite drone clip you would like to share? Post it in the comments down below or share it with us on twitter.

 

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