Product review: DJI’s Inspire 2 drone

October 2017 issue Tech

The Inspire 2, DJI’s flagship professional drone, will fill you with creative inspiration. This is the long-awaited successor to the Inspire 1, a drone that became the mainstay on movie sets around the globe. The $2,999 price tag (without camera) reflects its superior level of engineering and sophistication.AIRFRAMEThe Inspire 2 inherits its predecessor’s design, with landing gear that pivots upward to bring the motors above the fuselage, allowing the camera to have an unobstructed... Continue Reading >

What you need to know about drone registration and licensing

4.21.2017 Tech

There are few technologies today with more conflicting regulations and misinformation than that of the legal operation of small unmanned aircraft systems, more commonly referred to as drones.Let’s start with the basics: aircraft registration, operator licensing, and insurance.© Russell Caron 1. REGISTERING YOUR AIRCRAFTRegistering the aircraft is easy and inexpensive. The FAA website is where you need to register any aircraft weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds. If you're a... Continue Reading >

How to do drone photography

November 2016 issue Business

IN ON THE GROUND FLOORAerial photographer Parker Gyokeres first started experimenting with drone photography as a public affairs photojournalist in the U.S. Air Force. On assignment to document various operations, Gyokeres often wanted to get more elevated perspectives, but he couldn’t get high enough with a ladder or on a building.So Gyokeres started building drones by modifying early remote aircraft to serve as airborne platforms for his camera. Back then in the mid-2000s, Gyokeres and... Continue Reading >

Accidents happen: Insure your drone

10.6.2016 News

Thanks to new regulations enacted this fall, it's now easier than ever to add drone photography to your business. But beyond passing the FAA's aeronautical knowledge test and being vetted by the TSA, you'll also need something else: insurance. Yes, even with a drone pilot certificate and countless hours operating your trusty flier, accidents happen, says Kristen Hartman, director of member value and experience at PPA. If your drone malfunctions and drops out of the sky onto a person or a... Continue Reading >

Keeping up with the drones: Interdrone 2016

9.21.2016 News

This year’s international drone convention, Interdrone, was attended by more than 3,500 people and reflected the rapid maturing of the commercial drone industry. The FAA’s new Part 107 regulations were prevalent throughout the convention and there was a particular focus on the data that drones capture. Here are some key highlights from the show.© Justin Moore FAA Administrator Michael HuertaPart 107 drone regulationsFrom the keynote address of FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to... Continue Reading >

Register your drone

September 2016 issue Business

What’s the first thing you’ll do when you get your new drone—take it out to the backyard and start flying? Of course not! You’ll register it with the FAA.Whether you’re flying a drone recreationally or commercially, the FAA dictates that before you fly outside you must:Register your UAS if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds. Label your UAS with your registration number. Read and understand all safety guidelines.Do it here: The... Continue Reading >

7 Drone Commandments

September 2016 issue Business

Tips for novice pilots1. Read the manual. Accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS receiver, flight controller, digital compass—these are just a few of the components that make up a drone. To ensure all that technology works in your favor, be sure you understand how to perform the required preflight calibrations.2. Think about more than just lighting. Those magic hours in the morning, evening, or on a nice overcast day provide the best lighting for your shots. But with a camera suspended possibly... Continue Reading >

9 drone composition tips

September 2016 issue Tech

New angles on image contentComposition is one essential element that separates enjoyable images from outstanding ones. In order to get an interesting camera angle, I’ve photographed from the top of a ladder, on the roof of a building, in a bucket truck, even from a helicopter with my feet on the landing strut.Drone imaging has given us a new way to obtain unique camera angles. Let’s take a look at some of the details you’ll need to consider when planning these compositions.1.... Continue Reading >

13 things to know before you’re drone-ready

6.27.2016 Tech

The FAA’s newly released rules for the operation of small drones will blow open the doors for working photographers who’ve wanted to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) commercially.The long-awaited regulations are set to take effect in August. Here are 13 things you need to know before operating a small drone as a part of your photography business.Pilot requirements:1. Be at least 16 years old2. Pass a test of aeronautical knowledge3. Be vetted by the Transportation Safety... Continue Reading >

FAA Releases New Rules for Small Drone Operation

6.21.2016 News

The FAA has released its long-awaited new rules for small drone operations. These regulations apply to the use of any unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) weighing less than 55 pounds for any reasons other than for hobby or recreational purposes. The rules, of course, apply to operating small drones as a part of your photography business. They'll take effect in August. As expected, the finalized rules are very similar to those proposed by the FAA in February. According to the new rules, you'll no... Continue Reading >