It’s only July but I am already thinking about what to put on my Christmas wish list and one of the top items is a drone for news photography.
Increasingly, drones are being used for news photography (though the exact rules regarding that usage have yet to be ironed out). Drones offer an aerial perspective that’s rarely been seen before. And sometimes, the best way to look at an event or area is from above and not below.
One of the most visually stunning drone videos I’ve seen is of a fireworks display;
From a strictly news-gathering perspective, this video gives a great overall view of the recent devastation caused by forest fires in north-central Washington state.
I recently collaborated on a video of a drone test flight (the drone was being tested for use a tool to monitor forest health). As limited as the drone-provided video was, it reinforced the visual value of such video.
Drone video is no replacement for solid ground-level photojournalism that can personalize an event and sweep the reader or viewer into a scene. Rather, I see drone video as a valuable tool in a visual journalist’s toolbox, a tool which can provide a different perspective.