Drones put a face on nature and culture

A new generation of small video cameras and consumer robotic helicopters make amazing video shots possible. Stick your phone on a drone for enchanting views of the natural world, architecture, museums, and more. Here’s a cool new video flying a drone around the NY public library:

That was shot by Nate Bolt with a DJI Phantom quad-copter and both a GoPro Hero3 Black and an iPhone 5S. Slowed down with Twixtor in After Effects to make up for the glaring lack of a Gimbal.

A stunning video taken over Niagara Falls this past summer with the same helicopter (watch this one full-screen):

Not as lovely, here’s an example of flying the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Gateway Arch and the Museum Court house in St. Louis with a turbo Ace X830 helicopter. This has potential, but the blades hurt the effect.

Inside the Australian Museum is a charming, short view of the collection from Journeys to the Deep. However, the shots are shaky. The stabilization methods used in the above library example are important.

Drone regulations vary by locality, but is generally legal within height and distance limits from the operator.

Not only are the results a fresh view of scenes, lending an appealing aerial perspective, but audiences are now used to complex camera shots on television and film, so  step up your game with your visuals.

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