Commercial Use of Aerial Footage is Now Legal


Commercial Use of Aerial Footage is Now Legal

Aerial drones are a relatively new piece of technology that sound people fine invasive, while others find invigorating.  Regardless of how you may feel personally about drones, you have to admit that they are incredible pieces of technology that are really helping us understand just how the world is progressing.  For those who are loving drones and everything that they can do in how we see the world, you’re about to love them even more, because the commercial use of aerial footage is now legal.  Wondering what that means?  Here are all of the details that you need to know.


Drones are now valid lines of work

Before now, it was assumed that those who invested time and money into getting a professional drone system with all of the hottest technological gadgets that go hand in hand, it was only for personal gain.  After all, drones are just toys that you can play with and won’t actually do anything useful, right?  While this may be true for the department store brand, the professional drone operators with a good quality craft are now able to say that flying a drone is an official line of work.

Many of us are not privy to understanding the fine work involved in drone flying, but there are many companies out there who are taking advantage of it.  This is done, for example, by certain companies offering to connect drone flyers with companies who are looking for footage to be created.  Like other freelancer sites, this gives the drone flyers the ability to get in touch with oppourtunities and contacts that they otherwise wouldn’t have.  Thus, drone flying is now a profitable career option for those who are ready to get serious about it.


These are some of the highest source of income

While this may sound like some sort of trick, it’s the truth.  The companies out there (like the one used as an example above), are some of the most profitable in the business world because they are jumping on the technology train and using their resources to fund a portion that is only going to grow faster as time goes on.

There are companies dedicated now to training those interested in learning to fly them, companies who are putting their resources towards developing more and more advanced technologies in the programming of drones, etc.  Any company that is somehow connected to the development of drones and the related technology is making a lot of money quickly.  It’s an exciting endeavour that has amazed businessmen and women everywhere.


They can be used in rescue work

Drones can be used in all sorts of situations including rescue work.  Imagine if you could send in an unmanned machine to survey the damage so that no human life is put at risk going through rubble or debris until it is cleared to be safe for those who can go in and get help to those who need it.  Additionally, drones can be used in rescue work where the manpower has to be centered around saving lives.

If a drone can help find lost and injured people by flying around and finding them at fast speeds, the time and effort of rescue workers is used much more wisely, meaning safer work experiences and more lives saved at the end of the day. Rescue work is a hard job that takes a toll on its workers, both physically and emotionally.  With the use of drones, the jobs will become a little easier and maybe the profession will become more rewarding so that not as many people burn out from the program after 5-10 years.  Rescue work can become a career option for everyone interested in it.

There are restrictions, and a license required

Now that it is commercially legal, there are some restrictions put onto drone usage in America, mostly centered around safety.  The person who is flying the drone (or, responsible for it) must be at least 16 years old and have taken a special certification course that will show the student how to take care of the drone and maximize the safety of everyone involved.  This certificate is also required at minimum if the footage is to be used commercially, because it also teaches about basic video recording tasks so that the footage quality is the best it can be.

While it may seem overly bureaucratic, it’s definitely a good idea as professional drones become more popular.  Those flying them as well as creating the footage need to be trained at minimum to make sure that the good name of those professionals out there with drones doesn’t get tarnished.


How does this change the rest of the world?

If you’re not totally up to date on drones and their importance, you may be wondering how this new legislation can change the rest of the world.  One of the ways, already mentioned, is with rescue work and other dangerous activities where surveillance is needed.

Another form of its usefulness is in careers like real estate.  When a photo needs to be taken of something out of reach – where an aerial view might be more beneficial – drone photography is certainly something that can really offer a lot of perspective to the photograph.  Drones are starting to enter all sorts of workplaces in great ways, and it is clear that the world of video- and photography is changing for the better.


The commercial use of aerial footage is a good thing for all of us, while we may not be impacted by it personally.  It is an innovative field where technology is optimized and perfected for the field it is used in.  Knowledge grows and power shifts.  This has now all been harnessed in the legalization of the footage.  Many are waiting with bated breath to see what comes next, and while it is unclear as to how the future is going to go for drones, it is certain that there will be a future for them.

The benefits of Shooting On Super 16mm

Arri 416 - super 16 mm only   Photo credit:    

The trend: Super 16mm film 

An artist has their favourite painting style.  A writer has their favourite genre, a musician has their favourite beat, etc.  When you devote your life to the artistic form, you find what works for you and what doesn’t.  Since art is all about interpreting what you see, feel and hear and then making it your own, each person’s style is as unique as a fingerprint.  Those behind the camera have their own favourite styles too, from different lenses, to focuses to poses that make each of their photos and videos unique.  One of the ways the filmmakers leave their touch on the world is through what camera they choose to use.  Each choice creates a different mood and atmosphere, whether the viewer is aware of it or not.  A hot and impressive style right now is actually a blast to the past: the Super 16mm film.

Some photographers say that you can never get the feeling that old film cameras can give you, especially if you’re looking for the grainy and slightly blurred features when shooting people-themed video.  Those who have worked with film all their lives find that switching to digital can never give you that same feeling.  We could spend all day debating whether that point is true or not, but the point of this is to focus on the Super 16mm film camera.  This is a film camera that is able to give the same feeling and ambiance that you’re looking for, making it perfect for those film makers that are looking for a pure experience.

Most movies are shot digitally so that the content can be edited, cut, switched, modified, etc.  It’s a modern world that is all about using the first several takes to make sure that the perfect one is created from them.  With shooting with a digital camera, the final product comes from manipulation.  When shooting with film cameras, however, such as the Super 16mm, there’s more authenticity to it.  You can’t simply splice and dice the film the same way you can with the digital format.  You have to get it right the first time so that the editing is minimal.

With a digital camera, the focus is on the crisp picture, the perfect edits, and getting the right combination of takes to make sure that you can get the perfect cone after patching them all together perfectly.  With a film camera, the focus is on getting the right take from start to finish.  The audience notices the brilliant acting and the realistic focus that is a bit grainy to give an honest touch to the acting.  The focus remains on the story being told, not the special effects of digital filming.

When you’re looking at genres, the fast paced and action filled thrillers tend to go for the high end digital cameras.  They need the crystal clear picture to go along with the special effects that make those movies so popular.  Fo those slower paced dramas that centre around human evolution and character depth, the Super 16mm is the best way to go.  It allows the audience to see through the camera’s eye in a literal sense: you are focusing on the characters and the stories instead of seeing the production behind it.  The camera is transparent so that you can enjoy the struggles and triumphs of the characters, only when the final credits roll do you remember that you were watching a movie, and not part of the story itself.

Using the Super 16mm film camera allows for a more fulfilling human experience at the movies so that everyone gets a chance to experience an alternate reality, one where they feel changed when the story ends and you have to exit the theatre.  Digital cameras can be as high tech as they want, but they’ll never take the place of the soulful filming that traditional film cameras have.  We are in the best part of the world where we get to experience both kinds and enjoy each genre to its fullest extent.


Academy Award nominated cinematographer Ed Lachman, his work on Todd Haynes’ new film “Carol,” starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

Interested in Becoming a Director of Photography? Here’s what you need to know.

Like any positions in the film industry, most students figure out the hard way that just because you earn a film related degree doesn’t mean you’re going to become a professional director of photography overnight. That said, it’s a rewarding career path that, if you’re passionate about cinematography, will be well worth working for. The following information provides things to consider that will help you get the most out of your journey.Photo credit:

What is a Director of Photography (DP)?
A director of photography is responsible for determining the best camera, lens as well as the necessary lighting equipment for the project, the overall look of the video, and hiring the lighting and camera crews. They also create the lighting for every shot and advise and oversee the crew regarding where to place the camera equipment and lights, along with the camera movements. The DP also collaborates with the director to develop lighting strategies and camera actions that will help tell the story. Coming up with a great video production is much more than simply recording a scene, and a professional DP will be able to take the film production far beyond an average production.

While most DP’s have obtained an undergraduate/graduate degrees in photography or cinematography, some pursue degrees in media studies, art, acting or film production.

Hand On Experience
The important thing to remember is that the earlier you get “hands on” experience, the better when it comes to finding employment and moving up the ranks. For example, if your college or university has a TV station, try to work there part time to learn the fundamentals of film production.

Pursue an Internship
Go after at least one internship before graduating and look for other opportunities, including working on commercial products and/or Interested in Becoming a Director of Photography? Here’s what you need to know.. Even if you’re generally focused on motion pictures, any kind of professional experience will help you build credibility.

Practice Makes Perfect
Never stop practicing your craft. Even if you get a job related to the industry, consider making your own films in your spare time, using the contacts you have in the industry to network with the people who might recognize your talents. Someone who has made the journey before you has the best perspective for you to learn from.

Regardless of the path you choose or the relationships that you cultivate, having a strong work ethic, great attitude and artistic aspirations is essential if you want to work your way up to DP.

This information for becoming a director of photography will help guide you and the included links will take you to other practical resources for more in-depth coverage.

Useful Links:
Camera Crew Breakdown
Grip & Electric Departments
8 Cinematographers Behind Famous Directors
Roger Deakins’ Forum
Evan Richards’ Cinematographer Index
Shane Hurlbut’s Inner Circle

The 5 Best Cameras of 2016

The 5 Best Cameras of 2016

 What new photo/video equipment can we expect to see in the months ahead? With the 2015 release of outstanding cameras like the Canon C300 MkII and Sony a7SII , the bar has been set high again for new, innovative options. Whether you’re upgrading your current setup or investing in a camera for the first time, you’ll definitely have some great ones to choose from this year.

Whet your appetite with this roundup of the juiciest camera rumors of 2016.

1. Canon EOS Cameras
These cameras have a pixel count that easily equals medium format cameras yet has a body that’s conveniently portable, with their 5DS model pushing the “performance to size” proportions which is why it was so popular. The EOS 5DS was designed to use in scenarios where detail is critical, including landscape shots, commercial photography, fashion photography and more. There are also several new Canon EOS cameras expected out in 2016.

2. GoPro

While the GoPro Hero4 Black is a tough act to follow, the increasing competition from competing action cam manufacturers is bound to inspire GoPro into introducing the Hero5. It’s also expected that they’ll take another step forward with video processing power. GoPro has revealed its Karma drone, sparking new rumors of a possible GoPro Hero 5.

3. Sony A6100

Sony’s A6100 camera has confirmed that it will be shipping out in March this year, featuring an impressive 36 megapixel sensor. New speculation also suggests that the Sony a7000 or a6100 or will also feature a new 4D focus, along with additional features that include 4K video recording.

4. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Successor

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Digital Camera (Black)
When it comes to compact cameras, the Lumix DMC-LX100 really stands out. The Panasonic LX100 produces excellent video and photo quality, includes a fantastic set of features, as well as top notch performance. The good news is that a successor to the LX100 is expected out this fall.

5. Nikon D5 DSLR

Photo of D5 XQD
Without a doubt, the biggest news when it comes to the best cameras of 2016 is Nikon’s new DSLR. It features a new 20.8, megapixel sensor, a completely redesigned AF system along with 12 fps shooting, 153 AF points 0 99 that are cross typed, an impressive new touchscreen display and dual CF and XQD selections. This DSLR monster is just a few months away from being released.

Contrary to what you’ll hear some smartphone users say, digital cameras are far from obsolete. Even with the rapid innovation in smartphone cameras, there really isn’t any comparison. Even better, quality camera manufacturers have taken nor and continue to evolve their own technology, so not only image quality but the cameras themselves never have looked better than they do today. Sensor size and megapixels continue to increase and camera bodies continue to get sleeker, all while adding more manual controls and easier learner curves. We can’t wait to see what’s coming next in the digital camera world.