Someone much wiser than me said "Cameras are tools not jewels and should be used as such" So much around photography is focused on gear and the latest camera and what those specs will be. Honestly, the cameras 20 years ago still produced great images and were able to render hi-quality magazines, posters, billboards. Over the past three years I've invested in education, training and licensing to be able to use a drone effectively and legally. I don't just fly drones, I look at drones as a way of opening up new perspectives and also provide a relatively inexpensive way of looking at the environment differently, another tool to help clients tell their stories.
I'm currently producing a time lapse of the Saco River during early Spring, the time lapse provides a great way to see long term changes quickly but fails to show the larger impact of rising waters. Coupling drone photography with time lapse paints a much more complete picture of what goes on in Springtime here in the flood plains of the Saco River.
Recently, on an assignment for New Hampshire Magazine I was asked to photograph a small rural hospital in Northern New Hampshire. The obvious portraits and interior images were covered but none of them could possibly show the remote and isolated nature of the area. With some local connections and a few phone calls I was able to get an opportunity for an aerial photograph of the local EMS (ambulance) traveling out along one of the long gravel roads. This wide vista and ambulance image ended up being the opening spread for the article and immediately showed readers how far away some people live from medical care. A perfect illustration of having a tool that can help tell a better story.
When covering stories on climate change or conservation issues having the ability to cover large areas and show the vastness of flooding or forest cover is a necessity for a complete story. Much like DSLR's drones are also capable of filming still images and video with the flip of a switch, making them a truly versatile tool for anyone telling stories.