Drones have rapidly become powerful tools for photographers and filmmakers alike. Their ability to soar above a scene and give an entirely new perspective to our images makes them increasingly popular. With that popularity, however, comes some negativity, some induced by some drone fliers themselves, others simply myths propagated by people that vehemently dislike the technology. Some of this negativity may put off some prospective buyers who would otherwise have bought into this amazing hobby. Today we are going to look at some of the myths and mistruths about flying drones. I will not delve too deeply into legal matters as this will vary from country to country. I will, however, look at some of the more general misconceptions about drone flying.
Drones Are Unreliable
A quick look through Youtube is enough to scare any potential drone flyer away. Crashes, flyaways, bad designs. The thing is though, a lot of these videos are simply trying to go viral, to garner likes and of course make money. It's human nature that if something goes wrong people are going to post about it. However, what you are seeing is a very small exception to the many drone fliers that do not encounter problems. A drone is a complex sophisticated piece of equipment and must be treated as such. Many of the crashes and fly aways seen on video are caused by operator error. From simple things like not fully charging batteries and then flying to far away over water, to not attaching propellors correctly or not paying attention to the surroundings. Like flying a plane there are an important set of checklists to accomplish before, during and after flying. Stick to these and drones are incredibly reliable.
Claim Your Free Camera Craft Cheat Sheet
Print it out and keep it for when you really need it - when you're out shooting!
Drones Can Be Dangerous
Of course, they can. Rapidly spinning propellors, dead weights dropping from the sky even buzzing airliners on approach. All are issues that can happen and have happened. However, most countries have a strict set of rules about drone flying. These include not flying over groups of people, busy roads, buildings. You must stay a set distance away from any airport and remain below a certain height, usually 120m or 400ft. The vast majority of people adhere to these rules and are responsible fliers. There are however a few idiots out there but they are increasingly being prosecuted for their actions. Personally, I have no issue with a country requiring drone registration or with drone manufacturers geo-locking locations that are dangerous to fly in. There are still huge amounts of beautiful open spaces where you can fly a drone legally and safely.
About the author
Jason has more than 35 years of experience as a professional photographer. He now concentrates on producing travel stock photography and video from around the world, and you can get to know him better here