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2020 Displayed in a Year of Aerial Drone Photographs

Photographer Armando Martinez is celebrating the final day of 2020 by sharing this beautiful montage of drone video footage and photography that he captured in the last year.

This year has seen a flurry of news surrounding the present and future of drone photography and videography.

Olympus patented a “high performance” drone camera, and Sony announced that it was entering the market with it’s new Airpeak division.

DJI was added to the United States “economic blacklist,” opening the door for other competitors like Sony to make waves in the space.

Meanwhile, the FAA finalized its rules for commercial drone pilots, necessitating the use of a “digital license plate” while also loosening its regulations around flying at night. Speaking of the FAA, a drone pilot was hit with a $182,000 fine for violating a host of regulations.

In early December, SurfShark published a helpful infographic that visualized drone rules around the world.

On the creative front, this photographer produced the first sunrise to sunset hyperlapse of a city, another one managed to capture the collapse of the Arecibo Observatory, and another photographer captured an incredible photo of a couple by happenstance.

Drones have been a major part of the story for photographers in 2020, and looking back on everything that has happened, there are few better ways to contemplate the future of the format than enjoying some of the beautiful images that the little flying cameras allow photographers to create.

Image credits: Photos by Armando Martinez and used with permission.

Photographer Captures Stunning Landscape Photos From Out His Plane’s Window

Evan Anderman is a pilot and photographer who uses his combination of skills to capture some impressive aerial landscape photos. Anderman has been dutifully uploading multiple videos a month documenting his process since earlier this year.

Anderman calls himself a “social landscape photographer” and since April of 2020 has been regularly sharing ten to fifteen-minute Vlogs of his time in the air with his camera. Anderman owns a Cessna Turbo 206G that he says he enjoys taking out for flights for the express purpose of capturing landscapes.

Anderman’s passion for photography and flight is evident in his videos as despite only having 31 subscribers at the time of publication, he excitedly shares his experiences in the air.

You can hear how much he loves what he is doing by the tone of his voice. He’s not doing this for the views or the likes, he’s doing it because it’s his passion.

“I’m like a kid in a candy store,” he says in one of his Vlogs as he flies across the landscape, camera in hand.

The images that Anderman makes are stellar, and he is regularly uploading new ones to his Instagram. The views he gets from his Cessna are in between what are expected from helicopter flights and what images taken from space look like. Balancing a viewpoint that is between these two perspectives, Anderman’s work really stands out.

Anderman’s work never ceases to be impressive and we highly recommend you take a look at his whole Instagram feed. His videos on his YouTube Channel are also worth checking out just to see what Anderman looks for in a good composition and how he takes photos while flying his plane.

(via Reddit)

This Camera Was Used for Aerial Photos During WWII

Check out this absolute unit of a camera that was used to do aerial photography during World War II. Mounted on the front of the camera is a massive 2-foot long 305mm f/5 lens.

This viral photo has made the rounds on the Web in recent years, and the camera has widely been misidentified as a Kodak K-24.

It’s actually a Fairchild K-17, which was designed by Fairchild Camera and Instrument and manufactured under license for the US Air Force by Folmer Graflex in Rochester, New York (Kodak’s hometown), in the early 1940s.

The Fairchild K-17 shot 9×9-inch (22.86×22.86cm) photos on 9 1/2-inch wide roll film.

6-inch, 12-inch, and 24-inch lenses were available for the camera, with apertures of f/6.3, f/5, and f/6, respectively.

Shooting this camera handheld was not an easy task:

While these cameras were normally clamped into mounts, a pair of handles and a viewfinder could be fitted to K-17s and K-18s for hand-held operation. What “hand-held” meant is subject to interpretation, as these cameras were not lightweights. With a 200 foot roll of film, the A-5 film magazine used with the K-17 weighed 30 pounds. A complete K-17 with 12″ lens cone and a full magazine weighed about 55 pounds. With a 24″ lens instead of the 12″, the weight climbed to near 75 pounds. [Source]

So that camera you see being held by the airman above weighs a whopping 75 pounds — no wonder he looks like he’s straining to pose with the “handheld” camera. Thankfully, cameras these days (especially aerial photography ones) are generally much smaller and lighter.

Chicago Photographer Tracks Down Couple He Captured in Epic Drone Shot

Thanks to the power of social media, it only took a weekend for photographer Antoine Tissier to track down a couple he happened to photograph while out shooting a sunset in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

According to a story posted to NBC Chicago, Tissier was flying his drone just trying to capture the sunset when he happened upon two people standing under the Ulysses S. Grant monument. He said that about 20 minutes before sunset, he saw the couple moving towards the area with another photographer. He quickly captured the photo, landed his drone, and tried to catch up with them.

But by the time he got to the monument, the couple was already gone.

Since he could not find them to share the image he took, Tissier intended to delete the photo when he arrived home, but his friends insisted he share the photo online and try to find the couple.

The image was shared to Tissier’s Instagram, a few Chicago Facebook groups, and the story aired on WGN 9 News Chicago. Just three days later, the couple was located.

“To be honest I never believed we could find them,” Tissier said. “They could even be tourists from anywhere else in the US or the world, and maybe they were already back into their plane the next day when I posted it online.”

Lucky for the couple, Emily and Omar, they were local. The on-the-ground photographer, Crane’s Photography, has shared his perspective of that same moment on his Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

Emily and Omar, I can’t wait to celebrate with you again next year at your wedding!⁠ .⁠ As many of you that follow my work know that I am not very active on my social media, I thought it’s worth sharing a bit more from Emily and Omar’s engagement session that surprisingly made the local news – @thejamtvshow; @abc7chicago; @wgnnews; @tissier.antoine⁠ . Crane’s Photography #cranesweddings⁠ .⁠ .⁠ ⁠ #chicagoweddingphotographer #chicagoweddingphotography #weddingphotographer #chicagobride #chicagowedding #weddingphotography #newlyweds #bridalportraits #weddingseason #couplegoals #justmarried #weddinginspo #weddingphotos #illinoisweddingphotographer #midwestweddingphotographer #midwestweddings #weddingday

A post shared by Crane’s Photography (@cranesweddings) on

“It was so gorgeous and we couldn’t believe our luck that someone else with a drone happened to be in the same spot as us to capture that photo,” Emily said. “It’s super cool that we were able to get in contact with the photographer though, now we’ll have two awesome photos from that day from two completely different perspectives!”

(Via NBC Chicago)

Image Credit: Antoine Tissier, and used with permission.