As drone technology advances, the use of drones is expanding rapidly. One area in particular, the utilization of drones for imaging purposes, has gained significant popularity due to the availability of affordable drone options. The imaging application of drones is commonly known as drone aerial photography. In the early days, drone aerial photography mostly appeared in high-investment large-scale film productions. With the reduction of usage costs, more and more news reporting work has begun to use drone aerial photography.
Compared with traditional news photography, drone aerial news photography has many advantages, but of course, it also suffers from some limitations. Only by thoroughly analyzing the specific application methods and experience of drones in the news gathering and editing process can we improve the application of drones in news reporting.
Advantages of Using Drone Photography in News Reporting
- Unique shooting perspective, suitable for shooting specific news. Compared with traditional news cameramen, when using drones for interviews, more advantages will be reflected in the different visual effects brought by its higher shooting point. First of all, when shooting with drones, there is often a certain height from the ground creating the effect of an overhead shot. In contrast, when shooting with a cameraman, it is impossible to obtain an overhead shot effect from a higher angle without the support of a large rocker and other equipment. This overhead shooting effect will bring some advantages in the picture, it can capture a wider range and have a wider field of view. If you are looking for professional 4k drones, Ruko Drones Store is recommended.
At the same time, in the process of watching the overhead shot, the audience can obtain more additional information from the picture, especially the relative position information, relative quantity information, and movement information of each picture content. These three aspects of information are very critical in certain news reports, such as news reports on natural disasters and reports on large-scale event sites.
- The selection of camera positions has been greatly increased. During news gathering activities, the choice of camera position is often greatly affected by the actual conditions on-site. Therefore, the shooting conditions on site will greatly constrain the news cameraman’s choice of camera position, which directly leads to the unification, standardization, and fixation of news images, which also limits the quality of news interviews to a certain extent, complicates the innovation of news programs, and makes it difficult for viewers to discover new visual elements from news programs.
The advantage of a rotary-wing drone is that it can give news cameramen more choices of camera positions, especially in some locations where traditional cameras cannot be set up. The biggest difference between rotary-wing drones, fixed-wing drones, and propeller-driven drones is their stable hovering ability. This ability makes it possible for rotary-wing drones to become fixed aircraft, allowing the drone to hover. Replacing bulky cameras and tripods with a better camera position will produce images that are more attractive and impactful.
- Stable and all-round camera movement. It is not enough to have a good camera position. How to control the lens changes during the shooting process is also a concern of a videographer. Rotary-wing drones have inherent advantages in lens movement because they are more free to move in the air.
A skilled drone pilot can easily control the movement of the camera by controlling the movement of the drone. This will of course involve the control of perspective distortion of the picture. Regarding this matter, the typical combination of cameras and drones nowadays often includes a zoom lens that encompasses both wide-angle and telephoto capabilities. This lens can be remotely controlled and allows for adjusting the focal length to address any issues with perspective distortion in captured images.
Problems with Using Drone Photography in News Reporting
- Environmental restrictions on drone flight. The environment will bring many uncertain factors to the flight of the drone, especially sudden changes in the environment, which will directly affect the flight stability of the drone, and even cause problems such as deviating from the route and being unable to hover.
The first is the impact of the shooting environment because the rotor drone uses the rotor to generate downward atmospheric pressure to complete flight and stabilization actions. In outdoor conditions with normal weather, the atmospheric pressure and airflow are basically stable and will not affect the unmanned aircraft. However, during indoor flights, the atmospheric pressure and airflow are unstable, which requires the pilot to consider changes in atmospheric pressure and make real-time adjustments to the flight attitude. This increases the difficulty and requirements for the pilot.
Secondly, even in outdoor conditions, weather factors will also seriously affect the flights. Usually, most drones cannot be used for aerial photography on rainy days because most drones are not waterproof. Drones’ electronic components can malfunction in humid environments, leading to flight accidents. The impact of rain on shooting equipment is also fatal. Most digital shooting equipment is not waterproof and will malfunction or even be damaged in humid or rainy environments.
Even if you use a drone and shooting equipment with a waterproof function, its flight stability will inevitably be affected by rain. Installing waterproof equipment will further increase the weight and reduce shooting performance.
- Shooting restrictions caused by the technical problems of the drone itself. The hardware problems of the drone itself will also bring some troubles to the news interview and shooting work. First of all, when using a rotor drone to shoot, the huge sound produced by the rotation of the rotor blades will affect the entire interview process, especially in some parts that require shooting. Conduct interviews in relatively quiet conditions. Secondly, because the drone battery is limited by its maximum load, it cannot carry a larger-capacity battery, resulting in poor endurance. The endurance time of ordinary rotor drones is basically less than 30 minutes, and the endurance flight capability is limited. It also limits the use of drones in some news interviews that require long-term filming. Finally, due to the limited payload of drones, general loads cannot reach the capacity of carrying large cameras for shooting. Therefore, it is usually necessary to use a rotor drone with more than 8 axes to meet the basic load capacity of carrying small cameras. Being able to only carry shooting equipment with an overall light weight is a huge bottleneck that limits the quality of drone shots, making some of the shots unable to meet the picture requirements in the program production process.
Concerns About the Future Use of Drone Photography
- The impact on other aircraft. there have been news reports about drones threatening commercial aircraft flights. It shows that although drones usually have lower altitude limits, they can also have a great impact on civil aviation airliners during takeoff and landing.
- Another source of uncertainty comes from the pilots themselves, many of whom are often self-taught. Drone flight itself is a very systematic activity, involving preliminary equipment inspection, confirmation of flight airspace conditions, handling of emergencies during the flight, aircraft care, and maintenance. Problems in any of these stages can lead to the risk of a crash. Therefore, drone pilots themselves should have a certain knowledge of flight and maintenance to ensure flight safety.
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