Saturday, October 10, 2015

Drone attack!

Recently I was in Ireland and I visited the Blarney's castle.  Here is an aerial view of the castle from a magazine ad.


Here is another picture I took from the ground.


Not very flattering, huh?

One of the reasons aerial photography (short range) is going to become popular is due to this discrepancy.  It allows for one to be creative.  It is not as simple as just whipping out your camera or phone and clicking a button.  It is much more than that.  It is commanding a small camera fitted on a drone and piloting it (or instructing it) to shoot pics from a different vantage point.  It is exciting and the opportunities to be creative are boundless.  I was cursing myself for not bringing my drone along. 

That is when I saw this sign on the Blarney Castle grounds.


Bummer.

There are many reasons to ban drones from historical sites:
- Protect the monument or the historical artifact from being damaged by crashing aerial vehicles
- Protect the unobstructed visual beauty.  This does not really hold ground, since people walking around the site are already obstructing the visual beauty
- Protect the monument from the trash of dead aerial cameras perched on inaccessible locations such as the ledge in the picture below (which I shot from the top of the tower and not a drone).  We have all seen trash strewn on historical or natural monuments that is hard to clear
- Copyrighting the aerial view of the site.  This may not hold much ground when photography in general is allowed


It looks like this is going to become the norm in all the tourist locations from now on.  That is until the aerial cameras become smart enough to avoid obstructions and not get lost.  There are several manufacturers already on this path.  We will shortly start seeing aerial cameras that are capable of following a pre-set path, capable of avoiding stationary as well as moving objects, capable of returning home before losing complete control and being small enough to be carried by a photography enthusiast.

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