Today’s filmmakers and video journalists have an amazing array of affordable, powerful tools at their disposal. Nowhere is this more evident than in the explosion of aerial photography made possible by drones, as imagery from the recent tragic flooding in the Midwest United States and United Kingdom shows.
Over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, thousands were forced to evacuate in the Midwest, and dozens were killed after 10 inches of rain swelled rivers. Some of the most dramatic images of the devastation have come not from the mainstream media, but from aerial video footage shot by citizens using drones.
Capturing this sort of incredible footage would’ve been completely impossible just a few years ago unless you had access to a helicopter and a brave camera operator with hundreds of thousands of dollars of gear. Even then, safety factors would keep a big chopper from floodwaters.
Today’s generation of light and powerful high definition video cameras combined with affordable drone technology has made it possible for ordinary people to capture images themselves.
The potential applications for the use of drones in rough weather affect more than just journalism and filmmaking. During flash flooding in Texas earlier this year, a drone operator was able to assist a stranded family. Popular Science reported in May how operator Garrett Bryl used his DJI Inspire quadcopter that he’s named Valkyrie to help:
Valkyrie carried a rope over to a family trapped in their mobile home, which despite already being on stilts, was surrounded by fast-flowing water. This made the house inaccessible by boat or hovercraft, but the drone could fly over. With the rope attached to the house, rescue workers sent the family life preservers, and then used a helicopter to lift them out of danger. While the drone didn’t assist in the helicopter lift, by getting life preservers to the family it made sure that if the lift went wrong, the family members could still survive in the water.
Drones have also captured stunning footage of the floods that have been ravishing the United Kingdom. This clip shows a 200-year-old pub being washed away the day after Christmas in northern England.
As Breitbart News has reported, recent FAA regulations require that all drones that weigh between .55 and 50 pounds must be registered in a national database with the owners names and addresses.