Latest Art Trend Is Drone Photography
The future of photography is now, and that future is full of drones.
Let it be known: the future of photography is now, and that future is full of drones. artnet News has noticed an increasing number of drone-based art photography projects popping up in recent months, and the trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
We first fell in love with Rus Turner’s vibrantly colored GoPro drone photos of the English countryside. Published in the Guardian, the drone’s elevated viewpoint and wide lens angle somehow lent an added beauty to the bucolic scenery. On the other end of the spectrum, Tomas van Houtyve captured the ominous, threatening aspect of drone surveillance with chilling black-and-white images of public places across the US that warn for the potential abuse of the technology (see Guardian article and Telegraph slideshow).
In our search for more, we found Andy Snow, who has captured stunning video footage of the Five Rivers Fountain of Lights in Dayton, Ohio, and photographer couple Terry and Belinda Kilby, who recently published Drone Art: Baltimore, a compilation of aerial drone pictures of their native city. And we can’t look away from TravelByDrone, which crowdsources drone videos from around the world to mesmerizing effect, taking Google Street View (perhaps inevitably) to the next level (see Huffington Post report).
Even if you discount artists whose work is inspired by drones, rather than created with them, like Trevor Paglen, who has attracted considerable attention for his photos of drones ominously hovering in an otherwise tranquil sky, or James Bridle, who lets Google Earth satellite images stand in for drone photographs in his “Dronestagram” project, the growing prominence of drones in the art world can’t be denied.
And it isn’t just artists who are embracing drone photography. Journalists are also getting into the game, as with the powerful drone images of the 2013 political protests in Bangkok captured by Sithikorn Wongwudthianun for the Bangkok Post (see PBS report).
Controversially, wedding photographers are adopting the technology as well, reports the New York Times. While Iowa photographer Dale Stierman was praised by the Huffington Post for his drone wedding photos taken along the Mississippi River, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was criticized for enlisting a drone at his June wedding to Randy Florke in a possible violation of Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.
Drone photography is also piggybacking onto other trends, with cheeky photographers from Italian art group IOCOSE positioning them in front of mirrors to capture high-tech selfies as part of their ongoing drone-themed series, “In Times of Peace.” As reported by the Creators Project, the photos attempt to answer the question “what would they [drones] do if they were not involved in war scenarios, or used by human beings to deliver parcels, take photos of unreachable areas and so on?” by depicting the machines partaking in boring, everyday activities.
Meanwhile, the rich, jet-setting crowd—when they aren’t using drones to survey their far-flung estates a-la Martha Stewart—have co-opted drone photography to take their vacation selfies to the next level, capturing their adventures in scenic locales from an elevated vantage point (see Huffington Post article). Expect to start seeing these types of shots among the Rich Kids of Instagram crew.
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