These days, drones are ubiquitous. They’re found everywhere, from the hands of hobbyists to high above the battlegrounds of war torn nations.
With legislation struggling to keep up, the opportunities that drones present are still being explored. Jon Stewart famously – and deservedly – derided CNN’s drone coverage of the Selma bridge, but the reality is photographers have been pushing the boundaries of their craft with the latest drone technology and delivering some gorgeous aerial photography in the process.
One photographer in particular, Amos Chapple, was one of the earliest adopters of drone photography and as soon as drones came on the market, he knew he needed one.
He bought one and taught himself to fly it and soon began traversing the planet, capturing famous landmarks in ways that they had never before been seen. Drone photography is now illegal in most of these locations, but for a few brief months Chapple took advantage of the lack of legislation and took these stunning aerial photographs. In fact, now that drone photography has been outlawed at these landmarks, these may be the only aerial photos of their kind.
Aerial photographer, Amos Chapple travels the world, capturing some of the planets most famous landmarks from the air.
Aerial drone photography gives the viewer the ability to take in a unique view of the surroundings, not possible with other forms of photography.
On the subject of aerial photography, Chapple says: “It’s amazing to be able to explore an aerial image. There’s such an immensity of information.”
Chapple shot the Taj Mahal from the air as the morning’s first visitors begin trickling through the gates.
Soon after he began releasing his photography, he was commissioned by agencies, tourism bureaus and private clients for aerial photos of iconic locations. The Hotel Ukraina in Russia (below) is one such example.
Chapple began his exploration into drone photography when the commercial drone first hit the market in 2013.
Sometimes looking at something from a different angle opens up a whole new perspective that you might not have seen before. Here, looking at the aerial photography of Barcelona, the city’s grid is clearly visible.
When he first began, he flew the drones over busy, populated areas but soon realised that it could be dangerous.
The first drone he worked with had a serious design flaw that caused it’s propellor to break away from the drone while it was in mid-air.
On a recent commercial shoot, one of his drones crashed to earth from about 100 feet in the air. Chapple believes that Wi-Fi signals in the area interfered with his signal and caused him to lose control of the drone.
Despite having flown aerial photography drones over 1,000 times, Chapple is always acutely aware that something could go wrong at any moment.
In any case, the novelty has worn off and people these days find the drones more annoying than anything else.
These days, Chapple tries to avoid people as much as he can, ensuring that whenever possible he shoots in remote locations or at dawn when nobody is around.
When shooting, Chapple typically maintains a flight path directly above his head, so as not to lose sight of the drone.
While shooting aerial drone photography, the photographer isn’t able to see what they’re shooting. Chapple says he typically takes up to 100 photos and that only 10% would be framed in a way that was aesthetically pleasing.
From an artistic point of view, not knowing what you’re going to get when the drone lands is part of the magic of the process. “There’s a magic to not knowing what you have until you have the camera back in your hands”.