Updated: Jul 3
Over the past few years, you may have noticed a trending headline that goes something like this, "Rare Drone Footage of/shows/captures ... " You may have noticed a few headlines with this pattern. "Rare Drone Footage" is a popular headline that articles often use when someone makes a discovery because of video/pictures taken by drones or captured a sight that is difficult to experience by other means. In spite of all our efforts, the world is still full of hard to reach areas and places yet to be explored. With drones being piloted from above and below, those places may be decreasing in supply and "rare" drone footage may become more common.
It seems like most rare drone footage revolves around witnessing rare moments in marine life. Considering how little of the ocean we have been able to explore, this is understandable. According to the National Ocean Service, "More than eighty percent of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored." Thus, there are many new and exciting things that can be reported on. Through aerial recording, drones have captured rare appearances of blue whales and the hunting patterns of killer whales. Scientists have used underwater drones to track jellyfish blooms. With their compact designs and powerful cameras, drones are able to maneuver into places with minimal disturbances to wildlife unlike with a boat, car, or helicopter, which are cumbersome and noisy.
Recent articles bearing the headline "Rare Drone Footage" report the recording of a secluded indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest. Researches with Brazil's agency for indigenous affairs (FUNAI) had been monitoring the tribe for some time, but last year was the first time they had captured them on camera, and it was by drone. The drone recorded an aerial view of members of the tribe walking through a deforested patch in indigenous territory. FUNAI works to ensure the protection of indigenous tribes, and it is their policy to not make contact with isolated tribes. Using a drone was the perfect move for observing this secluded culture without disturbing them.
Another rare sight captured by drones was the effects of war on the people of Yemen. The headline reads "Rare drone footage captures life amid the rubble in war-torn city". Currently, Sanaa, the capital of Yemen is under rebel control. In June, the rebels gave Brazilian photojournalist Gabriel Chaim limited access to the area. While there, he was able to obtain drone footage of the damage the city had sustained from airstrikes.
From ice fields to the bottom of the ocean, drones have opened up previously unexplored realms of possibilities. Drone technology is still being developed and adapted to withstand various environments. Soon, we'll even have drones we can use to explore outer space. There's no doubt that as drones continue to perform well in these areas, the headline "Rare Drone Footage" will become rarer.
I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron