a drone-cam

Above: A photograph of a flying drone-cam taken with a Sony DSC RX-10 in 2015. Credit: Kwangmo.

Drone Replacements

Flying-eye unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones, will soon be as prevalent as CCTV cameras are now, in other words they will be "everywhere"--ubiquitous to the point that one hardly notices them going about their monitored and unmonitored surveillance tasks. Drones flying over farmland guarding-and-patrolling acre-upon-acre of crops; drones patrolling the sea around the coastline helping the coastguard keep eyes-on marine traffic; drones overhead during festivals and gatherings; in the city, a Police drone may be spotted overhead at any moment, etc.

We will get used to them, it is only really an extension of the CCTVs. With CCTV there was no public outcry as they slowly became ever-present. And this definite invasion of privacy was accepted (in the city at least) without reply. With the rise of drone-eyes-everywhere, it will very likely be the same story: mute acceptance from a public who have no big problem with things that make them safer.

In the photography scene there are many types of photo-assignment that will soon be affected by the common use of drones: war, photojournalism, landscape, wildlife, sports, advertising, automobile, aerial, events, weddings ... and, of course, the paparazzo: following a celebrity is easy is you are circling unassailable a few feet above the head of your subject. The celebrity will no longer be beset by annoying and unwelcome human snappers but a buzzing swarm of mechanized flying "paps"--the term is still apposite because the name paparazzo comes from Southern Italian slang meaning "annoying insect."

(31 August 2018)