I wanted to write a short article about a Photography Studio called SkEye Studios. They are a photography studio out in Hillsboro, Oregon that also has an aerial photography component to it. I spoke with Chris Kiefer, a production manager at SkEye about a video that was sent to me from the West Coast Walk to Life.
As a reminder, this is not a political or advocacy blog, but I was intrigued by this video because a company was using a UAS to record a large congregation of people in a metropolitan area. Chris told me that they took this video purely for their own personal interests in photography. They were curious about the size and extent of the event and wanted to see how it would come out. They did not do this for commercial purposes, so they are not bumping up against the FAA’s ban on using the Model Aircraft guidance. While I’m sure the FAA could make some commercial argument, SkEye has done everything right, in my opinion.
SkEye was in contact with both the San Francisco Police Department and the California Highway Patrol to get their buy-in on what they were doing. Interestingly, neither agency really know what to do, but were excited to help and agreed to the plan that SkEye developed. SkEye used a Phantom to make the recording and this is what came out of it.
This will be a powerful use of UAS once the FAA does approve small aircraft for commercial use. Groups of all types will want to document their events and share the extent of participation – both to encourage more to join and to encourage companies to advertise at the event.
SkEye has a lot of work online, and it pains me to show this this one, since I’m a Patriots fan and excited for the Super Bowl tomorrow. SkEye also took this video of a Green Bay Packers stadium recreation with Christmas lights and portions are filmed with a UAS. It is pretty cool, even if the choice of teams is questionable.
On that note, don’t forget that aircraft of all types are prohibited around major sporting events year round, but the FAA has issued a special advisory for the Super Bowl and is trying to get out the word that it is a “No Drone Zone.” No UAS near the Super Bowl – no excuses. Enjoy the game!