Now watermen and waterwomen can be captured on camera from land, from the water and from a bird's eye view.  Unmanned aerial vehicles are all the rage when it comes to surf photography, and for good reason.  These drones produce breathtaking results (like the above Vimeo of Pipeline from Eric Sterman) from a perspective not yet explored until now.

Pay Myers worked for more than ten years as a videographer for Quiksilver, and believes these drones are the future of surf photography.  "I think the use of drones in surfing is going to change the game," Myers said in an interview with Surfer Magazine.  "The perspectives these birds offer are amazing." 

Phantom 1 droneThe Phantom 1 drone (Photo: phys.org) is the model that has paved the way for the technology's commercial use.  This drone is relatively cheap (under $500), and a GoPro camera can easily be installed in it.  "Nearly every day here at GoPro, we're privy to new and really amazing perspectives that our customers are capturing with the help of our cameras and drones," GoPro's Travis Pynn told Surfer Magazine.  "In the past year, we've seen more and more people getting into it and I think you can credit a lot of that Phantom 1 drone. It's stable, affordable, and the GPS really makes it easier for your everyday consumer to get into it."

 As mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration, any pictures or videos taken by these drones can unfortunately not be sold.  However, using drones to take photo and video for personal reasons is acceptable.  These are the same regulations that are in place for operating model aircraft.  According to Surfer Magazine however, some videographers are bypassing the rules and still getting compensation by charging for the editing of the drone video, but not the actual filming itself.

As the drone industry continues to grow, more and more unmanned aerial vehicles will be out in the lineup, which means more crowded and dangerous breaks.  “If you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re not being careful, accidents will eventually happen. We definitely need to implement an etiquette and safety system,” Myers told Surfer Magazine "I’d like to see the same unwritten laws be created for drones, because we’re on the brink of the boom.”

February 05, 2014

The Dawn of Drones

Now watermen and waterwomen can be captured on camera from land, from the water and from a bird's eye view.  Unmanned aerial vehicles are all the rage when it comes to surf photography, and for good reason.  These drones produce breathtaking results (like the above Vimeo of Pipeline from Eric Sterman) from a perspective not yet explored until now.

Pay Myers worked for more than ten years as a videographer for Quiksilver, and believes these drones are the future of surf photography.  "I think the use of drones in surfing is going to change the game," Myers said in an interview with Surfer Magazine.  "The perspectives these birds offer are amazing." 

Phantom 1 droneThe Phantom 1 drone (Photo: phys.org) is the model that has paved the way for the technology's commercial use.  This drone is relatively cheap (under $500), and a GoPro camera can easily be installed in it.  "Nearly every day here at GoPro, we're privy to new and really amazing perspectives that our customers are capturing with the help of our cameras and drones," GoPro's Travis Pynn told Surfer Magazine.  "In the past year, we've seen more and more people getting into it and I think you can credit a lot of that Phantom 1 drone. It's stable, affordable, and the GPS really makes it easier for your everyday consumer to get into it."

 As mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration, any pictures or videos taken by these drones can unfortunately not be sold.  However, using drones to take photo and video for personal reasons is acceptable.  These are the same regulations that are in place for operating model aircraft.  According to Surfer Magazine however, some videographers are bypassing the rules and still getting compensation by charging for the editing of the drone video, but not the actual filming itself.

As the drone industry continues to grow, more and more unmanned aerial vehicles will be out in the lineup, which means more crowded and dangerous breaks.  “If you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re not being careful, accidents will eventually happen. We definitely need to implement an etiquette and safety system,” Myers told Surfer Magazine "I’d like to see the same unwritten laws be created for drones, because we’re on the brink of the boom.”

Sarah Webb
Sarah Webb

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