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The Travel Industry’s Rising Fascination with Drone Videos


Skift Take

Drones are making it easier to capture footage of some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult locations.

There’s no escaping the mass appeal of drone travel videos.

“There’s a human desire to fly, to be able to see above your normal perspective,” says Nick Gash, founder of GE Aerials, a drone photography and video company.

This fascination with drone videos has paved the way for forward-thinking photographers like Gash to create new businesses on shoestring budgets and little bit of tech ingenuity. That’s why it was fairly easy for Gash to find freelance gigs as an aerial photographer, eventually turning his drone hobby into a quickly-growing side business.

“It’s a groundbreaking storytelling tool,” says Gash. “With better understanding of the technology, we’ll see drones more widely used. It’s been painted with this awkward stigma of being completely intrusive spy cams essentially. The uses for drones will expand.”

Global interest in drone videos show no sign of slowing down, evident with the growth of such sites like TravelByDrone.com, which curates user-generated drone videos from around the globe. The site, which has over 17,000 videos to date, receives 16-60 new drone videos daily and gets traffic from over 170 countries, CEO Preston Ward tells Skift.

Skift asked Travel Channel about how their producers are implementing drones.

“A drone can film in ways that no other machine can match,” Travel Channel executive producer Patrick McManamee told Skift. “It can deliver ethereal feelings as it sweeps upwards 200 feet to capture full panoramic beauty.”

Adding to that, McManamee cites the networks adoption of drone technology is also driven by the ability to shoot high-quality footage for a relatively low cost in terms of dollars and impact on nature.

“Drones can do more, better, than telephoto lenses, a jib, a Russian arm, or other traditional equipment. And unlike helicopters, they don’t blow down nearby flora, disturb as many animals, or kick up any dust.”

The real kicker is being able to safely capture an array of interesting locations that would otherwise be impossible to get to.

“They can be piloted through tight canyons, over volcanoes, in small caverns and in all kinds of weather, without putting any human flight crew at risk,” says McManamee.

Gash agrees: “People’s first inclination is how high and fast and far can I fly this thing, when in reality one of the huge advantages is the ability to put a camera in a difficult location. It’s not necessarily telling a story from a thousand feet high but even just eight feet off the ground, or over a body of water, or difficult terrain where it would be impossible to lug a boom cam.”

Below is a collection of aerial videos selected by Skift and Travel Channel.

Drones are minimizing human risk for amazing shots like this. Apparently, no drones were hurt in the making of this video.

Filmmaker Philip Bloom creates a short film with just a drone. All shot while on vacation Koh Yao Noi, Thailand.

Stunning views of Lofoten Islands in Norway.

Mountain biking down the mountains of Scottland.

Flying over volcanoes and wildlife in Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands

This content was created collaboratively by Skift and Travel Channel.

Moving Images explores the new era of travel video, from new platforms and technology to best practices from forward-thinking brands and content creators. View the full dashboard.

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