DroneZone - PHOTOPIA's drone paradise

Ready for take-off? This is where pilots' dreams come true: the high-flyers of the film and photo scene will be landing in PHOTOPIA's huge FlyZone from October 13 to 16. Photographers and filmmakers will get the material for action-packed aerial shots here. The Hamburg imaging festival will feature a marketplace for drone fans, invites visitors to take their first flying lessons and provides important know-how.

A sports car speeds along a winding coastal road in Sardinia and the camera follows it in a wild chase from lofty heights. Cut. A surfer makes his way through meter-high waves and the flying camera always stays just above the spray. Film scenes from the next adventure flick by secret agent James Bond? For many years, Hollywood action like this would only have been possible with a helicopter, a brave cameraman and various stabilizers. Today, all it takes is a smartphone, a drone and a click on the object to be tracked. No problem for amateur filmmakers either. In the everyday life of professional directors and photographers, the agile flying machines play an important role anyway. They have created application possibilities for the filmmaker at low cost, which would have been feasible only with an extremely high budget just a few years ago!

An uncomplicated handling also makes drones so interesting for amateur photographers and filmmakers. Before the commercial rise of semi-automated flying drones, the bird's eye view was virtually unattainable for amateurs - for technical, financial and legal reasons. Today, these high-flyers are an incredible asset to any architectural or landscape photographer, vehicle videographer or amateur cartographer.

Among the many technological developments of the last 15 years (think of E-cars, mirrorless cameras or VR glasses), drones are definitely among the most important. Startups around the world are currently developing models that will replace cabs in metropolises in the medium term or take pharmaceuticals to remote locations in the shortest possible time and at over 200 km/h.

Of course, the popular flying machines also play an important role at PHOTOPIA. In the FlyZone there will be daily demonstrations on a 1,000 cubic meter airfield, spectacular flights through open containers at a height of 10 meters. Here, visitors get the opportunity for personal exchange with experts. In the PHOTOPIA Academy, they learn which legal aspects to consider and how to expand their own portfolio by using a drone. Technology fans will have access to the latest developments and newest models from various manufacturers at a MarketPlace.

Tarik Cavus is jointly responsible for the DroneZone, which not only picks up on a current trend with the drone area, but also takes into account visitor requests from the last PHOTOPIA. "Our surveys of exhibiting companies and visitors showed that both the spectacular hall concept and the drones on display were very well received." With the DroneZone concept, PHOTOPIA appeals to professionals and semi-professionals as well as amateurs. According to Cavus, many experienced photographers are still "stuck on the ground" with their photos. "They now want to take to the skies to use drones to create breathtaking shots through completely new angles." Drones also offer newcomers an ideal introduction to the impact of photography and videography.

But which aspects play the biggest role in drone flying, according to the expert? "Depending on your level of knowledge, there are a few basic legal and technical aspects to consider when it comes to drone photography and videography in order to achieve a safe flight and successful shots. In particular, every drone pilot should check in advance which requirements must be met, which rules apply to his drone and where it is allowed to fly with it. But parameters such as wind and weather are also influencing factors that should be carefully planned before the start of the flight." At the PHOTOPIA Academy, there will be interesting workshops on this topic with the UAV DACH and the Dronemasters, among others.

In addition to the legal aspects, technology is also changing at a rapid pace.

Cavus: "Even with very compact models, image resolution and dynamic range are now so good, even in poor lighting conditions, that the results are more than adequate for professional users. The flight times of drones and the ranges are getting longer and longer. Intelligent obstacle avoidance allows users to master even challenging flight routes safely and with ease. In addition, more and more drones have accessories available that allow them to produce creative content." Drones are also becoming increasingly popular in the vlogging scene and are now part of the standard equipment. Visitors can experience all of this at the PHOTOPIA DroneZone. What's more, "For the fun factor, content creator Martin Bennat from Spinfast will be demonstrating exciting FPV (first person view) flight maneuvers in our PHOTOPIA FlyZone," says Cavus. In FPV mode, the pilot steers the drone in first-person perspective via a screen or video goggles and real-time image transmission from the on-board camera. "It's a brilliant feeling of unlimited freedom and pure thrill!" Those who want to exchange ideas about professional aerophotography or network professionally are also in good hands at PHOTOPIA.

Tarik Cavus Credit: Anatol Kotte