EYES OVER THE WORLD
RotorDrone|August/ September 2020
Aerial photo secrets from around the globe
Dirk Dallas

Editor’s Note: Getting an aerial perspective on your subject is terrific, but it doesn’t guarantee that the resulting photograph will be interesting or engaging. Drone photographer Dirk Dallas knows what it takes to capture an image that stops viewers in their tracks, and his new coffee-table compilation of drone photos, “Eyes Over the World,” is full of these breathtaking bird’s-eye views. We asked Dirk to share some highlights from the new book and give us some insight into the secrets he and the other featured photographers used to create their art.

ARID

Clara Cao, Mar del Plata, Argentina

Sometimes we aren’t able to travel to some epic location to fly and shoot with our drone. This is why we should all be inspired by Clara’s image, which is an excellent example of simplicity, combined with a creative idea. What we see in this photo is that Clara spent time art-directing a creative scene using a person, perspective, and a prop. Drones afford us the ability to capture unique angles so that when you have your subject move into an unexpected position and then add in a prop like an inflatable tube, you can quickly create a visual gag that is sure to make your viewer stop and do a double take to assess the situation. Other ideas for creating a visual gag include using props like a bike or skateboard, or you can try finding a recognizable space like a basketball or tennis court to make it look like someone is hanging or sitting on one of the court’s lines.

ICE

Sterling Galli, Salt Lake City, Utah

Sterling’s stunning ice image is inspiring because we see huge winter trees in a way that is truly unique. Top-down shots are a great way to compress the depth and height of a scene which results in the landscape becoming almost abstract like. In this photo there are still clues as to what we are looking at. First of all, there is an easily identifiable subject that not only creates a clear visual break from the overwhelming scene of white snow and trees but the kayaker is also perfectly timed and framed to be right in the middle of the landscape. Images like this show that having patience and waiting for the perfect moment can really pay off. Next, since the emphasis and contrast in the scene is focused on the kayaker, a story starts to emerge. Questions like, Where is this? Who is this? How’d they get there? and Are they alone?, all start to bubble up and make us actually engage with the image. The tiny kayaker also helps the viewer really grasp a sense of scale in this scene. Sometimes drone images can be overly abstract and/or too vague so little, identifiable clues like a kayaker, car, or person can help tell a more complete story.

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