Why don’t you put your camera on a leash?

When Joseph Nicéphore Niepce in 1826 produced the first known photograph made with a camera (by exposing an asphalt coated paper for eight hours), little did he expect that less than 200 years later the world would host flying camera drones.

The camera (r)evolution

In the last 100 years, the camera has evolved from recording images onto plates, to 35mm film to memory cards. The camera has become more and more automated, easier to operate, it has decreased in size and price. Eventually, it even merged with the phone. As a result, the usage of the camera has changed from capturing special occasions to documenting every moment in life. People have gotten used to being photographed or filmed on a daily basis and video surveillance of public spaces is expanding without much debate.

Today, as photography is so accessible, everyone has become an amateur photographer. In a world of Flickr, Instagram and Facebook, there is a constant strive for remarkable photos, more interesting perspectives and better composed selfies e.g. with the use of selfie sticks. (See also blog post #SELFIEPORN – more than a sexy lie?)

Camera drones – friend or foe?

With the drone technology, photography is entering a new space – the one above us. On one hand this facilitates pictures from a different perspective, which can be useful to capture various kinds of overview images. On the other hand, attaching a camera to a flying device or operating a camera drone, raises a lot of safety, regulatory and privacy concerns. Can the camera fall down and hurt someone? What is it taking pictures of and who is on the other side of the camera? Although there are some guidelines for using camera drones, there is still a lot of room for interpretation and the cameras can easily be perceived as creepy devices snooping around. So what can be done?

Sergei Lupashin has given this question some thought and in his TEDxBerlin talk, he suggests a way to tackle these concerns.


Header image credit royalty free

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About Monika Abramczuk

Monika studied biotechnology and molecular biology. When not engaged in research, she likes to read spy thrillers, drink tea, bake and travel.

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