Aerial Photographer Explores The Changing Face of Holidays

Last time we caught up with Dirk Dallas – designer, aerial photographer, digital media professor, and brains behind drone enthusiast website From Where I Drone – we were fascinated by the high-flying hi-tech drone photography trend. One year on, and it’s carving itself a solid niche in the art scene (check out the website’s aerial photography community showcase on Instagram). See some of Dirk’s stunning photos below.


But what effect is this revolutionary new world perspective going to have on how we travel? Look what the selfie-stick did – and that only raises your lens a couple of feet above the ground.

We called Dirk, Southern Californian drone photography extraordinaire, as our expert witness. We wanted answers.

The Plus: What does travelling with a drone add to your experience of being in beautiful locations? Does it take anything away?
Dirk Dallas:
It allows you to see and experience places in a completely new and unique way. The only downside I would say is that you have to carry around the drone, and that can be heavy.


TP: Do you think we might see drone use affect the way in which we behave on holiday, much like how smartphones and ‘selfie’ culture did?
Yes, since drones are getting much smaller now. People need to be aware of the decisions they make, and take responsibility for their actions: at the end of the day, people need to find a balance between capturing an image and actually experiencing the moment and location they are in.


TP: Do you think this new kind of landscape and cultural photography could affect the travel industry?
Absolutely, because drone pilots are exploring familiar places through a new perspective, and that is really catching people’s attention. A drone with a camera attached makes locations even more interesting and cinematic, all without needing to hire expensive helicopters and cinematographers.


TP: You’ve helped popularise drone use in photography – what other areas of life are you excited to see embrace drones?
I’m really interested in seeing how drones will continue to help save lives. DJI actually just released a report that details how drones are doing this. Seeing how drones can do good really interests me, especially since the mainstream media likes to only report their negative side.


TP: What progress have we seen in drone technology since we last spoke?
They are getting much smarter. Some are autonomous, with sense and avoid technology that lets the drone fly itself and avoid obstacles. This prevents crashes, and allows pilots to focus more on controlling the camera and other tasks.

TP: And what are your predictions for drone progress in the near future?
I believe they will deliver packages, food, supplies, they’ll help walk the dog, provide security services, unique gaming and tv/movie/streaming experiences, as well as transporting people around: just part of normal, everyday life.


TP: Drones give you a virtual-reality equivalent of the gift of flight – what other super-power would you most want to have?
I would love to have the ability to freeze time – having time to properly compose subjects would be super-helpful. Also, I like to fly my drone in peace and quiet, and being able to pause life around me without any distractions would be perfect for that!