There is a good reason why so many of us have dozens, if not hundreds, of mobile phone photos taken from the tiny windows of airplane cabins. There is an undeniable beauty in seeing our planet from hundreds or thousands of feet above the ground. Patterns and textures that couldn’t possibly be seen from the surface appear in various tapestries. It really is an amazing thing to behold and it’s why I am so thankful to be alive at a time when drones are so affordable and capable. With a few moments of setup, I can send my very own UAV hundreds of feet into the air to get compositional perspectives that would be otherwise impossible. It truly is marvelous!

Sadly, reality is a far distance from the ideal picture when it comes to use of drones. It seems as if you can’t go a week without reading about another instance where selfishness, ignorance or a combination of the two manifest themselves when a drone operator chooses to ignore common sense and law by flying their UAV in restricted areas or during times of emergency rescue (such as blazing forest fires). The ignorance of such acts has had serious ripple effects on the rest of the us, with sweeping flight bans and overly-complex regulations regarding where and when you can operate your drone.

Still, despite the seemingly never ending bad press and stigmas surrounding drones, I absolutely love mine (I’m currently flying a DJI Mavic 2 Pro) and happily fly it whenever it is permitted. I always find myself in complete awe every time I send my drone up and out over sweeping landscapes. I am constantly delighted when my newfound perspective allows me to discover areas that I’d otherwise never get close to or see them in a way that would be otherwise impossible.

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