Some Ups and Downs with Drones

Aerial photo from a drone of forested lowlands leading up to snowcapped mountains. The unique, aerial perspective of a drone. © Ryan Trenkamp
The unique, aerial perspective of a drone. © Ryan Trenkamp

An interview with Ryan Trenkamp

Drones can provide some unique and wonderful images for nature photographers, and they can be a lot of fun to fly! With drone cameras getting ever better, and drones becoming increasingly popular, more photographers are finding value in these small flying objects. There’s even a special category for drones and other non-traditional captures in NANPA’s Showcase photography competition. Ryan Trenkamp has been using drones in his work for the past couple of years and shared his thoughts on these nifty little tools, how and why he uses them, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

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Drone Crash Causes Birds to Abandon 1,500 Eggs

Photo of a patch of sandy beach with hundreds of eggs in shallow nests. Abandoned eggs in the sand. Photo credit: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Abandoned eggs in the sand. Photo credit: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

A drone, flying over prohibited territory in Southern California, crashed in the middle of a nesting colony of elegant terns, frightening the seabirds and causing them to abandon 1,500 or more eggs, as reported by AP and New York Times. Although this species is not endangered and, in the long term, will probably not be threatened by a loss of this magnitude, it is a troubling reminder of the harm careless or uncaring individuals can do to nature. And of the responsibility we have to be ethical nature photographers.

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