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Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontation.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Davekyn, Nov 11, 2014.

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  1. Davekyn

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    Hi guys,

    Could any of you share a few hints and tips as to how you avoid those confrontations that do arise from time to time with flying your drones? Would be good if this thread could just focus more on the information rather and leave the more conflicting opinions to anther thread. It would be more helpful I guess.

    Here is a common sense approach I took with my compact camera this morning:
    ___________
    [​IMG]
    A Child's Admiration by L_Plate_Dave, on Flickr

    You can't identify the people - The location is not stated - It's not part of a website that's moneyterized and so on. In that regard I made on effort to find out what the laws where regarding People and public places.

    It's no using my drone, but the principle is the same. I don't have the time to go on with all my tips just yet. But for now, if some of you don't mind sharing "your approach" when heading out with your drone - I would greatly appreciate to hear what you might have to offer.

    Location - Picking Subjects - Most comfortable or efficient altitude for doing this or that - avoidance techniques - discretion - stealth - or perhaps the opposite - assertive - outrageous - disguised as someone else your not - carry documentation - and so on.

    Whatever INFO you could share would be great. Again though - would be nice if we could keep the debating for another thread.

    What works for you?

    Cheers.
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    1. No-one gets close enough to people they don't know to take a pic like that with a drone - unless they are stupid.
     
  3. SteveMann

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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopp
     
  4. morph000

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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat


    I'm flying my drone and taking your picture.
    You don't have a problem with that, do ya PUNK ?
    Oh sorry -leave the attitude (not altitude) in the other thread :mrgreen:
    **** Aussie posters...so politically incorrect !

    Seriously - just avoid people and crowds as you should anyway - nature offers so much to photograph...
    But..I'd simply go up the people and say "Hi. I'm doing some aerial photography. Do you mind if I include you?"
    As a bonus just download the pics to your phone and wifi 'em across to their phone or Dropbox 'em.
    Free unique aerial photos for their family album !
    Who'd complain about that !
     

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  5. Davekyn

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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    I have no issue with the other thread. It's Serving its purpose well. :) I am not responsible for the reply of others ... got any more tips, beyond common sense? ;)
     
  6. Davekyn

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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    Not really, but as you say. If you have nothing else to offer, then I'm Happy to continue without you. Thanks for your contribution. A good day to you sir. ;)
     
  7. Davekyn

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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    Here's some more food for thought:
    _______________

    Practice getting used to the “field of view”. How much can be seen from what altitude. It’s what professional photographers instinctively know about each of their lenses. Be real about the legal distances when approaching People, Buildings and Things. The law as I understand it, when not in those No Go Zones – is 30 meters by Australian Standards / 50 meters in the UK? I believe this is the same for recreational boats. I could be wrong.
    Whilst videographers would benefit from thinking ahead, imo Photographing with a Flying Camera possess to be more invasive. It’s the stationary moments that give cause for alarm. Think of it this way … It’s like going from a rather unobtrusive Toy Helicopter making the odd pass over this or that – but then suddenly the toy pulls up midair like an alien space craft scanning the occupants below.
    It’s as good as you yourself suddenly transforming from the copter bearing down with your over sized DSLR, telescopic lens and all! Or a group of tourists unloading off a bus – midair - “arrrr hello … may we take your picture?” – snap, snap, snap and Snap! – “TY & Bye Bye” Engaging switch one, disable GPS –> Adios … “Thanks for participating”.

    I’m not saying this is what one should do. I’m more meaning how it can appear whilst reaming within the legal distance. It’s all in the approach. How we fly can greatly affect people as much as birds. In fact if you’re into nature photography, adopting the same approach with people is an excellent way to avoid unnecessary conflict.

    I understand the attraction of asking permission, but just as with nature, the best subjects are those captured in their natural state; not those on show. We get enough pretending as it is. I would never of caught of image asking for permission or even offering umpteen amount of $$$.
    So then – how to avoid appearing like some eccentric photographer flying around on a teapot? Stealth! If you’re familiar with stealth camping and the Youtube Vids, then you will know how useful some basic avoidance tips can be! Stealth camping is NOT about breaking the Law. Just as I tend to box this or that crowed, so too has the meaning of “Stealth Camping” been miss understood. Think of it more as the minimalist approach where the least amount of impact is your goal!



    Common sense is good advice at the best of times; however this post/article is more about refining such sensibilities to ensure the least amount of attention, conflict and more over ensuring respect.

    Here are some tips with just that in mind.

    Learn to fly long distance!

    If they can’t see you, they can’t find you. Again – if you want natural shots, you’re not going to get them if you’re seen to be taking snaps. The more you learn to fly at distance, the easier it is to avoid confrontation. Things to keep in mind when flying long distance -

    Keep line of sight! This will ensure a stronger signal. Using Binoculars is great for keeping visual contact. I have recently discovered that using my DSRL camera combined with my old achromatic refractors, (telescope) - hooked up to a tablet display with a camera app, gives excellent control for skirting tree tops several hundred meters away.

    I have some demo footage I can maybe show later. The truth is, I only discovered this other day and need to practice this method the same way I learned to fly – baby steps. What I have been able to achieve at 1.68km is proving to show just how versatile this drone can really be. Instead of being bounded by the politics – I much prefer to exercise the limits taking into account the minimalist approach.

    Sorry this is not all in point form.

    Other things to consider when at distance:

    How many people are out and about? What they are doing and what’s your altitude in both relation your drone being heard and seen. The more people about, the more distractions for them.

    What kind of activities are they doing – people in motor boats rarely look up if your point of view in not directly in front of them. Such a point is also something to consider with everyone. What is the direction they are focused towards in relation to your approach? What kind of noise is in their environment – how windy it is – what’s the traffic like and time of day.

    You can reduce the noise level of your drone dramatically by flying slowly. Avoid sudden movements and coming down fast. The next time you go out, practice flying quietly – I think you will be suppressed at just how much quitter is can be. A smooth run at 400 ft – whilst no doubt audible to you as you listen out, is not as intrusive as a truck climbing a hill, or depending on the current wind speed as loud as wind rustling leaves. Picking active times and flying smoothly over an active route can actually allow for a stealth flight in the smallest of communities. Public places are often busy – use that to your advantage and ask yourself what’s taking place as well as what obstruction on your proposes flight path. What are the expected subjects at the other end and what they might be doing? Again how low, remind yourself what your noise level with be Vs activity – what yours and theirs approach and so on.

    Using a booster app such as Vision + Utility Pro with all batteries full charged and understanding the many variables that affect radio range can help you set up with confidence from the start. Always best to underestimate your distance on any given day, but knowledge is key to covering the most distance and setting up well protected home points.
    I learned how to fly long distance through being in a prime location and having plenty of time! Long distance flying is a whole learning curve in itself.
    Using Google Maps.
    When aiming for distance to avoid people, “look for obstacles that might get in your line of sight”. Using Satellite Mode is useful for ascertaining basic environmental conditions; however look for “features that show topography”. Picking a home position that is higher than you intended target will often yield longer distances with more camera control. Always keep line of sight.
    Losing spotters -
    To make things difficult for those people who choose to follow your drone back to its home point, (it happens) I advise using altitude as your first priority. I find the highest legal height more than adequate to lose most people looking. There are many decals one can also purchase to help assist with such a ploy – Using a pair of binoculars on a regular basis combined with the onscreen information and live compass bearing will with time and practice make spotting your drone as easy as star hopping.
    I’m telling you this because I have had various people follow my drone like so – Whilst flying too high may attract unwanted attention from authorities, flying too low in built up areas will attract a new breed of stalkers. Those that stalk drone pilots!
    You have to know the grey areas and learn the triggers. Flying in a Central Business District will most definitely have you limited to flying in parks; however I have seen some awesome vids and would love to do just that. I think someone could right an awesome guide in flying missions in the city.

    I can only imagine how much harder it would be for someone in the city to track a well bunkered drone pilot. Having said that though, I have no idea how limited signal would be in such a built up area.

    At the end of the day, if you keep within the limits and have visual line of sight and learn well how to fly at distance with some of the tips I have mentioned and always strive to fly low key – I think such a mindset not only avoids confrontation, but also gets the best footage and captures.

    The only thing I can add to this, now having reached my own minds limit – is once you have your footage/shots (get to know your batteries well) – is climb to an altitude that’s hard for others to see – remember decals but I think for me unneeded at this point – if wind allows and your skill set is good – flick into Atti Mode and high tail it out of there, with a slow and quiet approach as you bring it into home.

    I don’t expect people to like hints and tips – but I do hope some of you found something in that with regards to remaining low key and avoiding confrontation.

    I do on occasion walk out amongst the people taking photos randomly, however I am just getting sick of all the sly remarks regarding my camera and also the number of confrontations. If they can’t see me, they can’t complain and that works for me.
     
  8. PsychopathRC

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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    Just tell anyone who confronts you to P-Off!

    Kidding of course. I find that depending on where you live and fly, confrontation can be inevitable. For example I've had drunk people be rude to me simply for having a little Hubsan X4 with me on the way home from a local park. I'm talking 1 or 2 streets away from my house. Sadly, some people are thicker then custard.
     
  9. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    Your paranoia is showing.
    The confrontations your whole premise is based upon are rare to non-existent.
    Stop worrying and enjoy your flying.
     
  10. Cyclone

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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    I fly early morning or late evening, less people about then. If there are any then I usually fly the other end of the field away from them so no arguments. The only people that come over are the ones that are interested in what you are doing.
     
  11. gunslinger

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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    How many threads do we need on this topic? The one already started by the OP in "Off Topic" is more than sufficient. If the OP would like that thread moved to "General" I might be obliged to do so.

    In the meantime, I'll be locking this thread and pointing traffic coming to this thread, to the original thread.

    This forum is not here to provide a soapbox for random individuals with their own agenda. Please take advantage of all that this forum has to offer while keeping an eye towards its primary purpose.

    -slinger
     
  12. gunslinger

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    Re: Hints & Tips for keeping the peace? Avoiding Confrontat

    [​IMG]

    This topic is locked... If you're interested, please visit the original topic, located at...
    viewtopic.php?f=52&t=29331
     
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