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Southeast Asia

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On drones: The medium of people power

Posted by somtam2000 on 31/8/2015 at 07:45 admin

I've seen some fabulous drone travel photography, but this really interesting piece in the context of the Bersih 4 rallies in Malaysia, discusses how nascent drone photography is taking the "medium is the message" maxim to a whole new level.

(Image New Mandala/The Star)

Previously, when the creation of photos like those in the story remained primarily in the domain of professional photographers and/or authorities, now anyone with a drone can create staggering images that often far better visualise mass movements than a number in a story -- what does 50,000 people really look like.

"While previously these shots usually relied on helicopters or perhaps an enterprising journalist climbing to the top of a large structure, now the increasing trend is for small, remote-controlled drones that capture these images (see below). In 2015, authorities in Southeast Asia have discussed the licensing and registration of drones, but to what extent they will try to stop media organisations from having them will be an interesting development to follow in the coming months."

Travel meets gadgets meets politics meets social media meets mass movements. Interesting indeed.

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,090

Posted by exacto on 31/8/2015 at 16:35

That is an interesting perspective, somtam. Here in the states, I think most folks consider drones to be either a nuisance or a potential tool of oppression by the government, mostly law enforcement. There was a discussion on public radio just today about the potential for police to use armed drones, much like the military does. The commentator said that would be very effective, if not for those pesky civil liberties concerns...

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,840

Posted by somtam2000 on 31/8/2015 at 17:05 admin

Hi exacto,

Yup I get the privacy concerns - I agree I think there are significant issues in that regard. Perhaps be settled with a minimum altitude or something - but in cases like the above, privacy less of an issue. Tho I guess perhaps pesky for governments who would prefer images of mass protest were not doing the rounds!


#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,090

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