This was the 4th day in a row it had been lashing rain all day. I wasn’t very hopeful as I opened my weather apps to see if I could squeeze a quick landscape shoot in. Surprisingly, I could see a potential opening on the north coast around sunset. I wasn’t going to get another shoot in this week so I optimistically decided to take the gamble.
The drive up was rotten and I nearly lost hope and tuned the car around on several occasions. The rain only gave in 12 miles from the coast and it looked promising. Giants Causeway here I come….
Unusually & helped by the weather, there weren’t many tourist’s around so I had a chance of shooting up close without the need for cloning people out. The clouds were breaking nicely and this had the makings of an enjoyable evening.
Then it happened….
A large drone starting whizzing past, over and back repeatedly. There weren’t many people around and I could not see anybody with a controller so can only assume the pilot was further up on the cliff.
This was my first time encountering a drone on location. I shoot landscapes for peace and quiet and I’m not known for my patience with people. This literally irritated the life and soul out of me for the evening. That constant whizzing sound made it impossible to concentrate and focus. Over and back, over and back…… none stop. Had I a shot gun to hand, it would have been taken down without apology.
I struggled on and managed to come away with a couple of nice images. But, I just couldn’t enjoy it at all. The drone distraction ruined my shoot. I tried not to let it but it was under my skin big time.
I have nothing against those who chose to use drones for photography or filming. In fact, I have often considered getting one myself and only held off as I felt it would hinder my own still photography via a distraction.
However, I’m sure there has to be some sort of rules against using a drone in such close proximity to people and tourist attractions. Surely there is at least an etiquette not to ruin other peoples enjoyment of a location, or to get in the way of other photographers. What are the licensing rules in relation to this?
In low light, the lights from these would surely cause light streaks for any photographer unlucky enough to have one wiz into their frame as they captured a longer exposure.
These machines are surely only going to become cheaper and more accessible. I predict this may become a common occurrence in future years – one I’m not looking forward to dealing with. I just hope the pilots have the decency to keep their fun at a safe and reasonable distance not to interfere with the enjoyment of others. This grumpy old sod might have to add a pair of ear plugs to his camera bag (or possibly a shot gun).