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    Alternative Cityscape Visualisation: Drone shooting as a new dimension in urban photography

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2016)

    London, UK, 12 - 14 July 2016


    Murat Germen



    I was educated as a city planner and an architect. I am not practising any of these professions anymore due to the fact that they do not offer enough freedom during the process of creation. I later turned into an artist using mainly photography as a visual expression tool and a professional photographer shooting architecture and cityscapes. I always had a deep interest in urban photography, un/consciously referring to my educational past. I kept panoramic photography always in my orbit of most used visualisation apparatuses and techniques, in order to be able to construct more comprehensive urban depictions. Roofs, terraces of skyscrapers, observations decks, towers of any kind have usually been my typical platforms, where I have created a remarkably large collection of global cityscapes.

    It was and still is too expensive to hire a helicopter for a shoot that does not guarantee a commercial return. While I will keep using the above techniques, I feel like I entered a new era in my professional photography practice as I recently acquired a drone. Drones are not that easy to operate and that affordable to buy, if you intend to go highly professional with hi-res camera bodies on-board. You have to have an operator flying an octocopter and yourself in command of the operator telling him/her where to go and what angle to give, in order to end up with the “right” photograph.

    I preferred a low-priced quadcopter with a rather lower resolution camera, since I can control both the flying gismo and the camera myself. I can now send my eye to the sky, to a sky tier that I personally call “dronosphere”, a layer that is roughly in between 50 - 150 metres. This height gives me a particular viewpoint in between street view and map view. This paper will discuss if drone photography can bring a novel visual language to cityscape and / or street photography.


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