Since the beginning of the year, Tier10 has been experimenting with and implementing the use of aerial footage with the help of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) affixed with a video camera and controlled by a remote. Commonly referred to as “drones,” this technology provides the ability to obtain the type of aerial footage that could previously only be obtained from a helicopter.
In the past few months, UAVs have increased substantially in popularity thanks to newfound attention from not just hobbyist, but national media outlets, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.
The influx of interest has also brought an influx of specialized companies and users who are leading the charge when it comes to aerial filming. Whether you’re a UAV beginner hobbyist or someone with plenty of experience, the 10 Instagram accounts below (in no particular order) will provide a valuable resource or a place to find some really cool aerial footage.
This Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company specializes in providing custom UAV filming setups for customers worldwide. From cameras to octocopter kits, DSLPros has everything a beginner or an advanced flyer will need. In fact, they have worked with Tier10 to custom-build all of their aerial filming setups, including their current octocopter rig – a DSLRPros DJI S1000 Spreading Wings with Dual Operator Setup and a Panasonic GH4 camera.
DJI Global is the main purveyor of commercial and recreational UAVs and flight controllers. If you’ve seen someone flying a UAV or seen a video of UAV footage, chances are it was taken from one of DJI’s many products, including the popular Phantom line and the all-new Inspire One, which is making waves in the drone community for its Hollywood-caliber features at an affordable price.
Tier10’s Chief Creative Officer Scott Rodgers has been instrumental in the agency adopting the use of UAVs. It has become a staple in Tier10 productions in 2014. “We’ve never shied away from using untested approaches with new technology to produce the high-level end products our clients expect,” Rodgers said. “The ability to be able to fly and shoot like this is a passion of mine – the adult version of my childhood hobby of flying radio-controlled helicopters.”
This page shares images and the occasional video captured by two California-based hobbyists, Mark and Romeo. Armed with a fleet of UAVs, including phantoms and S1000 Octocopters. The duo post a wide array of footage fairly often, including some mind-bending shots from the stratosphere.
Ever wanted to take a trip to Australia but don’t have the money or time? You can find a bit of an escape on SnapAir’s Instagram page, offering numerous pictures and videos of Australia’s scenic Gold Coast. They also, on occasion, post photos and videos from the scenic coasts of Brazil and Indonesia.
Keeping with the international theme, this barely two-month-old Instagram account features aerial footage from all over the Dominican Republic. Scenic coastlines, baseball stadiums, plenty of Spanish architecture and more can be found from the anonymous self-described drone pilot owning this account.
This account, run by a professional aerial cinematography company, features mainly behind-the-scenes footage with a sprinkle of samples of their end products. The Florida-based company has done work for Loews Hotels & Resorts, Nestle and National Geographic, among others.
Los Angeles-based Wild Rabbit is another professional company that specializes in “low altitude aerial cinematography” and has worked with many known brands, including Nike, Honda, Porsche and Mattel. Their account features a good mix of behind-the-scenes footage and their work – both in stills and video form.
This official DJI-sponsored company out of Burbank, Calif. focuses on a lot of behind-the-scenes stills for their Instagram page. The Octofilms team is definitely not shy about posting on location or showing off their highly advanced octocopter rigs.
Seattle and L.A.-based Freefly Systems produces its own wide range of aerial filming equipment that has been used by notable brands such as Dodge, Lincoln, REI, FedEx and Audi. The company’s Instagram page focuses exclusively on behind-the-scenes footage of its equipment being put to use on various projects.