The rise of drone photography - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

The rise of drone photography

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An eagle-eye view of the wreckage of a small plane crash in East Patchogue, New York, was captured by the drone. A growing number of photographers are using drones to capture images of everything from real estate to weddings from high in the sky.

The aerial cameras have now gone mainstream. Anyone can buy one online for as little as a few hundred bucks. And you'll need one if you want to be part of the latest trend on social media: the Dronie, demonstrated by Sir Patrick Stewart in a Vine video produced by twitter.

But the use of these unmanned aerial cameras is not without controversy. Last month a fight broke out on a Connecticut beach after a woman tackled a teen taking pictures with a drone.

Former FBI Agent Jonathan Gilliam says there are serious safety and privacy issues.

While the use of recreational drones may concern some, attorney Brendan Schulman, who runs the unmanned aircraft systems group at Kramer Levin, says it's not illegal.

"Even the FAA would say that operating a model aircraft, or what we now call a drone, is legal to do by hobbyists or for recreational use, including the taking of photographs," he says. "It's when you operate for commercial purposes that the agency has said as a matter of policy that you shouldn't do it."

The FAA says authorization is needed to fly a commercial drone.

But in March, in a case argued by Schulman on behalf of drone pilot Raphael Pirker, an NTSB judge ruled the FAA has no legal authority over small aircraft. The FAA has appealed.

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