Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

 

Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time to capture the best drone photo. An aerial perspective offers something unique, but you should always be aware of the rules and regulations about where you can and can’t fly your drone in Australia.

 

© Robert Irwin – ‘Bushfire’ – Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Awards – Natural History Museum, London

 

In the line of fire

 Robert Irwin’s spectacular drone photo is this year’s winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award. The dramatic drone photo (seen left) captures a far-north Queensland bushfire, but immediately sparked discussion about whether it was captured legally.

 

While Robert’s photo was captured legally, in Australia there are many rules and regulations which govern where you can and can’t fly a drone. They can vary by state and territory and may depend on whether you have a licence to fly or not. Following the rules is important to ensure privacy and safety are maintained. 

 

© Robert Irwin – ‘Bushfire’ – Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Awards – Natural History Museum, London

 

What are the rules?

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is the regulator for drone use in Australia. Their Know Your Drone service should be your first point of reference for when and where you can fly your drone.

 I have provided a summary of the rules below, but for the most up to date information, please refer directly to the CASA websites.

What are the rules about flying drones?

Some rules include:

  • You must only fly during the day and keep your drone within visual line-of-sight. 
  • You must not fly your drone higher than 120 meters (400ft) above the ground. 
  • You must keep your drone at least 30 meters away from other people.
  • You must keep at least 5.5 km away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft or helicopter take off & land) & give way to all other type of aircraft.

Each state and local government may have its own additional rules about when and where you can fly your drone. There are too many to list here, but some key ones to be aware of are:

  • National parks and reserves – for example flying a drone is strictly prohibited in national parks or reserves in South Australia without a commercial or research permit.
  • Sydney Harbour is off limits
  • Flying near where emergency operations are underway (eg. a bush fire) is prohibited
  • Marine wildlife:

The NSW Government for example, states you must not fly a drone within 100 m of marine mammals such as whales and dolphins

https://www.casa.gov.au/drones/rules/public-spaces

 

What about drones and privacy laws?

CASA’s authority is in drones, not privacy. Instead, each state will have its own authority body which covers privacy laws associated with drone photography. There is also the Privacy Act 1988 which covers photography and videography captured by government agencies and certain organisations (more info). 

In summary, it comes down to respecting personal privacy by not recording or photographing people without their consent.

 

 

Useful Resources

 

Can I fly there?

A mobile app developed by the Australian government to be used by drone operators to find no fly zones and inform them on important operating information

OpenSky

A great CASA approved app for people operating drones that quickly shows users where they can fly, where potential hazards are located and where no fly zones are located. Users can even update what type of operator they are and the maps and information will update accordingly

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Each State has their own branch of the National Parks and Wildlife Service that has a webpage detailing the regulations around operating drones in national parks

Weather Apps/Websites

Websites like the Bureau of Meteorology and Windy.com are great for monitoring weather conditions wherever you are, paying special attention to wind speed and percipitation information

 

It’s not worth breaking the rules

Remember the Gatwick airport incident of 2018? Just days before Christmas, the airport was forced to close and ground all flights for 33 hours because a rogue drone was spotted in the area. In the end, no one was found responsible or charged, but it highlighted the risk drones pose to the aviation industry and the disruption they can cause.

 

In Australia, CASA has rolled out drone-tracking technology at major metropolitan airports. 

“We can identify where drones are, where the controller is, often get the serial number of the drone, and that will allow us to then pinpoint people who are breaking the rules and issue the appropriate penalties”

(ref: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-20/drone-killing-technology-outlawed-despite-risk-at-airports/10705786)

And if you do the wrong thing, fines can be in excess of $10,000. If a matter goes to court, a court can impose a jail sentence of up to five years.

 

TL;DR

  • Drones are great fun and you can capture some really great content with them.
  • But there are rules and regulations in place to ensure everyones safety and privacy.
  • CASA is the Australian authority and their Know Your Drone website is a great resource to learn about the rules.
  • Be aware that most national and marine parks have restrictions for drones.
  • When taking photos, be sensible and respect people’s privacy by asking them permission first.
  • If you do the wrong thing, you could be fined or even jailed.

 

Written by:

Laura Tolson

Co-Founder of Lateral Vision

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Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules  Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time to capture the best drone photo. An aerial perspective offers something unique, but you should always be aware of the rules and regulations about...

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Google searches for virtual tours quadrupled in 2020. People were in lockdown and looking for something to do, but lockdown won’t last forever. Once COVID-19 is a distant memory, we should still create virtual tours for those in our society who benefit from cheaper, easier and digital access to places and experiences around the world.

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

will a virtual tour replace an actual tour?

No. Never. Not a chance. Virtual tours will never replace actual tours.

12 months ago, this probably would have been my answer. But today, I’m not so sure. With international travel banned and interstate travel limited, exploring the virtual world may be the best option we have.

Globally, Google searches for ‘Virtual tour’ more than quadrupled in March 2020.

So what are people searching for and could it possibly be better than real life?

Nothing beats real-life… or does it? 

A cooking class in Cambodia; visiting a tobacco farm in Cuba; or snorkelling in the Bahamas. There is nothing like a real experience with real people in real places with real smells and things you can touch and feel. But 2020 has taught us that we can’t take those things for granted. 

When the world eventually returns to ‘normal’ and we can resume those real-life experiences, I think we will embrace them like never before. It won’t happen overnight, but we will eventually swap the slippers for the hiking boots and head out on adventures. And we will love it.

Thankfully, in the meantime, companies and organisations around the world are opening up to being virtually visited.  

What a virtual tour may lack in a fully sensory experience, it can make up for in exclusive access. Often real-life tours are limited by everything from opening hours, the time of year, staff availability and safety concerns. But when you take that experience virtual, these limitations are lifted. You can see the behind the scenes and explore the otherwise impossible. When we captured a behind the scenes virtual tour of the Adelaide Town Hall, we were granted access to areas normally restricted to the public. You can visit the CEO’s Office, get up close to the Town Hall Organ and (my personal favourite) see inside the Bell Tower while the bell ringers work in unison. 

Virtual tours open possibilities

With more galleries, museums and places of interest opening their minds (and budgets) to being visited virtually, the advantages go well beyond 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barriers have gone. It was never just a pandemic that was keeping people from visiting and experiencing these places. It was disability, economic disadvantage, a preference for quiet spaces, a fear of flying or crowds, chronic disease and the list goes on. But when COVID-19 hit and we all turned to virtual experiences, these groups also benefited in a massive way.

What are people searching for? 

A big spike in searches for virtual tours in March 2020 got us curious about what people were actually looking for. So let’s take a look at the top 3 results.

1. the Vatican Museum

2. The Louvre

And a bit closer to home

3. the National Gallery of Victoria

Have We seen the peak of Virtual tours?

Perhaps we won’t reach the high numbers like we did in March 2020, but I’m excited that there are more of these experiences now available for everyone to enjoy. My hope is that once we return to ‘normal’, we don’t forget that there will still be important groups in our society who really benefit from virtual experiences.

TL;DR (aka, in summary)
Google searches for virtual tours quadrupled in 2020. People were in lockdown and looking for something to do, but lockdown won’t last forever. Once COVID-19 is a distant memory, we should still create virtual tours for those in our society who benefit from cheaper, easier and digital access to places and experiences around the world.

If you know somewhere or something that should have a virtual tour, let us know. We are always on the hunt for exciting and interesting places to capture!

Laura Tolson

Co-Founder of Lateral Vision

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Other Posts

Check out some of the blog posts that we have written!

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules  Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time to capture the best drone photo. An aerial perspective offers something unique, but you should always be aware of the rules and regulations about...

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Google searches for virtual tours quadrupled in 2020. People were in lockdown and looking for something to do, but lockdown won’t last forever. Once COVID-19 is a distant memory, we should still create virtual tours for those in our society who benefit from cheaper, easier and digital access to places and experiences around the world.

Instagram filters go public with Spark AR Studio

Instagram filters go public with Spark AR Studio

Instagram filters go public with Spark AR Studio

Spark AR is Facebook’s tool for building augmented reality effects. Originally launched in 2018 for select creators in a closed beta program, Facebook recently opened access to the AR creation tool. Now anyone can create custom face filters and other effects, including for Instagram stories.

According to Facebook, more than 1 billion people have used AR effects created with Spark AR.  This includes on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Portal (what is portal?).  Presumably, now that we will see more and more filters on these platforms, these numbers will increase.

USeful Resources:

Spark AR Learning Centre

Spark AR Learning Centre has a suite of guides, tutorials, sample effects and scripts you can download and use to get started in creating your own filter.  I’ve had a good look through the resources and they are actually quite good and useful (especially compared to the Snapchat resources!).  The ability to download the files and follow along in the tutorials is great.

You can also join the Spark AR Community for inspiration, examples and support from fellow enthusiasts.

Content Creators

If you are struggling with concepts, the actual creation or the delivery of a Spark AR filter, let’s chat!  Outsorcing to a dedicated content creator can be a great way to get the ball rolling with a new project like this.

 

My favourite filter:

Bluey (ABC Kids)

Bluey ABC TV

Back in June, the ABC Kids Facebook page launched a Bluey filter.  If you are unfamiliar with Bluey, just ask a 4 year old.

The filter can be accessed via a simple URL link and when a user posts video or an image with the filter, the post includes a link so the next person can use it too.

Try it here

Written by:

Laura Tolson

Co-Founder of Lateral Vision

Subscribe to our newsletter

Other Posts

Check out some of the posts that we have written!

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules  Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time to capture the best drone photo. An aerial perspective offers something unique, but you should always be aware of the rules and regulations about...

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Google searches for virtual tours quadrupled in 2020. People were in lockdown and looking for something to do, but lockdown won’t last forever. Once COVID-19 is a distant memory, we should still create virtual tours for those in our society who benefit from cheaper, easier and digital access to places and experiences around the world.

Virtual Reality Storytelling

Virtual Reality Storytelling

Virtual Reality storytelling

Virtual Reality and VR storytelling are changing the way audiences and consumers interact with stories from around the world.

We all know that storytelling is important.  In fact, it is crucial.  Whether you are building a new brand or cementing the presence of one that has been around for over a hundred years, you will have a story to tell.

In many ways, stories are what separates us (humans) from other animals.  Over millennia we have adapted and updated our storytelling methods.  I’m a bit of a traditionalist and love nothing more than a captivating story written on paper.  Mind you, the convenience of a Kindle has tipped me over to an e-reader fan.  But I also love dressing up to go to a play, watching a good Netflix series or a going to the drive-in.  There are lots of ways to tell and deliver a story.

Virtual reality is one of the newest storytelling methods and is gaining momentum across the field.  From film festivals with VR lounges, to news broadcasters filming in 360-degree video, to global brands incorporating VR activations for product launches…immersive stories are more popular than ever.  Universities are even offering Virtual Reality Storytelling courses for journalists and creatives.

Unlike regular video, 360 video provides a new way to immerse audiences in a story.

Some of my favourite vr stories

Clouds Over Sidra (2014)

The story of a 12 year old girl who lives at the Za’atri Refugee Camp, home to over 80,000 Syrian refugees.  The story follows the girl as she goes to school, has dinner with her family in their makeshift tent and plays soccer.  It has been translated into 15 different languages and screened in more than 40 countries at UNICEF fundraisers and by their education team.

“Last night I saw a deeply moving video…it is an amazing virtual reality production of the starkness of life in the Za’atari Refugee Camp through the eyes of a beautiful young girl by the name of Sidra.” – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 

Watch it: https://youtu.be/mUosdCQsMkM 

Isle of Dogs | Behind the Scenes in Virtual Reality (2018) 

Even before the release of the Wes Anderson stop-motion film, the cast and crew worked to bring this very clever VR preview to life.  The actors (Bryan Cranston, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum and others) speak about their work as their animated canine characters.  Behind the camera you see people building models and editing video. 

It is a fascinating look at the creation of a stop-motion film.  The more I think about it, such an insightful look could only be achieved in 360-degrees. 

Watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqXC46b1uUg

360-degree video provides a unique storytelling experience, which is why Lateral Vision are currently focusing on this medium.  We are continually experimenting with production and editing techniques to deliver the best experiences for our clients.

Have a story to tell and are considering VR?  Contact Laura at Lateral Vision to discuss further.

Written by:

Laura Tolson

Co-Founder of Lateral Vision

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Other Posts

Check out some of the posts that we have written!

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules  Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time to capture the best drone photo. An aerial perspective offers something unique, but you should always be aware of the rules and regulations about...

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Google searches for virtual tours quadrupled in 2020. People were in lockdown and looking for something to do, but lockdown won’t last forever. Once COVID-19 is a distant memory, we should still create virtual tours for those in our society who benefit from cheaper, easier and digital access to places and experiences around the world.

VR training improves information retention

VR training improves information retention

VR training improves information retention

VR training using immersive technology can increase learning retention dramatically.

There are many benefits to utilizing VR in training and education, including immersion in otherwise inaccessible sites and scenarios.  One of the biggest benefits we are learning more about is the increased retention and comprehension VR can deliver.

No matter what industry you are in, so much crucial information is delivered in lecture form or in writing.  But is this the best we can do?

The DATA Says it all

 

 The National Training Laboratory (National Education Association of the United States) reports that retention rates for lecture-style learning are 5%, with reading rates at 10%.  Meanwhile, VR scored a retention rate of 75% and at the top of the class is learning by teaching others.

University of Maryland researchers conducted one of the first in-depth analyses on whether people learn better through virtual, immersive environments, as opposed to more traditional platforms like a two-dimensional desktop computer or hand-held tablet.

With a median recall accuracy percentage of 90.48 percent for immersive HMDs – head-mounted (virtual reality) displays – compared to desktop display’s 78.57 percent, the study has again validated the long-held view that VR can be an excellent training and educational tool.

“This data is exciting in that it suggests that immersive environments could offer new pathways for improved outcomes in education and high-proficiency training,” says Amitabh Varshney, professor of computer science and dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at UMD.

In the end, if adding VR into your training can improve retention and engagement with the content, it is adding value.  One of the great things about VR is that you can capture once and deliver over and over again, meaning it is often more affordable to implement than many people realise – particularly with advancements in 360-degree videography.

Depending on who you are educating or training, the other great thing that it is very difficult (near impossible) to check your mobile phone when in VR, limiting one of the biggest distractors.

Written by:

Laura Tolson

Co-Founder of Lateral Vision

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Other Posts

Check out some of the posts that we have written!

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules

Drone photography in Australia: what are the rules  Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time to capture the best drone photo. An aerial perspective offers something unique, but you should always be aware of the rules and regulations about...

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Will virtual tours replace actual tours?

Google searches for virtual tours quadrupled in 2020. People were in lockdown and looking for something to do, but lockdown won’t last forever. Once COVID-19 is a distant memory, we should still create virtual tours for those in our society who benefit from cheaper, easier and digital access to places and experiences around the world.