Yorkshire Drone Photography
A fresh perspective
If you think drones are simply a gimmick or the latest, must-have craze, think again. Drones are revolutionising our lives in some unexpected ways.
Ray Hardy, who runs Yorkshire Drone Photography in Honley explains:
“In the hands of a trained expert, drones provide a bird’s eye view of those hard-to-reach places at a fraction of the cost of other methods. They can also cover a wide area extremely quickly, making them a useful search and rescue tool.”
Drone photography is a highly regulated industry and Ray has all the professional qualifications and licences to operate commercial drones up to 25kg.
“It’s an intensive training process to become a commercial drone operator. In effect, you’re piloting a plane from the ground. You need to understand wind speeds, weather fronts and terrain to remain in control of the drone. You also need to be fully aware of privacy laws and when and where drones can take off and land. You must be licenced and regulated to take images for commercial purposes,” said Ray.
Drones in the workplace
Ray’s commercial services are in demand from many industries, especially insurance and surveying companies. His relatively light and manoeuvrable drones can easily reach roofs, allowing in-depth assessments to be carried out safely and easily from ground level. There’s no need for scaffolding or working at height precautions when it’s the drone doing the work.
Amazing aerial photography
In the past, if you wanted aerial photography, you needed a friend with a helicopter. Now, drones have slashed the cost of those amazing eagle-eye pictures.
It’s great for estate agents, who are taking full advantage of drone photography to help them sell houses. Aerial shots are extremely effective for showing off homes with large gardens or lots of land.
“I work with many estate agents. An aerial photo of the house showcases the location, creates more interest and helps with sales,” said Ray.
Weddings are another growth area for drone photography. More and more bride and grooms are making sure their day really takes off, with photography from the air as well as the ground.
Helping the community
Perhaps one of the more unexpected areas where drones can really help is in search and rescue. Ray has used his drones to help find missing dogs, and volunteers with the local Mountain Rescue Teams using his drone to locate missing hikers and walkers.
“The drone can accommodate thermal imaging and give you a view of a wide area extremely quickly. When you’re searching for missing people that can mean the difference between life and death. On the moors our drones can fly up hills and rock faces, which might otherwise take hours for a search and rescue team to reach and rule out. Searching by drone, means that the team can head directly to the rescue, saving time and reducing the risk to both casualty and rescuer,” said Ray.
A lifelong passion
Ray has always had a fascination with photography. As a teenager, he hosted exhibitions and displays of his work. When he first flew a drone and saw the different perspective it offered his photography, he admits to being hooked. It was a passion that accidentally morphed into a business as more and more people requested his drone photography services.
While he loves working in Honley, Ray admits his ideal job would be travelling the world and photographing it from the air for National Geographic. Until that dream comes true, Ray is happy to capture the landscapes of Honley – and the rest of the British Isles – from the sky.
If you need a bird’s eye view of a location or event, for business or personal reasons, have a chat with Ray.