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Amos Chapple: A Pioneer in Drone Photography Describes His Work

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Amos Chapple is a pioneer in drone photography and recently he shared his experiences with students from the Scripps College of Communication attending the annual Schuneman Symposium on Photojournalism and New Media.

Chapple is a New Zealander who has traveled through 84 different countries taking pictures as a freelancer. His work has been seen regularly in The Guardian, The Atlantic and Italian Vanity Fair magazine.

He just recently took a job as the Chief Photographer for Radio Free Europe and will be stationed in Prague.
Chapple has produced a landmark drone photography project called AIR in which he took drone pictures of major architectural structures across Europe, Russia, and India.

He was one of the early adopters of drone photography and he tells WOUB’s Tom Hodson about the evolution of his aerial photography and the role it plays. He calls it the “golden age of drone photography.”

Chapple is a firm believer that good still photography is “timeless.”

“Photography is like great music,” he says. “It has emotion in it and sometimes it is pure poetry.”

Chapple decries emerging regulations on drone use for photography. “Drones give you unique angles and looks that you cannot get any other way,” Chapple adds. “I don’t think we will see anything like it again in our lifetimes.”

In his interview, Chapple talks about some of his experiences taking drone photographs in restricted societies like Russia and how he often had to sneak to get his shots.

He also explains that while flying the drone, he has no idea whether he is getting good shots or not. He says he is always pleasantly surprised when he retrieves the camera and gazes at some of the spectacular images that were captured.