Drones' New Mission: Adventure Photography

Civilians using them to capture stunning Pakistan images
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 22, 2012 10:42 AM CDT
Drones' New Mission: Adventure Photography
In this July 2012 photo taken from a camera mounted to a remote-controlled helicopter, Peter Ortner, Corey Rich and David Lama stand atop the Trango Summit in Pakistan's Karakoram mountain range.   (Remo Masina)

The use of drones in Pakistan normally brings to mind images of US spy planes attacking tribal areas. But drones now are being used to capture a different kind of picture in the country—showing some of the world's highest mountains being scaled by world-class climbers through some of Earth's thinnest air. While drones have long been the domain of the American military, civilians are now using them more and more to shoot ground-breaking footage of adventure sports.

This summer, for example, a Swiss expedition used remote-controlled helicopters to shoot rare footage of climbers on the Karakoram, one of the world's most demanding and formidable mountain ranges. The drones weight just a few pounds and cost between $1,000 and $40,000, a fraction of the size and cost of the standard helicopters traditionally used in adventure photography. Newer models tend to have all of their rotors facing into the sky, making them look a bit like a mechanical flying spider or insect. (More drones stories.)

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