Gadgets & Gizmos

AS PHOTOGRAPHERS, we mightn’t realise quite how many lowcost and potentially unsafe drones are hitting the Australian market. However, we probably all realise just how many people are flying their drones contrary to CASA guidelines. And being involved with photography competitions, it’s interesting to see a number of photographs that were obviously taken outside the guidelines (for example, there’s a person directly below the drone).

There is now a new safety symbol to look for when buying a drone, which means you are purchasing from a responsible retailer, manufacturer or wholesaler.

“Drone safety advocates have pledged to follow a specific set of guidelines when selling drones,” CASA spokesman Peter Gibson says.

“The guidelines ensure they are providing consumers with important safety information on when, where and how they can use their drone safely— and stay within the law.”

DJI, Zero-X, C.R. Kennedy, EE Group Australia, Fly the Farm, Officeworks and Rise Above Custom Drone Solutions are Australia’s first drone safety advocates.

“This is a voluntary joint initiative between CASA, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers,” Mr Gibson says. “The outcome will be better drone safety education and encouragement for safe and responsible flying from the first time a new drone takes to the skies.

“Our research indicates consumers expect to be informed about the drone safety rules at the time they purchase their drone. Drones are great fun and by following the simple rules, everyone can enjoy flying safely.”

Australia’s drone safety rules have been in effect since 2002 and are designed to protect people, property and other aircraft. So, what are the rules we need to follow? Here’s a summary:

To begin, you must not fly your drone higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level. You must also keep your drone at least 30 metres away from other people and you can only fly one drone at a time! Now, keeping your drone away from people in busy public spaces can be pretty challenging, even more so when you start flying in an empty field and then find you have visitors arriving.

You must keep your drone within visual line-of-sight. This means always being able to see the drone with your own eyes (rather than through a device, screen or goggles), and you must not fly over or above people or in a populous area. This includes beaches, parks, events and sport ovals when there is a game in progress.

CASA also requires us to respect personal privacy, meaning we don’t record or photograph people without their consent as this may breach other laws. This rule could be clarified because, generally speaking in Australia, there’s no law to prevent us from photographing people in public, but then again, these laws didn’t consider drones flying over private property.

If your drone weighs more than 100 grams, you must fly at least 5.5 kilometres away from a controlled airport, which generally has a control tower at it. You must not operate your drone in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, person or property, you must only fly during the day and you must not fly through cloud or fog.

You must not fly your drone over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway. This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, a fire or firefighting efforts, or search and rescue.

If you’re near a helicopter landing site or smaller aerodrome without a control tower, you can fly your drone within 5.5 kilometres, but if you become aware of a manned aircraft nearby, you will have to manoeuvre away and land your drone as quickly and safely as possible.

And finally, it is illegal to fly for money or reward unless you have a remote pilot licence (RePL) or you’re flying in the excluded category (meaning the drone weighs less than two kilograms or you’re flying over private land with the landholder’s permission).

For more information, visit https://www.casa.gov.au/ knowyourdrone/drone-rules.

AS READERS WILL well know, we believe a photograph isn’t a photograph until you’ve made a print. While it’s wonderful to look at your images on an EIZO monitor, the same can’t be said for your standard smartphone or tablet which are often so juiced up, it’s hard to know what the photograph really looks like! A print, on the other hand, is not subject to the vagaries of a poor quality electronic screen and once you have it in your hand, there’s a feeling of fulfilment.

So, what paper do you print on? As the magazine’s editor is a Canson ambassador, it will come as no surprise that he’s requested a news story on two new Canson Infinity papers, papers which will make old-timers like him very happy because they are reminiscent of the darkroom papers of last century.

The Canson Baryta range will now consist of an improved Baryta Photographique II 310 gsm and it’s being released just ahead of a new Baryta Photographique II Matt 310 gsm.

The second generation of the Baryta Photographique range has improved handling and finishing characteristics, so fewer scratches and curls on the final print. It’s also available in more sizes, including up to 60” wide rolls, making it suitable for large-scale photography projects.

The new Baryta Photographique II Matt will also benefit from improved handling and finishing characteristics, but unlike the lustre finish of its sibling, it has a smooth matt surface finish, which accentuates the detail within the image.

Canson suggests Baryta Photographique II and Baryta Photographique II Matt offer photographers and printers the opportunity of creating a photograph with the look and feel of a traditional darkroom print. Both papers have a true 100% barium sulphate layer (baryta) which offers high contrast and detail, as well as a wide colour gamut. They also have an extremely high D-Max (black point) to produce black and white images with depth and clarity, and colour images with exceptional vibrancy and intensity. Both papers have a traditional photographic alpha- cellulose base.

For more information, visit https://www.kayellaustralia.com.au/category/504-canson-infinity

Regular followers of Better Photography will know that our editor is a huge believer in post-production. Whether you’re using Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One or a host of new image editing programs, to get the best out of your capture you invariably need to edit it. How much you edit is up to you, but some editing is, in his opinion, mandatory.

“What I love most about editing is being able to selectively adjust the image - to lighten or darken separate parts of the image on their own. And the good news for many of us is that we no longer have to go into Photoshop to do this. Lightroom, for example, has its adjustment brushes and gradients which give you wonderful control over the interpretation of your photographs.

“I and a number of other photographers from around the world, have been working with Adobe Lightroom, producing a series of tutorials that allow you to open our images and work alongside us as we edit them, step-by-step. Next time you open Adobe Photoshop Lightroom on your phone, tablet or computer (the new Lightroom, not Lightroom Classic), go to the home page and you’ll find a bunch of Guided Tutorials. Click on one and then follow along, seeing how these photographers use Lightroom to process their files.”

Each tutorial has a short introduction with the before and after versions of the file. There’s an opportunity for the photographer to explain his or her ideas before each step and then Lightroom encourages you to select the tool and make the adjustment. If using a smartphone, it vibrates when you’ve moved the slider or brush into the correct place – and you have to get it right before it advances to the next step. What a great idea, Adobe!

And after you’ve mastered all of these adjustments, don’t forget Peter’s Lightroom Atelier series of videos featuring his philosophical approach to using Lightroom. You can see details at https://www. betterphotographyeducation.com/lightroom-atelier/about-the-la.  You will get a 50% discount if you use the coupon code CORONA - for this week only!

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