Richmond from above | Latest Richmond News

Just 10 years ago, if you wanted to present a bird’s eye view of something, you had to hire a helicopter or airplane and file a flight plan in hopes of capturing a view that was only possible only from a high position.

Now drones are all the rage and there are usually more than a handful at a major event. So much so that the FAA will often restrict airspace around events like the demolition of the Dominion Tower or the removal of the Lee statue.

Drones are renowned for their ability to capture a unique point of view. Whether it’s the beauty of the landscape from above or the devastation of a natural disaster like the flash flood in Buchanan County. But these are just the latest developments in a long history of aerial photography.

From Paula Amad’s 2012 overview of the history of aerial photography, published in the journal History of Photography. Gaspar Félix Tournachon, better known as “Nadar”, is credited with taking the first successful aerial photograph in 1858 from a hot air balloon attached 262 feet above Petit-Bicêtre (today hui Petit-Clamart), just outside Paris.

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The first widely publicized aerial photo was taken by George Lawrence, who captured the damage caused by the devastating San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906; using 17 kites to suspend a camera 2,000 feet in the air to record the image.

At over $1,000 an hour to hire a helicopter, aerial photography really wasn’t profitable for most news outlets. For the price of a single flight, we now have the ability to offer not only still images, but also videos whenever the situation allows. The Richmond Times-Dispatch currently has two licensed drone pilots and two drones.

“Drones can bring us unique vantage points and give us extensive access to places that are rarely possible,” said photographer Daniel Min. “As a photojournalist, the drone is a useful tool to capture a sense of place and different angles.”

So today we are launching a new vision for our community. Each week we will offer a different perspective or unique view of Richmond that is only available by air. We would like your contribution. So if you have a suggestion or a view that you would like to see from above, write to us.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the view.

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