Drone Facts Chart

The unmanned aviation world is quickly growing with many industries recognising the benefits that drone technology can bring. From aerial photography to inspection and emergency services, drones offer increased efficiency with reduced risks and costs. The fascinating industry of unmanned aerial vehicles presents many questions.  Here are 11 facts about the drone industry that you probably didn’t know:



Artefact 1 – video

That’s my artefact (above) – look at how boring it is. It’s OK to agree, I made it boring.

Here is someone else’s (above) from a few months ago.  It has less than 100 views which is kind of surprising considering the style they have used.  I also found this video, which is a few years older and made by other students, which has over 300 views – it is my goal to beat the view count on this video. I set out to do this by:

  • Sharing media on several platforms to get engagement
  • Sharing at times that encourage engagement
  • Targeting online accounts to get the video to spread further
  • Using tagging on YouTube to find an audience

Bonus video – filmed using the GoPro egg timer, it was going to be the main artefact but I didn’t like the light bleed and lack of clarity.

Why did I make this artefact?

Because I tried something else and it didn’t work and everyone loves a good timelapse. I had an animation made and had planned to project it on to something all Halloween-related however the projector was not bright enough and my phone didn’t pick up the action.

So as this didn’t go so well and with only 4 days until the deadline I had to find something else that was engaging and relevant. I fell on the idea of a timelapse because a) I had the kit to do so and b) they are an ‘easy sell’ for engagement as you can tag locations and businesses as well as local news groups.

How did I make this artefact?

I used a few different mobile apps to create this video, however I didn’t film it with a mobile phone for a few reasons, mainly that the contrast settings on the iPhone6s I have wasn’t good enough to pick up any differences in the clouds – thus making it a really crap timelapse. I did however edit with LapseIt and worked out the best time of day and direction with the app Magic Hour, both of these apps I talked about in this previous blog post.  Magic Hour is particularly useful as it helps you work out how long you are going to be taking images for, which means you can easily see how long you want to leave between images. I opted for a photo every 20 seconds.

Here is an image of me taking an image during the timelapse, as well as an image of the GoPro setup, Below is an image of the 4 other people/groups of people who where also taking images or videos of the media city at sunset on a Tuesday night in October. I also found an Ian (but more about that in his blog post).

How am I going to get engagement for this video?

I have set up a schedule of sharing the video on Twitter (the average tweet has a life of 40 minutes and a half life of a few hours), I have posted once on my own Facebook profile (something I really hate doing) and have encouraged others to share the content further. I even shared it on LinkedIn.

With twitter I have used simple hashtags including #mscret and #mediacityuk which means it will hopefully get picked up by local businesses and other class members. I have in other tweets tagged the university with their handle and a few local to Salford news/views accounts. The combination of these two things has lead to 5 retweets from businesses that I didn’t follow or have any other interaction with before today (Wednesday).


Smart Phone Image Capture

Smartphones are… well… smart – even smarter than the first spaceships that took men to the moon in the early space race. A single Apple iPhone 5 has 2.7 times the processing power of the 1985 Cray-2 supercomputer. That’s crazy powerful in such a short space of time, and I currently have two PS4s in the house which when combined realistically class as a supercomputer-level of processing power. But I am getting sidetracked.

I use my phone for image capture a lot, either with the built-in camera or via other cameras with app and WiFi/Bluetooth controls.  Below are some screen captures from my phone with a few of the apps that I use.

Two of the apps are built in to the phone, both the image viewer ‘Photos’ and FaceTime.  I also have Instagram, which is a pretty standard app to have, and Panorama which is a old app that takes 360 photos (something you can now do natively in the Apple camera app). I still have the panoramic app for a few reasons: one is that I paid for it many years ago and I want my money’s worth, and it doesn’t take up much space on the phone itself. But most importantly it stores all of your images online to view later, as well as images from other users.  It also is one of the first apps that used the movement and gyroscope in the phone to move around the image – something that is now becoming more and more common in photos online and is even native in Facebook applications.

Flickr is pretty self explanatory.  I have a pro membership and have a lot of images on there (about 3 thousand). Capture and the Panasonic Image App are both camera control apps, for the GoPro and a Panasonic Blue camera respectively; for me these cameras have very different uses: while the GoPro is more known, it does have its limitations including its shockingly poor battery life, whereas the Panasonic can be used whilst connected to a power source which in the past enabled me to film/take regular images for up to 8hours at a time.

Lapse It is a fantastic time lapse app that uses the phone camera to take images and I paid about £2.99 for it a few years ago and it’s been really useful. It had the ability to change exposure, ISO and contrast before starting to film as well as taking 12 images a second (12fps is used in animation traditionally) which can then be exported directly to YouTube or via an MP4 file which you can then send wherever you want.

Finally and probably the most interesting of the apps are 20Twenty and Magic Hour. Twenty20 is a new stock photography service that launched to the public after months of beta testing, which I was part of. It claims to have the world’s largest crowdsourced commercial image catalog — one that contains 45 million photos from 250,000 photographers based in 154 countries.  It runs competitions and other incentives for you to get involved with – and most importantly it earns me money. Magic Hour is a great little app that’s full of information to help you get the winning shot depending on location and weather, it has information on sunrise and sunset and how long it’s going to last as well as a host of other nifty little nuggets that increase the chances of getting that money-making shot.


The photo below shows the contents of my bag during the first RET lecture.  It’s important to know two things:

1- my phone is in my hand taking the photo

2- I packed light and this bag is missing a bullet journal and a fiction book of some sort

With that out of the way, I’d say it looks pretty average; I guess there isn’t much to say about it.


That is unless you really start to think about it, really look at what I have in the bag and then you can discover a lot more about me.

To start with there is the bag itself: messenger bag style, easy to fit a laptop in (but there isn’t one here) and with a small logo on the front which is a ‘d20’ with the phrase ‘bag of holding’ – something all the cool kids know is a Dungeons & Dragons reference:

A bag of holding is a fictional magical item in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, capable of containing objects larger than its own size. Since its introduction, it has appeared in other media.More information

Then you have an A4 note book, an iPad in a heavyweight case and an assortment of pens – I mean this is a lecture after all – my iPod Classic which was taken out the case for this photo and two portable chargers – because I need to have charge in my phone at least for work, and I like to have my iPod/Pad charged as well. The chocolate is pretty self explanatory considering it’s 2pm on a Friday and I am suffering with the onset of a cold/freshers flu which is why I have cold and flu tablets herewith my ever trusty inhaler (no self respecting geek is complete without a physical ability-limiting condition). Lastly my wallet which has BATMAN on it (officially licensed DC merchandise from the 1989 batman film, which for the record I don’t actually like).

I feel that gives a rather large amount about me away and there are some definite conclusions you could make from the contents of my bag. I would be interested to analyse the contents of someone else’s bag and maybe I will in a future blog post.  Actually maybe that’s a bit too creepy…