Art & Culture

Viewing the world from the eye of a drone

Ryan Campbell blends his passion for travel and tech with photography.
Drone photographer Ryan Campbell takes a moment to explain drone photography to BenitoLink. Photo by Becky Bonner.Campbell gives viewers a chance to see downtown Hollister from up above. Photo by Ryan Campbell.The beauty of San Benito County agriculture can be seen from above. Photo by Ryan Campbell..Highway 1 can be seen running along the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Ryan Campbell.Campbell captured California's coastline meeting the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Ryan Campbell.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see the world from a bird’s eye view?

For local photographer Ryan Campbell, his desire to gain a new perspective on the world moved him to buy a drone in 2016 specifically to use for photography.

Today, Campbell blends his passion for travel, photography, and technology when he wants to capture a memorable shot.

“When I travel I bring my drone with me,” he said. “Flying the drone allows me to get out and be in nature. It’s a peaceful way to reset from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”

Campbell uses his drone to take photos in San Benito County, the coastline along Highway 1, and urban settings in the Bay Area.

The local photographer took part in the recent San Benito Arts Council photo exhibition “Framing a Story.” One stand-out image was an aerial view of the San Benito High School carnival at night.

“That’s the beauty of a drone,” said Campbell, who purchased his first camera in 2006 using his enlistment bonus from joining the Army. “It adds a whole new perspective.”

Perspectives aside, what kinds of restrictions are there regarding the technology?

“Drones are FAA-registered aircrafts,” he said. “There’s definite restrictions. For example, you can’t fly next to airports.”

Asked about flying over people’s private property, Campbell said that drones follow regulations similar to airplanes.

“Officially you do not own the airspace above your property. Technically a drone may fly over while going to a location.”

When looking to photograph a location on someone’s private property, he said he gets permission before taking photographs.

But what about people who may be interested in taking up drone photography for themselves?

“Start in an open space,” Campbell said. “Take the time to learn your equipment.”


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Becky Bonner

Becky Bonner is a local teacher at San Benito High School who is passionate about sharing things to do in San Benito County.