Drones, the monosyllabic catch-all for remote controlled unmanned aircraft, have become a striking symbol of modernity in the past decade. First as military scouts and assassins, then as delivery gimmicks and backyard toys, the simple category of craft goes back more than a century.
In fact, the idea first came to light on August 22, 1849, when Austria attacked the Italian city of Venice with unmanned balloons that were loaded with explosives. Some balloons were launched from the Austrian ship Vulcano. While some balloons reached their intended targets, most were caught in change winds and were blown back over Austrian lines.
But the drones we are currently referring to are more akin to the love child of RC planes and high-def, digital video cameras. In fact, in August 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration loosened its restrictions on the use of drones. Drone pilots no longer need an FAA pilot’s license — just a remote pilot certificate that costs about $150 — and drones are now approved for commercial use. That has opened them up to a host of industries including real estate and, more specifically, the tiny house world!
Mind you, tiny house tours are nothing new. In fact, there are a number of channels that have become quite popular because of their tours. I point specifically to Tiny House Listings, RelaxShacks, and Tiny House Giant Journey. These pioneer channels show tiny houses and non-traditional homes from the front door to the compost toilet, and everything in between. They they often don’t show though is the exterior at depth; the eaves, the roofing, and the overall tiny house in a landscape. That is all changing though and for good reason. Here are just a few ways drones are changing the style of tiny house tours:
AFFORDABLE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Before drones became accessible to the general public, aerial photos of houses in their landscapes were limited to either grainy satellite images (like those found on Google Earth) or those taken during pricey aerial photography sessions with a hired airplane or helicopter. Now homeowners and builders can make a small investment and produce their own aerial photography.
Perhaps the best thing about drone photography and how it is being used in tiny house tours is the view it offers. Not only do you see the tiny house from wall to wall but you see it from top to bottom, eye level, from above, etc. The viewer is now given a perspective totally unavailable before. No more asking what ONDUVILLA looks like when finished or having to climb up scaffolding to get a photo of it. A drone can give you the birds eye view or a roof level view. In the case of builders it also allows a potential client/customer to see just how their roofing is being or has been installed.
A LOOK AT THE LAND
Drone photography probably wouldn’t do so well on a postage stamp lot of if a tiny house is in a backyard. But in the case of the recent video CONFESSION: I DON’T ACTUALLY LIKE HOMESTEADING by Pure Living For Life, you can see how drone photography helps define what the tiny house, self-sustaining, homesteading life, truly looks like in its native habitat. It is much different from just showing the exterior of the couples cabin/camper.
There is nothing wrong with more traditional video tours of houses. They serve their purpose and for purists like myself they still show the parts of a tiny house that invite me the most. I get to see the nooks and crannies and the intimate details rather than just the view from 30,000ft., as it were. The images are rich, captivating, and inviting. They make you feel as if you are coming home rather than dropping in on a visitor. Take for example the video below. A simple update from the Creative Animal Foundation (whose house was getting some updates at the time), the sequence – shot with a DJI Phantom 3 – calls the viewer in and gives a character to the tiny house on wheels, itself.