Personal Devices in Public Space

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This week I’m going to focus on the use of personal devices and capturing moments within photography and the ethics regarding usage both personally and commercially. I’ve decided to attack this from a slightly different angle and apply it to research I’ve been carrying out over the past year and a half; drone footage.


This pamphlet is something users get when purchasing a commercial drone aircraft as a guideline to keep the public safe. This is a useful tool for safety and generalised public welfare but this area of public device usage in Australia is still a huge grey area. When looking at “Arts + Law Information Sheet: Street Photographers RIght” is refers back to a commerical gain for the individual rather than a privacy statement, thus ”

“The regulation of photos is primarily directed to commercial photography and disruptive photographic activities.”

With this in mind I went to a soccer field oval so that I could hover over the empty public space and yet still grab the photographs of my close friend Sonny Nguyen skating around an empty car-park. What was interesting however was his girlfriend that was on her smart phone enabling this to happen. As i would pilot the drone, she had to press stop and start recording to which I captured below:


I integrated these brochure policies as well as a risk assessment of the area in terms of trees, buildings and population numbers. I then had a duty of care to those that were in attendance with me.

Devices such as this drone I’ve custom built and integrated an external camera, need devices we use like smart phones and wireless connectivity to create the content produced with these tools like 360 degree video available today! I think an incredible aesthetic is captured in this photo that creates a sense of narrative into whats happening. Multiple producers with the subject able to concentrate on the task performed.

Head over to my YouTube Channel to see the finished video!



4 thoughts on “Personal Devices in Public Space

    Week 6 Weekly Reads | Media Audience Place said:
    September 18, 2016 at 9:27 am

    […] Sam’s approach was to think about ethical conduct and regulation of public photography in relation to drone usage. The safety information brochure that accompanies the purchase of a drone lists physical considerations.  Exercising a duty of care towards others in attendance or those being surveyed by a drone, on the other hand, did not receive a mention. […]


    krysd said:
    September 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    That’s a great and pretty new area to look at. Cool idea – could definitely stretch use this idea for your project.

    Liked by 1 person

    dailysonny said:
    September 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I like your approach to the way personal devices and their use are evolving in the public space, thanks to technology. The use of drones have provided a new perspective in many ways, obviously through footage and images collected, but also the way we engage with the environment around us. You have successfully highlighted the safety regulations that stem off occupying a drone in the field which is highly important. Here are a code of ethics with drone journalism I have found online which might be of interest to you: []. Thanks for sharing and please checkout my research and experiences of ‘Street Photography’ on my site.

    Liked by 1 person

    Writing In Public: A Reflection « T H I N K Sam said:
    October 4, 2016 at 7:18 am

    […] insight into a similar topic or theme. I really took advantage of this with in particular the Devices in Public Space blog, where Sonny  offered me the chance to head to his blog and check out what street […]


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