Archivi categoria: crash

Taking the Last Picture of Something

The recent collapsing of the Azure Window in Malta finally motivated me to take my keyboard and tell you the story behind the picture above.

T’was the summer of 2015. We were on a journey on the North Shore, a beautiful region of Québec at the mouth of the St Lawrence River. A pretty classic road trip. Departure from Montréal, a stop at Québec City, two nights at Grandes Bergeronnes next to Tadoussac. Here we go for a nice weekend of oxygenation. A summary can be seen in this video:

But among the hundred of pictures taken during this trip, it’s without any doubts this lonely seaplane on a lake at sunset that is the most fascinating.

This picture had been shot on the 2nd night of our weekend. While we were en route for Tadoussac for dinner, when our attention was caught by the side of the road with this seaplane and this lake. This was the kind of moment where all the passengers of the car marvel at the beauty of a fleeting moment of a sunset, and when the detour to go to the shore is not even to be discussed.

It was August 21st at 8.13PM.

Less than two days later… “Another Tragedy for Air Saguenay”

“Seaplane Crash on North Shore: ‘vertical’ impact”

While we were heading back to Montréal, the radio announced the crash of a seaplane of Air Saguenay. After the obvious horror and empathy for the victims, a realization came to me — a realization that my photograph is probably among the last, maybe the last, existing of this aircraft.

The last visual trace of this seaplane in all its glory, innocently “immortalized” by my camera…

It’s also my guilty pleasure: this photography attracts, in an inexplicable manner, gazes and attention. As if an invisible force was attracting them, viewers stop and contemplate. And I like to come and have a contextualizing conversation…

Me: “Do you like this picture?”

Viewer: “Yes! It’s really [insert a positive adjective like beautiful, nice, superb…]!”

Me: “You know there’s a whole story behind this picture…”

Viewer: …

Me: “… This plane crashed the day after this picture. It’s probably among the last pictures of this particular plane.”

Viewer: *Mixed expression of fascination and half-disgust towards this new morbid information*

And this is where you really realize the responsibility of a photographer; our pictures might be the last trace of someone, somewhere, or something. Or maybe they will be the last trace of us in this world. That’s why they must exist (and the perfectionist will say “and be perfect too”).

This is where I also realized the broad scope of the name “visual storyteller” to describe a photographer. The story we’re telling is not always in the picture itself or in the moment it captured. No. It’s sometimes in a moment before or the after. In a temporality that hasn’t been frozen in the picture.

But taking a picture, and knowing it’s the last of the object you’re portraying, is a unique experience. Morbid, but profoundly aesthetic. Fascinating, but heavy with unsolved questions. It’s a peculiar feeling for a peculiar piece of art.

Almost two years after, I still don’t know how I feel about this picture and the responsibility it bears. But I feel that it deeply moves me, and will continue to do so until my last shutter click.


About the author: Jp Valery is a photographer and a product manager at Gameloft who’s based in Montréal, Quebec. You can find more of his work and connect with him on his website, portfolio, Twitter, Instagram, 500px, and Facebook. You can buy a print of Valery’s photo here. This article was also published here.

Pilot Crashes Drone into Seattle Space Needle, May Face Jail and Fine

A drone pilot crashed his camera drone into Seattle’s iconic Space Needle on New Years Eve, and they may now be facing charges.

Footage of the accident captured by the drone itself was made public this week and quickly went viral. The 3-minute video shows the drone capturing scenic views of the city for a couple of peaceful minutes before unexpectedly flying straight into the upper section of the space needle, where some workers were standing.

CNN reports that police have identified the owner of the drone using its serial number. The FAA began requiring drone owners to register their drones in 2016 for incidents just like this latest one in Seattle.

While Seattle doesn’t currently have any drone ordinances, it’s considering charging the drone owner with reckless endangerment, a gross misdemeanor which could carry a penalty of up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

“It looks like the drone tractor beam we installed on the Space Needle is working,” Space Needle CEO Ron Sevart tells CNN. He says it’s the third time Space Needle management has recovered a drone at the famous landmark.

(via CNN via Paleofuture)

Facebook Auto-Made a Happy Video of Guy’s Car Wreck Photos

Facebook’s auto-generated photo slideshows aren’t always the best at nailing the mood of photos. Case in point: after Josh Gibson got into a serious freeway car accident, Facebook suggested sharing the above “chipper” video with friends and family.

Gibson was driving on the freeway in his Toyota 4Runner SUV when he was rear-ended by a red sports car going about 30 miles above the speed limit, Gibson says. His 4Runner started to roll and ended up upside-down on the freeway. Emerging from the wreck relatively unscathed, Gibson started shooting photos with his phone.

Later, after opening his Facebook app, Gibson noticed that the social network was offering to automatically make and share a photo slideshow about his experience.

“I watched the ‘only you can see this’ preview inside the Facebook app because I was curious, and couldn’t help but share it because I was laughing so hard,” Gibson writes on Reddit.

This strange happy video of grim photos has since been viewed over half a million times in the first 24 hours of being up on YouTube.

Drone Falls Out of the Sky… and Onto a Woman’s Head

A woman at a public event in Beloeil, Quebec, was injured earlier this month when a DJI Phantom 3 camera drone dropped out of the sky and smashed directly into her head. The incident was caught on camera by another drone in the sky and can be seen in the 8 second video above.

VAT News reports that 38-year-old Stéphanie Creignou suffered serious injuries from the 2.7-pound drone and is planning a lawsuit against the drone’s operator. The impact was so violent that Creignou collapsed in the arms of her friend and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was diagnosed with whiplash.

She has not yet returned to work, and says she was forced to cancel a vacation she had been planned with her husband. The drone’s operator, Rosaire Turcotte, says he has no idea how he lost control of the drone.

“Everything was fine. And then suddenly, the drone is gone,” he tells VAT News. “I do not know what happened. I have zero explanation […] I think I have acted in the safest way possible”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is currently investigating the crash, which is reportedly the first drone-related injury accident that has been reported to officials in Canada.

The footage of the incident was captured by VTOL-X Drones, which was hired by the event organizers to shoot aerial imagery.

“This was an accident that could have easily been avoided, if the person flying the other drone would have followed the basic guidelines set by Transport Canada,” company CEO Flavio Martincowski tells PetaPixel. He says the man was flying without proper permits and was flying very close to where people were gathered. The crash happened just moments after his company questioned the man about these things.

“There will always be the ones don’t follow rules,” Martincowski says. “Drones are not toys, they are tools that could be very helpful to us all, but if misused, it could cause very serious injuries and possibly even death.”

Drone Hits Plane Approaching London Heathrow, Pilot Says

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It was only a matter of time, a safety specialist in London said, before something like this happened. Yesterday at 12:50 BST, a British Airways Airbus A320 carrying 132 passengers and 5 crew was hit head on by a recreational drone while approaching Heathrow, the pilot claims.

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed the incident, saying that they were contacted Sunday afternoon shortly after the incident. Aviation police have launched an investigation, but no arrests have been made at this time.

Fortunately, the pilot was able to land the plane safely and the airliner was cleared for its next flight by engineers. But if you think a drone doesn’t pose serious danger to a massive airliner, it’s worth thinking again.

“You end up with very high-velocity bits of metal going anywhere they like,” Steve Landells, flight safety specialist at the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), told The Guardian. “That could be through fuel tanks, through hydraulic lines and even into the cabin.” He also said that current computer models show a drone could penetrate an airliner’s windscreen.

Landells is the same specialist who said it was only “a matter of time” before something like this happened. He’s calling for more education and enforcement of the rules.


Image credits: Photograph by Juergen Lehle

Someone Crashed Their Camera Drone Into the Giant Ferris Wheel in Seattle

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Here’s another story that illustrates why the US government is racing to create a national drone registry that attaches each drone to a name: on Wednesday, someone apparently tried to fly their DJI Phantom drone through the Seattle Great Wheel and failed, causing the drone to plummet to the ground and smash a basketball-sized hole in a plastic dining table.

The Seattle Police Department writes that a security guard was walking near the 175-foot giant ferris wheel at 4:45 PM when he heard a strange buzzing noise. Looking up, he watched as the drone flew right into the center of the ferris wheel and fell to the ground.

Perhaps the drone owner was trying to shoot something like this aerial footage from 2014 by Adam Guy:

Luckily, the table was the only casualty in the accident.

The basketball-sized hole created by the drone. Photo by Seattle PD.

The basketball-sized hole created by the drone. Photo by Seattle PD.

The drone owner was nowhere to be found, as is often the case with accidents like this one. Back in June, during a parade in Seattle, a drone crashed into a building, fell onto a woman’s head, and knocked her unconscious. (The owner did later come forward).

The fallen drone that crashed into the Ferris wheel. Photo by Seattle PD.

The fallen drone that crashed into the Ferris wheel. Photo by Seattle PD.

The Seattle police department is now working hard to find the owner behind this latest crash. A spokesperson tells Ars Technica that without a witness or the pilot coming forward, it will be “nearly impossible” to identify the pilot.


Image credits: Header photo by T.Tseng