Whether they're flying in the neighborhood park or making headlines, drones are everywhere. With your eyes glued to the news, you might not know most drones are friendly. There's lots of flying fun to be had, and with so many affordable, commercial-grade options on the market, anyone with a healthy Instagram habit and a penchant for new gadgetry should hop aboard the train.
But where to start? How do you capture the best pictures and videos? What are the applications, and where can or can't you fly the damn things? Welcome to the GoPro Drone Club. It's got your back.
"The main thing we're aiming for is to create a community for people," says co-creator Manny Lopez. He and buddy Nick Soro are drone fanatics, and the GoPro Drone Club is their way of spreading the love.
It began with a simple GoPro hobby. Lopez caught the film bug after handling and editing law deposition records. When drone technology hit the regular-dude scene, he and Soro were all over it. They regularly take their drones to the park, fly them on boat trips, capture the wakeboarding scene, and make sweet memories for friends at weddings and parties -- all the stuff you could be doing too.
Lopez would post the videos to social media, and the questions came pouring in. "Where did you take that?" "What setting did you use?" "Where can I get one of those?" Soro turned to him and said, "Man, we should just start a forum."
Today, GoProDroneClub.com is way more than just a forum. Sure, you can log in and chat with drone geeks or learn the ins and outs from accomplished hobbyists before taking the plunge, but the GoPro Drone Club also offers daily inspiration pics, as well as a well-stocked e-store with all the GoPros, Drones, accessories, and video-editing equipment fit for the lowly novice or the mighty expert.
Once you get the drone for you, which can range anywhere from $53.50 to $500, there are a lot of rules. For instance, you can't fly within five miles of an airport, and there are various restrictions for residential areas. The club includes area maps of where you can and cannot take your new toy, clearing the air of questions and getting you right for flight.
It's also useful for those of us who don't know how to fly drones, don't have the time or money to figure it out, but really want someone to capture our special moments or get that aerial view of a real-estate property. If for any reason you find yourself in the market for a drone pilot, visit GoProDroneClub.com and find a skilled, affordable pilot in your area.
Lopez and Soro live right here in Miami, but the club is open to people all over the world. It's the internet, after all. Go ahead -- join the club and get a whole new (aerial) angle on life.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.
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