Dig Baton Rouge

Atmosphere Aerial

By Hannah Womack

You may have heard of the newly popular method of photo and video taking, drone photography. If you do not know what a drone is, they are the mini helicopter looking toys with a camera hanging from the bottom. For a better picture, just Google it. Paul Charbonnet and Josh Rogers, with Atmosphere Aerial, told DIG all about drones and what they are capable of.

In 2013, drones did not really carry any type of camera besides a GoPro. Now they can carry cameras they weigh up to eight pounds. Charbonnet said if the drone can pick it up off the ground, they can fly it. Since the two have been interested and possessed drones when they were not very well-known, it is easy for them to increase their ability because they are ahead as the drones update and get more and more popular.

Atmosphere Aerial is a service company; people hire the guys to take pictures or film something that can only be captured with a drone. Although they do sell stock footage, and they take some insane pictures. Rogers says probably about 30 percent of their calls come from European companies. They both said the coolest thing they have done is a Jaguar event. Jaguar, based out of London, invited all of the car dealerships in the Louisiana area to a racetrack in the middle of nowhere to show off the new cars for 2016. Charbonnet and Rogers got a sneak peak of high-class vehicles like, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Porsche and many others.

These guys have worked with the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, History Channel and CBS Sports. They have a Cabelas commercial coming out in the spring.  They helped out with a well-liked video game, but the name has to be kept secret, Charbonnet said. The most challenging assignment they have had is a Christmas movie. Typically, the camera hangs from the bottom of the drone. In this movie, the director needed the camera to sit on top of the drone.

“Having the task of reinventing the typical drone camera was a fun challenge, and it ended up working out really well,” Charbonnet said.

“That’s one thing we really pride ourselves in, we have a very wide variety of footage,” Rogers said.

Drones can even be used in emergency situations. Charbonnet explained how one time, an electric company had problems with telephone lines. Atmosphere Aerial got to bring the drone to the site and film down the lines to see what was wrong. Another example of how drones could be helpful in an emergency situation is a fire. They could send the drone up to the top of a building and see what caused the fire or if anyone is still in there. Drones can be used to save lives. Charbonnet and Rogers both wanted to make sure readers of DIG know that drones are not made to invade privacy, or cause a danger to the public. Drones are loud, big, and have LED lights…it won’t sneak up on you. They like to educate crowds on drones and explain how they are safe.

“We are really going to hit the ground running in 2016,” Rogers said.

Atmosphere Aerial has big plans for next year. They are hoping to be in movie theatres. Charbonnet said he wants their photography to be a preview, “just a 30 second preview to show people what we can do.”

They want to have a billboard as well. Drones are getting more and more advanced. Rogers and Charbonnet say they don’t think they could ever replace helicopters, but drones can capture certain things that a helicopter cannot. Sitting in CC’s Coffee House, Charbonnet described how he could make a drone fly around the inside of the store, go outside, and chase a car down the street. Can a helicopter do that?

After being asked their favorite part of the job, Rogers quickly responded, “We are our own bosses.” He also said that he never thought he would have such an awesome job like this at the age of 21. Every day they find something new and fun to do and challenge themselves. They said they never feel like they are actually working, just having fun. They both agreed that the most enjoyable part is that they are beyond the normal technology.

“To me, I just love being in such a new technology. We are not inventers, but we are, I guess, pushers—we are pushing today’s technology. The exciting thing is thinking about where the technology is going, and how it will make everyday lives better,” Charbonnet said. Rogers went on saying it’s an incredible feeling to wake up every day and realize you are pushing the bounds of current technology.


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