Howard Magazine - Page 46 - Taking Flight (2)

Howard Magazine
- Page 46
Taking Flight (2)

While drone photography can be used for houses of all sizes and styles — and even to shoot interiors — it is most regularly used for exteriors of high-end homes with large yards.


“It’s really effective for projects that are larger and have land, where you need the perspective to appreciate how grand the property is,” says Tyler Minsberg, a full-time Realtor for the Lucido Team.


“It’s a great way to highlight houses with water or houses on a golf,” agrees Creig Northrop, head of Clarksville-based Northrop Realty. Northrop has been using drone photographs to help sell homes for some 10 years, he said, and more recently, tying them to drone-shot videos. He said his company uses the technology to market about one-third of their properties.


“The advantage is you can see the lifestyle associated with the home,” adds. “It’s like having a wide-angle lens on your backyard.”


David Kivioja, a retired Air Force colonel and test pilot, operates his company, Eagle Eye Imaging, out of his Woodbine home. Eagle Eye provides a range of drone-related services, among them agricultural (assessing plant growth and detecting bug infestations, for example), construction (assessing progress), and real estate sales.


Kivioja started his company about two-and- a-half years ago, and his timing was not incidental. He launched Eagle Eye Imaging shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration loosened restrictions on commercial drones, simplifying and speeding up a permitting process for flying in what is known as “controlled airspace” (around airports, for example) that previously took months to complete.


Although parts of eastern Howard are in controlled airspace because of their proximity to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the process for acquiring the necessary authorization even there has become fairly quick and easy, Kivioja said. And, he added, the more stringent restrictions on flights near the nation’s capital do not extend into Howard County.


Still, Kivioja said, lingering confusion over those restrictions has slowed the use of drones here. “I think other parts of the country, this technology has taken on a lot quicker,” he says. “But it’s growing. Each year, it’s betting busier and busier.”


Another drone pilot and businessman with local connections said drone photography is almost expected now for many properties.


“A few years ago, it was more of a novelty,” says Dan Edmonson, whose company, Maryland Drone Service, does work in Howard County. “Now, especially for larger properties, people want to see the entire scope and scale