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Time For Drones

The latest issue of the iconic Time Magazine features a special report on Drones, and a very special front cover. A whopping 958 of the unmanned aerial vehicles took to the California sky to create a stunning 100-meter tall aerial cover.

In fact, the aerial cover is a first in the 95-year history of the publication.  It was created by using the technology of leading brand Intel, as well as their collection of ‘Shooting Star’ drones which have been used predominantly and famously before for light shows.

The drones were programmed to arrange in a vertical formation that mimicked Time’s iconic border and logo.  Another drone then photographed the display.

Shot in Folsom, Cali, the use of the 958 drones meant the event was one of the largest drone light shows ever to take place anywhere in the world, although it does fall some way shot of the record, when 1218 Shooting Stars were used as part of the Opening Ceremony for the Winter Olympics.
Intel were also the first company to put 100 and then 500 drones in the sky simultaneously achieving World Records both times, and the Shooting Stars were also used to great success during the iconic Super Bowl half time show in 2017 when 300 drones formed an American flag during Lady Gaga’s performance.

The drones were programmed to emit red and white LED lights in shades that match Time’s specific colour.  The photograph was taken at sunset so that a blue gradient appears behind the machines.

To create the image, the drones were required to fly closer to each other that the 3-metre radius usually prescribed in drone light shows – a measure to prevent in-air collisions.
This was a challenge in itself given the timing of the shoot, as winds tends to be stronger in the evenings at the location.

Take a look at the video below for the making of the magazine cover.