Visual Communication in Society

Public Engagement

Events and Workshops

Check soon for new details of forthcoming workshops


We recently collaborated with Futurum – a free online resource and magazine aimed at introducing 14-19-year-olds worldwide to the world of work in STEM (science, tech, engineering, maths, medicine) and SHAPE (social sciences, humanities and the arts for people and the economy). Futurum worked with us to translate our drone research into free educational resources that can be used in the classroom, at home and in STEM and SHAPE clubs. Click here to find out more.

Drone Hobbyists and Professional Drone Photographers
We are currently working with a selection of drone hobbyists who took part in our Drones in Visual Culture project, as well as a group of professional drone photographers, to create video, audio, photographic and textual content for our website. The content will offer individual case studies of how each person uses drones in their everyday life and what types of photographs they like to capture. It will provide an important educational resource for children and young adults with a general interest in visual, cultural or digital media studies, as well as a more specific interest in drones and photography. We hope to add the content to our website in March/April 2022.

Flying Experiences

Paul Lakeman
Paul Lakeman, Nostalgia

There are many reasons why this particular unique bird’s eye view of La Rocque Harbour is one of my favourite drone images. 

On the slipway to the bottom right of the image, my mum had a catering van that sold sandwiches, pots of tea and ice creams in the ‘60s. In the summer, my uncle Bert came over from Birmingham to look after the deck chairs. I can still remember the smell of his pipe tobacco.

The first bench on the walk that leads down the harbour is in memory of my younger brother Christopher who tragically committed suicide and his and my elder brother John’s ashes were scattered from a boat at the end of the pier. John passed away after a long and courageous battle against cancer. He still loved a swim at La Rocque, even when he had lost much of his mobility.

It was just off the end of the pier that, as a young boy, I got into difficulties swimming and had to cling on to my father’s shoulders as he dragged me to safety.

For the last couple of years, we have been living in close proximity to the harbour and beaches and I have spent numerous sunrises, sunsets and hours in between taking photos with my camera and drone.

My wife Gill and I have spent long lazy days swimming and sunbathing on the main beach and the beaches behind the harbour. We have spent hours with the grandkids down in the rock pools and playing on the beach. Our family often get together at La Rocque. It is a very special place. 

This totally unique drone image was taken with special permission from the Air Traffic Control in Jersey. They allowed me to take my drone to 1200ft as the airport was closed due to Covid. (Paul).

Paul Lakeman, “Waves are the voices of tides. Tides are Life” Tamora Pierce

This drone image  was shot early one morning at St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey on a very high spring tide with permissions from the local Air Traffic Control as the area is very close to the airport. The conditions were almost perfect with little wind but a big swell coming in from the Atlantic. I had visualised the image of capturing the breaking waves on the sea wall. Many photos have been taken from the shore of the iconic Le Don Hilton, an ancient guard house and powder magazine that sits on the seawall. None had ever been taken from this angle, low down behind the waves. When the big waves hit the sea wall, there is a large bang and a vibration under foot, which I find both exciting and inspiring. I got the DJI Mavic Pro drone up in the air and set the camera capture to 5 shot burst mode, watched the waves roll in, pressed the shutter and this image was no 3 of the 5 shot burst. The image captured of the ‘White House’ from this totally unique perspective is still one of my very favourite drone captures. When I posted it up on social media, I had a number of comments asking if it was a photoshopped image and I took those comments as compliments. The image is a RAW file converted to jpeg, a one click edit with Luminar Ai. Right place at the right time maybe but considerable planning took place. You can see for yourself that nature offered a substantial reward for my efforts. There were a number of photographers down there that morning, but I was the only one fortunate enough to be able to see and capture this image. I have often tried to replicate this drone image with little success. The image has been printed in the local newspaper, magazines and I was interviewed on BBC Jersey about my drone photography following publication of the image. (Paul).

Paul Lakeman, Dream Time: Biophilia in the Twilight Zone

Research has shown that spending time embracing nature is beneficial to mental and physical health. This is another of my favourite images as it encapsulates the best aspects of living on a small beautiful island where you are never far from the sea. I can often be found down by Mont Orgueil Castle. In the twilight zone, it’s such a special time of the day for me, silent and always full of anticipation. The drone offers the chance of capturing the ever-changing hues as we say goodbye to night and welcome a new day. In this liminal period, I’m often completely alone. There are no demands on my time; it’s relaxing and blissful. Weather permitting, the drone is often high in the sky waiting for the sun to pop over the horizon on the adjacent coast of France. In these magical minutes, the scene can change in seconds. However, this day dawn seemed to hang around for ages. I’ve taken numerous drone images from this location but always feel blessed to be able to see and capture such an outstanding seascape and castle from a bygone age. The high vantage point the drone offers has been used to draw the viewer into the mystical scene. This is a moment in time that will never be repeated but my drone capture will ensure it is never forgotten. Picture postcard maybe but I make no apologies for sharing. (Paul).