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Posted By: paulajw
Posted On: March 26, 2015

Photo journalist Eddie Mitchell shows Brighton Journalist Works students one of his drones

Photo journalist Eddie Mitchell shows Brighton Journalist Works students one of his drones

Photo journalist Eddie Mitchell with one of his drones

Photojournalist Eddie Mitchell took Brighton Journalist Works students to new heights as he explained how drones are a great for capturing the scene from a different perspective, writes Lucy Grosvenor.

The Brighton snapper explained that photo journos are often the first response to a story, he works for the BBC as well as being on call for all national and local papers in the South of England.

He is one of a few journalists who carries a pilot’s licence to fly unmanned aircrafts, or drones.

When covering a story in Newchapel at the end of last year Eddie was arrested for breach of the peace.

After he arrived at the scene, which was under a Gatwick airport flight path, he made himself know to police officers and took his drone up in the air.

Whilst he was controlling the machine, police came over and arrested him for breach of the peace and dangerously tried to bring the drone down.

“When you tell some police you are a journalist they look at you like you are a troll but I’m just doing my job,” he said.

He went on to explain how the Association of Chief Police Officers, ACPO, states the press and public can take pictures of the scene and the police have no right to make you delete your pictures.

A handy tip he mentioned was the first line of sentence can dictate the conversation – so never try to get off on the wrong foot with people, although he did point out not all police are like that most are really helpful.

He said: “I was told when I started this job 15 years ago I’d be punched on the nose and arrested – luckily I’ve only had one!”

After five hours in police custody Eddie was released without charge although according to his BBC lawyers wrongful imprisonment is worth up to £5,000 and he has lodged a complaint with the force.

Not only does he take pictures for news he has also worked with emergency services to give them a “unique perspective” when battling fires.

He left students with a parting bit of wisdom saying the only way you can improve is if someone critiques your work.

Adding: “It’s not always nice to hear but you can gain so much if you have a fresh pair of eyes looking at your work.”