Behind the Cover: Jamie Chung on Photographing the Hummingbird Drone

Jamie Chung  for TIME
Jamie Chung for TIME

Don’t be fooled by its colorful exterior. This tiny Hummingbird is actually a surveillance prototype for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, developed by the California based AeroVironment. The Hummingbird—officially called the Nano Air Vehicle—is among 50 new inventions, which appear in the new issue of TIME.

TIME's Invention Issue cover, photographed by Jamie Chung

TIME Cover. The Invention Issue, November 28, 2011.

New York photographer Jamie Chung spent two and a half weeks shooting the Hummingbird—among a handful of other inventions, including the artificial leaf and a $100,000 razor—for the annual Invention Issue. “It was inspirational,” Chung says of the project. “Meeting the inventors was the best part. They’re totally comfortable with their nerddom, but so am I, so we had a lot of fun together.”

AeroVironment lead engineer Matt Keennon brought the Hummingbird to Chung’s studio, where the photographer shot it in several positions. The remote-controlled device weighs just 0.66 ounces, allowing it to go where humans can’t, be it spying or scouting out safe spots in combat zones. “It’s crazy to think something so pretty is used for something so dangerous,” Chung said. Indeed, who knew the canary in the coal mine would turn out to be a Hummingbird?

Jamie Chung is a New York based photographer. See more of his work here

Feifei Sun is a reporter at TIME. Follow her on Twitter at @feifei_sun.

Related Topics: , , , ,

Latest Posts

The Sponge Bob Squarepants float makes its way down 6th Ave during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York

The Best Pictures of the Week: Nov. 21 – Nov. 28

From violent protests over the Ferguson shooting verdict and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s sudden resignation to the dismantling of India’s first aircraft carrier and Lionel Messi’s new goals record, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

Read More
grid

TIME Picks the Best Photobooks of 2014

Al Khumaini Msallam Qudiah is seen exiting his rubbled home in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, on Nov. 1st 2014.Al Khumaini and his sons live in the rubbled home, while his wife and daughters live with their relatives. His farmland was bulldozed by Israeli army. He began building new farm, with the bricks and material from his rubbled home.

Photojournalism Daily: Nov. 28, 2014

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,445 other followers