Online competition awards best drone photos
AN ONLINE PHOTO sharing platform and community for drone photographers, called Dronestagr.am has announced the winners of its third annual photography contest.
Originally designed for military operations and navigation, the cost and accessibility of drones has seen the technology take off in mainstream photography, providing professional and amateur photographers alike with new angles and never-before-seen aerial perspectives.
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These winning photos came from 5900 submissions, from 28 countries, across three categories – Nature-Wildlife, Sports-Adventure and Travel.
Kalbyris Forest, Denmark. First place, Nature-Wildlife category. (Image: Michael Bernholdt)
“The emerald is a small patch of pinewood surrounded by mixed forest and a small creek,” explains Danish photographer Michael Bernholdt, who captured this image just three months after purchasing his first drone, a Phantom 3 Professional.
Swarm (Romania). Second place, Nature-Wildlife category.(Image: Szabolcs Ignacz)
“We wanted to present the traditional Romania in its full beauty,” says 25-year-old photographer, videographer and drone pilot Szabolcs Ignacz.
“We were travelling by car and suddenly along the road from the distance I’ve spotted the sheep herd. Ninety-nine per cent of the time I’m travelling with my drone. Did a quick setup and in under two minutes I was ready to fly and launched my Inspire 1 [drone]. The sheep herd had a really unique formation, so I took the shot.”
Piton de la Fournaise volcano. Third place, Nature-Wildlife category. (Image: Jonathan Payet)
“This picture was very difficult to catch because of ascending hot-air and 50km/h wind,” says Jonathan Payet, who captured this dramatic image of Piton de la Fournaise volcano on Reunion Island, near Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean.
“There was sulfur next to the volcano, so I need to [wear] a mask while piloting,” he says. “The picture was taken after sunrise, at five degrees, with authorities’ authorisation to access next to the most active volcano in the world.”
Moab. First place, Sports-Adventure category. (Image: Max Seigal)
“I spent the day filming a couple friends of mine who were trying to put up a first ascent on some epic off-width climbing routes in the desert,” says Max Seigal who captured this incredible shot in the Moab desert, Utah, USA.
“We hiked for miles looking for the perfect line, and then spotting this amazing crack that was about 400 feet off the ground. Using the drone, I was able to capture images that would have never been possible before!”
Aquatic Complex, Norte de Santander. Second place, Sports-Adventure category. (Image: Juan Pablo Bayona / Losmanesdeldrone)
Juan, a 32-year-old wedding photographer and photojournalist based in Colombia, South America, took this photo of swimmers warming up for his city’s swimming competition for a local newspaper.
Chugach Mountain Range, Alaska. Third place, Sports-Adventure category. (Image: Tj Balon)
This image was captured by 43-year-old Tj Balon from Melbourne on a heli-skiing trip in Alaska.
“This picture was taken in the Chugach Mountain Range outside of Cordova Alaska. Its subject is my friend and guide Jason Bilek opening up some turns on a giant mountain face we called Buzzy’s,” says Tj. “It’s about 45-50 degrees and a very fun run. […] My fingers always get cold while I fly up there but the results are always worth it.”
Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, Italy. First place, Travel category. (Image: Francisco Cattuto)
Software engineer and enthusiastic photographer Francesco Cattuto took this photo in Umbria, Italy, on Boxing Day in 2015.
It was a foggy day, nonetheless I decided to go up in the sky to see more from above,” she says. “After the drone came out from the clouds, the view was spectacular and got me completely astonished and, without breathing, I had the time to take some shoots before the Sun went down and the cloud got higher hiding everything.”
Cable Beach, Western Australia. Second place, Travel category. (Image: Todd Kennedy / DragonEye)
Australian photographer Todd Kennedy snapped this amazing shot while on his honeymoon at Cable Beach, WA. “We rented a 4WD and drove 8000km around outback Australia with a drone included in our luggage,” he says.
When we arrived in Broome, we booked a sunset camel tour which was a beautiful experience, and a great opportunity to get a new addition to a series of shadow images I have been collecting since entering into drone photography.”
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Amadores Gran Canaria, Spain. Third place, Travel category. (Image: Karolis Janulis)
This aerial shot of Playa de Amadores, a beach on Gran Canaria Island in Spain, was taken by Lithuanian photographer Karolis Janulis. “I have a regular drone with factory camera on it,” he says, adding that it’s the photographer, not the gear, who takes the picture.