From bustling city skylines to out-of-this-world natural landscapes, the winning images from Agora’s #Aerial2020 competition are showcasing some of the most beautiful destinations in the world—all from a bird’s eye point of view. Dutch photographer @by_ewold beat the other 9,018 submissions to win the $1,000 prize with his breathtaking shot 'A magic morning in The Netherlands'.

Agora’s latest photo competition invited the global community of photographers to participate with their best aerial shots for a chance to win the $1,000 top prize. As a result, 9,018 photos showing the earth from above have been submitted to the online contest, resulting in an impressive panorama of some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

Agora launched the #Aerial2020 photo competition through its free-to-use mobile app on May 8th. Photographers had until May 22nd to participate for the chance to be selected in the Top 50 finalists and make it to the final voting rounds.

@by_ewold’s magical aerial shot of Zaanse Schans, the village with the most famous windmills in the Netherlands, gathered the highest number of votes from the global community through the different voting rounds in the app, awarding him the #Aerial2020 contest’s $1,000 top prize.

Agora is a mobile app where photographers, whether amateur or professional, can participate in photo contests for a chance to win international recognition and cash prizes (from $1,000 to $25,000). The app’s global system enables its global audience to vote and pick the best images from each competition, making the process more inclusive and democratic than any other traditional photography contest.

"When you see the world from above, you realize how important the point of view can be. These 50 works of art turn us into birds to admire the planet earth from above. Thanks to all the photographers of the world who participated in #Aerial2020!" said Octavi Royo, Agora's CEO & Co-Founder.

More info: agoraimages.com

#1

Magic Morning In The Netherlands

Magic Morning In The Netherlands

Location: Zaanse Schans, Zaanstad, Netherlands

@by_ewold’s magical aerial shot of Zaanse Schans, the village with the most famous windmills in the Netherlands, gathered the highest number of votes from the global community through the different voting rounds in the app, awarding him the #Aerial2020 contest’s $1,000 top prize.

"I was waiting for a long time to capture this typical Dutch scene with low fog. And finally, on the 10th of May, the weather forecast looked perfect: no wind and low night temperatures are the ideal ingredients for low fog. My alarm went off at 4:00 am to drive to the Zaanse Schans; when I got there the fog was everywhere except around the windmills. I decided to check first some other spots, after 1 hour I came back and wow! The wind had turned and blown the fog in the direction of the windmills. I had only 50% battery left on my drone and took off to find a unique angle to capture this place. When I looked on my phone to see the drone view it was like a dream!"

@by_ewold (Netherlands)

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
2 weeks ago

`Beautiful picture and thanks for not calling the Netherlands Holland.

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#2

Rice Paradise

Rice Paradise

Location: Bali, Indonesia

"I had to wake up at 5.30 am to take this shot. The early morning light bathing the rice terraces with the 2 volcanoes in the background made my day."

@carlesalonsophotography (Spain)

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Kathy Lord Tate
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Absolutely stunning!!

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#3

Floating In The Air

Floating In The Air

Location: Zhangjiajie National Park, China

"This is a cable car ride inside Zhangjiajie National Park. Within the park, there are altogether more than 8,000 cliff mountains, towering into the sky. During our ride, it was a misty/cloudy morning which is why this scenery looks even more mysterious. We couldn't believe our eyes when we raise above the clouds and this view appeared. I wanted to capture this the best way possible, putting my GoPro through the small window because shooting through the scratched glass wouldn't turn out good at all. 1 minute later, the view disappeared again. Turned out we got lucky! I absolutely love the result and the feeling it transmits, cause when I look at this photo I get this mysterious feeling and "wow-effect" back immediately."

@sjoerdbracke (Netherlands)

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Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Looks to me like some edited scene from James Cameron's "Avatar"

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#4

Overcrowded

Overcrowded

Location: Dameisha beach, China

"This is a public beach next to a five stars hotel. The hotel had its own private beach right next to it, which was empty. I was initially interested in capturing that contrast. The crowd density was so high, I had to gain quite a lot of altitude to make it fit in the frame. At that point, those indistinguishable people started to create a pattern that I found even more powerful and fascinating."

@will_tm (France)

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Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
2 weeks ago

I believe I see a few air dancers!

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#5

Life On Mars

Life On Mars

Location: Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA

"I wanted to show that our planet has landscapes that look like they are out of this world. We don’t need to go to Mars to find these kinds of landscapes. Like in most of my photos, I want to make people realize we can find beauty on this planet. We need to take care of nature, lots of times you see that when a location gets popular, tourists overcrowd the place and basically ruin it. If you decide to visit these kinds of places just leave nothing but footprints!"

@tomdewaart (Netherlands)

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Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Can't believe there is place like this on Earth! Those colors belongs to our fantasies about Mars and Jules Verne's fantasies in his novels

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#6

Desert Sunset

Desert Sunset

Location: Tatacoa desert, Colombia

"On this ancient rock formation, you can see how the drought slowly scraped out these patterns and structures. Imagine the time that has been needed to create this. Layer by layer... that's just mind-boggling. You'd expect that this is a huge mountain range, but look at the green trees for scale reference..."

@johandroneadventures (Belgium)

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Bebe
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Veins of the Earth

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#7

Magical Mood

Magical Mood

Location: Mont Saint Michel, France

"One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen: it was a cold sunrise, but certainly worth it. On top of the rock, you can see a church overlooking the village of 70 residents. The strongest tides in Europe rule here, with the water going back kilometers."

@arnold_maisner_photo (Germany)

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cassiushumanmother
Community Member
2 weeks ago

The Mont saint Michel has 30 residents (monks and sisters included), it become slowly a crowded museum and a chinese souvenir supermarket since the 70'. Very sad.

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#8

Wind Farm

Wind Farm

Location: Denmark

"See the sailboat for scale!"

@henrydo (USA)

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Megan Ten Broeke
Community Member
2 weeks ago

This is beautiful and breathtaking. Is there some way to order a print? The effects wind turbines have on bird populations are widely misunderstood. The National Audubon Society's (USA) official stance is strongly pro wind power. Data show that one wind turbine on average five birds per year. In contrast, cats kill 2,000 x more birds per year. The second biggest manmade killer of birds is the humble window.

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#9

Racing The Tide To Safety

Racing The Tide To Safety

Location: Sandy Cape Light, Australia

"Cruising the Fraser Island highway at the sandy cape: an ever-evolving landscape where Giant dunes meet crystal clear water."

@lukeylove (Australia)

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Daria B
Community Member
2 weeks ago (edited)

It reminds me.... Here in Korea, near the city where I live (Siheung), there is a small island (Jebudo) accessible only during specific schedules due to the speed and differences of the low/high tide exchange. High tides cover the only car road that connects the island to the rest of the land, and my husband and I drove over as it was just starting to fill with water. Thankfully, we were fast enough and didn't get too much water on our car, neither inside it, but the experience of being stranded on a non deserted island was surreal.

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#10

Road In Winter

Road In Winter

Location: Allgäu, Germany

"It was such a cold day. There was fresh snow and I wanted to take my dream shot. A lot of people around the world have never experienced snow so I wanted to show them the beauty of winter through my photo."

@imkaphotos (Germany)

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Megan Ten Broeke
Community Member
2 weeks ago

I love it.

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#11

Crazy Road

Crazy Road

Location: Tianmen Mountain, China

@rakia10 (Spain)

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Daria B
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Oh, it's a Rube Goldberg machine! ♡

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#12

Fortress Of The Dragon

Fortress Of The Dragon

Location: Basque Country, Spain

"A tiny island joined to the mainland by a bridge clung to rocks and stacks; one of the best places I’ve ever visited! That day was super windy, I flew my drone about 3 km away to get this shot and I was so worried that I would never see it again! Fortunately, it came back and it was definitely worth it."

@sixthlens (Italy)

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Laura Blumenthal
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Beautiful photo - there is a similar place in Greece, on the island of Skopelos - it's called Ai (or Agios) Yannis, on the Northeast side of the island. Here's a shot I took on a grey day in 2005. PICT0013_1...3-jpeg.jpg PICT0013_1-5ee93b2d71b43-jpeg.jpg

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#13

World’s Best Airport

World’s Best Airport

Location: Singapour

@jordisark (Spain)

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George Chesterson
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Singapour. LOL Perfect spelling.

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#14

Bridge Topdown

Bridge Topdown

Location: Vladivostok, Russia

@panvelvet (Russia)

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Charlotte Brine
Community Member
2 weeks ago

This gave me severe vertigo...

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#15

The Rock In The Middle Of Nowhere

The Rock In The Middle Of Nowhere

Location: New Mexico, USA

"This has to be one of the highlights of my US trip. Shooting this rock with the drone was pretty epic, I had to fly it directly into the wind for 3km to capture this."

@joelfriend (UK)

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M.A.D.
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Perfect place for an evil villain.

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#16

Bangkok Market From Above

Bangkok Market From Above

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

"Nearby this market was a parking garage. We climbed almost to the top and were amazed by its beauty from above. The lesson to learn from this photo: if you're in a place to do some photography, don't just stay at the location itself. Do some research beforehand and look around the area to find unique points of view."

@michelle.wandering (Netherlands)

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Isla Goulding
Community Member
2 weeks ago

I think I want whatever that one with the red and white covering is selling :)

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#17

Lost In The City

Lost In The City

Location: Whampoa, Hong Kong

"This is one of the weirdest sceneries I've ever imagined. Yes, it is a shopping center, but from above it looks like a boat in the middle of countless identical residential blocks."

@poletaev.photo (Russia)

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Megan Ten Broeke
Community Member
2 weeks ago

It looks exactly like a boat. I wonder if that was intentional.

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#18

Chasing Waves

Chasing Waves

Location: Perth, Australia

@blakehobson (Canada)

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Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Amazing and scaring!

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#19

Warm Summer Evening In Budapest

Warm Summer Evening In Budapest

Location: Budapest, Hungary

@jprphotos (UK)

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Brie
Community Member
2 weeks ago

it looks magical

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#20

The Mood In The Mountains

The Mood In The Mountains

Location: Lago Di Braies, Italy

"The Dolomites area is full of picturesque landscapes, and no trip would be complete without a visit to Lago di Braies. I arrived in hope of a sunset but that did not happen; instead, I was greeted with some moody conditions with loads of low clouds. I enjoy shooting in challenging conditions and I was still determined to get some shots of this beautiful place."

@jamesxtheo (UK)

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Faizal Jam
Community Member
2 weeks ago

i love this view, so peaceful, no noisy,

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#21

Old Castle Ruins In Upper Austria

Old Castle Ruins In Upper Austria

Location: Austria

"This region has so much history and a lot of old castles! This castle was built around 1100 a.d, and I find it really impressive that there is still so much left off these old buildings."

@hardingmicha (Austria)

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Ridwan Miftahurrochman
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Suddenly I want to hunt dragons!

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#22

Whales

Whales

Location: Australia

"The east coast of Australia offers excellent opportunities for whale watching. As I was flying my drone, I spotted this whale calf and mother surfacing."

@simonpastor (France)

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Lyone Fein
Community Member
2 weeks ago

How sweet

#23

Globos

Globos

Location: Cappadocia, Turkey

@sance (Spain)

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Daria B
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Corel Draw ♡

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#24

Patterns Of Death Valley

Patterns Of Death Valley

Location: Mojave Desert, Death Valley, USA

"I wanted to convey the beauty and scale of this unique location. It was important to photograph early as the temperatures here can reach to 134 °F (56.7 °C) during the day!"

@cannonmatt (UK)

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Megan Ten Broeke
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Incredible.

#25

The Road North

The Road North

Location: Iceland

"When you're exploring new terrains for the first time, you're not really sure what's around the corner—particularly the weather. This was a calm before the storm moment when the snow had settled and left miles around blanket white. Driving the sub-arctic, North of Iceland in winter is no mean feat with snow blizzards, whiteouts, and weather fronts that appeared from nowhere – have never seen the weather change so instantly… incredible, but keeps you on your toes."

@joncleave (UK)

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#26

Like A Chess

Like A Chess

Location: Barcelona, Spain

"As a photographer, I love shooting city landscapes. I have always dreamed about seeing the famous architecture of Barcelona and its symmetrical neighborhoods. Over the years I've seen a lot of aerial photos of the city, so I thought I had an idea of what was awaiting me, but when I flew my drone to see it for myself it just caught my breath. Barcelona is truly an amazing place that is unlike anywhere else."

@mikhail_derevyanov (Russia)

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Marlene Ricker
Community Member
1 week ago

So beautiful and symmetrical. Now I want to see it from street level.

#27

One Of The Most Amazing Sunsets In Barcelona

One Of The Most Amazing Sunsets In Barcelona

Location: Barcelona, Spain

"It took me a whole year to get this shot right. I waited patiently for the sun to set in this exact position, so the lights create a path straight to the Sagrada Familia."

@alvarovaliente_ (Spain)

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#28

Sunrise On Gunung Bromo

Sunrise On Gunung Bromo

Location: Mount Bromo, Indonesia

"We hiked on the rim of Java's Mount Bromo before sunrise, in almost pitch darkness, surrounded by rumbling sounds coming from the volcano. As the sun rose, we observed a cloud of smoke coming from a crater and felt suddenly so small in the front of nature. I did this hike with my 3-year-old daughter on my shoulders!"

@ghislainfave (France)

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miten sasmita
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Went there, indeed a breathtaking place. There is a vast endless sand with "little" volcanoes lined up.

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#29

The Dreamscape

The Dreamscape

Location: Central Hong Kong

"A city without clouds is like a musical without music. I captured this shot during the sea of clouds season which only happens once a year. One has to wake up super early and keep monitoring the latest weather forecasts for a chance to capture such low clouds floating through the city. Hong Kong is like a magical dream: I want to show the world that this city is not just a cold concrete forest, but a city with a warm, beautiful soul."

@jsrpixel (China)

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Sydney Preston
Community Member
2 weeks ago

And that soul is going to be snuffed out by the Communists!

#30

Collecting Salt

Collecting Salt

Location: Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA

@jassensf (USA)

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Sterrinatu
Community Member
2 weeks ago

I love flying over Utah, it looks so cool!

Note: this post originally had 50 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.