The fifth annual Dronestagram photo contest has recently taken place, with the winners just announced. Using drones to capture our planet from new and unique perspectives, the competition attracts thousands of cool photos from all over the world, showcasing the very best of aerial photography.

This year's first prize winner was Hungry Hippos by zekedrone, an atmospheric shot taken at a low altitude, showing a bloat of hippos hanging out happily together in some muddy water. With the quality of entries at an all-time high and covering a variety of categories including urban, nature, people and creative, the judges faced some difficult decisions. "We were 6 of us to work out the best photos," Eric from Dronestagram told Bored Panda. "It wasn't easy because we received several thousand of them, so you have to be very organized to choose the best ones."

"A good drone photo must have a strong verticality and also show scenes close up, from a view that can only be taken by a drone. Then it must be artistic in its approach and style and if possible, show life with humans or animals."

If you are thinking of joining in on this flourishing new genre of aerial view photography, make sure to know the local rules and regulations about flying drones in the area, drones have gotten a fair bit of negative media coverage lately after they were used to cause havoc at British airports. Eric has some advice for novices to drone photography. "First learn to fly a drone and master it perfectly before moving on to shooting," he told us. "You can learn and train with a small and robust $50 drone, then once you know how to fly it, invest in a good camera drone. Try to fly in the countryside, and respect the local rules and laws!"

Just like last year, we here at Bored Panda have selected a list of our favorite finalists from the contest, which you can check out yourself below. Which one did you like best? Let us know in the comments!

#1

Second Place Winner. Fishing Boat In Vietnam By Trung Pham

Second Place Winner. Fishing Boat In Vietnam By Trung Pham

The fishing net in the sea, viewed from aerial

phtrung0611 Report

Aaron Kara 6 months ago

Wow...

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#2

Fall In Love By Zekedrone

Fall In Love By Zekedrone

This is my second annual exploration of the beautiful colors in the east coast USA

Zekedrone Report

C 6 months ago

That is gorgeous.

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#3

Third Place Winner. 2 Dogs, 2 People And 4 Shadows By Qliebin

Third Place Winner. 2 Dogs, 2 People And 4 Shadows By Qliebin

People, dogs and shadows on Black sea beach

Qliebin Report

JessG 6 months ago

That is cool! It took me a sec to realize the big images were their shadows !

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#4

A Face In The Grain Field, Germany Photographersworld

A Face In The Grain Field, Germany Photographersworld

Photographersworld Report

Ronel du Plessis 6 months ago

A giant slept there...

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#5

Lion Vs Drone By Bachirm

Lion Vs Drone By Bachirm

bachir_photo_phactory Report

Noez 6 months ago (edited)

Jump Kitty, jump!! Get that drone!

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#6

In The Middle Of The Winter Forest By Photographersworld

In The Middle Of The Winter Forest By Photographersworld

Photographersworld Report

Rowlie 6 months ago

Sense of personal space is strong with this one, can relate

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#7

Hon Khoi Salt Field, Vietnam By Trung Pham

Hon Khoi Salt Field, Vietnam By Trung Pham

phtrung0611 Report

Sami 6 months ago

Love this one.

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#8

Harvest Water Lilies By Tuan Nguyen

Harvest Water Lilies By Tuan Nguyen

Water Lilies are picked early in the morning in rivers, lakes and washed. Then the flowers are brought to market. This is the main income occupation of people in Long An, Vietnam in the high season.

Tuan Nguyen Report

Kaisu Rei 6 months ago

The colours in this are absolutely amazing

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#9

Al Qudra Desert, United Arab Emirates By Whosane

Al Qudra Desert, United Arab Emirates By Whosane

Whosane Report

sakora 6 months ago

Respect the nature.

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#10

On The Nhu Y River By Tuan Nguyen

On The Nhu Y River By Tuan Nguyen

On the Nhu Y river in Hue City, Vietnam. The girls in Ao Dai dresses (traditional dresses) were releasing the floating candles on the river to pray for peace and happiness. This is the spiritual culture longstanding in Vietnam

Tuan Nguyen Report

Kaisu Rei 6 months ago

This looks like such a serene moment

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#11

First Place Winner. Bathing Hippos In Tanzania By Zekedrone

First Place Winner. Bathing Hippos In Tanzania By Zekedrone

This by far was the highlight of my trip to Tanzania. I giant hippo party which was super VIP. But I knew exactly how to get in. Something they couldn’t resist. A game of Hungry Hungry Hippos!

zekedrone Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

The ones in the middle are getting all the love!

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#12

Cote Rocheuse By Dronecopters

Cote Rocheuse By Dronecopters

Dronecopters Report

Paan Sy 6 months ago

colorful

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#13

A Collapsed Truck In Russia By Drone Nest

A Collapsed Truck In Russia By Drone Nest

Saw this truck resting in such way near my house and hurried for my drone to capture this moment

drone.nest Report

Fonzie Bulldog 6 months ago

It looks like the truck got tired and took a rest by the shoulder.

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#14

Lightning Over Kuala Lumpur By Pete Demarco

Lightning Over Kuala Lumpur By Pete Demarco

petedemarco Report

Natters 6 months ago

Woah... not far from where I live

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#15

Harvesting Grass By Tuan Nguyen

Harvesting Grass By Tuan Nguyen

Farmers are harvesting grass in the big water season

Tuan Nguyen Report

Liam Walsh 6 months ago

Sorry to ask a daft question but harvesting grass for what?

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#16

Reynisdrangar By Balazs3

Reynisdrangar By Balazs3

Iceland’s South Coast

balazsbusznyak Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

Stunning! Reminds me of some cliffs where I saw a beautiful house for sale in Norfolk, UK. Too near the cliff so the price was massively reduced - they expect it to end up in the sea within 20 years. Such a shame.

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#17

Fish shaped island in Croatia By Milan Photo

Fish shaped island in Croatia By Milan Photo

Fish shaped island is the inspiration for the logo of Brijuni National park, which was formerly Tito’s holyday playground. Gaz island, Brijuni NP, Adriatic Sea, Croatia

water.shapes.earth Report

sakora 6 months ago

Fishy!

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#18

The Red Umbrella By Caesarpmr

The Red Umbrella By Caesarpmr

caesarpmr Report

sakora 6 months ago

Two worlds.

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#19

Between Two Worlds By Thedon

Between Two Worlds By Thedon

thedon Report

Natters 6 months ago

Good heavens!

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#20

Shot Over The Infamous Half Desert Road In Dubai By Whosane

Shot Over The Infamous Half Desert Road In Dubai By Whosane

Whosane Report

Monika Soffronow 6 months ago

Sea and sand will reclaim all of it.

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#21

Brighton Pier By Lukemaximobell

Brighton Pier By Lukemaximobell

lukemaximobell Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

I love Brighton pier! Feel very lucky to live near here (at the moment!).

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#22

A New Bridge In Ukraine By Maxwebb

A New Bridge In Ukraine By Maxwebb

maxvvvebb Report

Max Webb 6 months ago (edited)

sorry but the photo is called "Top view of the South Bridge"

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#23

Les 3 Volcans By Dronecopters

Les 3 Volcans By Dronecopters

Dronecopters Report

Monika Soffronow 6 months ago

We are just tiny, insignificant, short-lived travelers on a giant ball of molten rock. Live like there is no tomorrow, and at the same time as though your life will never ever end. And plant an olive tree, if the climate where you are living allows you to. Cheers!

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#24

Sheep Herding By Photographersworld

Sheep Herding By Photographersworld

Photographersworld Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

Neat sheep!

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#25

Laguna De Cotacotani By Alex Mimo

Laguna De Cotacotani By Alex Mimo

Parinacota and Pomerape volcanoes in the coming sunset light. Vertical drone pano. Lauca National Park, Chile

Alex Mimo Report

ƒιѕн 6 months ago

Stunning landscape.

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#26

Black Sand Beach By Balazs3

Black Sand Beach By Balazs3

Waves crashing at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

balazsbusznyak Report

GB1997 6 months ago

can anyone explain the perspective on this one? Looks like an oil painting!

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#27

Winter Ice By Photographersworld

Winter Ice By Photographersworld

Photographersworld Report

C 6 months ago

Looks like the tree teleported to the other side

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#28

The Outskirts Of A Town Called Dorothy In Alberta, Canada By Justen Soule

The Outskirts Of A Town Called Dorothy In Alberta, Canada By Justen Soule

justensoule Report

sakora 6 months ago

Feel the wind...

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#29

Sai Gon By Night By Tuan Nguyen

Sai Gon By Night By Tuan Nguyen

A corner of Saigon at night. This is the largest and most dynamic city in Vietnam

Tuan Nguyen Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

It's funny that all that concrete, steel and glass can actually be so beautiful.

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#30

Harvesting Tea Leaves By Tuan Nguyen

Harvesting Tea Leaves By Tuan Nguyen

Harvesting tea leaves in Bao Loc, Vietnam. The leaves are harvested early in the morning when the dew still remains on the leaves. It is then put into the factory for processing into tea

Tuan Nguyen Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

Bless you and all the other tea pickers for making sure I get my essential morning cuppa!

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

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