Congrats to Photo of the Year honoree, Jim Picôt of Australia with "Love Heart of Nature!" and to all the talented photographers recognized at the Drone Photo Awards. See all winning images and artist bios at the contest gallery page at our website.
With the advent of drone photography, the photography game has reached new heights (pun intended). Drone photography lends itself in a way no other type of photography can: it can reach spots only a photographer with a helicopter can dream of. And because of that, almost everyone appreciates a good photo from a bird's-eye view captured by one. Photographer Adam Vradenburg gives some useful tips on how to make drone photos really special. First and foremost, for a good photo, planning and research are essential. Strict laws and regulations in some countries are some of the reasons why. Second, make your flight time count: it's best to use limited battery times to the fullest, since recharging, especially in nature, is also very limited. Third, one should test the limits of their drone, both in terms of altitude and range. It will give you a better idea of what's possible with your drone. The fourth tip is "don't just fly high, fly low," which basically means that it's not really necessary to have the highest altitude in order to get the best photo of something. Less is more. And the fifth and final tip is to keep the skies friendly, safe, and respectful. Day by day, the airspace is getting more and more crowded, and therefore it's best to keep it as fun for as many people as possible!
Viral update: We are really enthusiastic about the article published on Bored Panda. We have received big success, many views, shares, and a lot of positive comments about the winning images. We have been published all over the world in the past, on CNN, The Guardian, Sky News, Forbes, Bild, Geo, and Business Insider, but none of them have reached so many views.
Nature Category Winner: Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists
At the end of the gray whale season, I was told about a gray whale that, for the last 3 years, used to play with the boats, pushing them gently. So we went back the year after and, incredibly, the gray whale appeared and this shot is the result.
Nature Category Runner-Up: Flamingos At Lake Logipi
The early morning sun lights a scene of flamingos gathered at the edge of Lake Logipi, next to an interesting fan-like geological formation.
Wildlife Category Winner: Where Herons Live
Many think that herons make nests in reeds or in a swamp. In fact, they nest in the tops of huge trees and with a drone, it is sometimes possible to see them.
Photo Of The Year: Love Heart Of Nature
In winter, a shark is inside a salmon school when, chasing the baitfish, the shape becomes a heart shape.
"Life Under COVID-19" Winner: Black Flag
Thousands of Israelis maintain social distancing due to Covid-19 restrictions while protesting against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rabin Square on 19 April 2020.
People Category Highly Commended: Cross The Field
A girl, her mother, and their herd of cows walking across the pasture return home after a day of labor.
"Life Under COVID-19" Highly Commended: The Lockdown
The busiest highway in Dubai, shot with no cars present during the lockdown for the disinfection of the municipality. A moment to remember.
Urban Category Winner: Alien Structure On Earth
Sometimes we need to change the perspective to feel the strength of the structure more strongly than we've ever thought. The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur.
Urban Category Highly Commended: Sunrise On The Top
At 4:30 in the morning, mysteriously shrouded in clouds, this is what the second-tallest building in Shanghai looks like.
Nature Category Highly Commended: Lonely Road
Driving along Ring Route 1, in a magical and enchanted landscape, I was ready to embrace whatever may lie ahead.
People Category Winner: Frozen Land
With temperatures of minus 30°C, winters in the Eurasian steppe can be brutal. But life doesn't stop, and local people move from one village to another with a sledge, crossing icy rivers and lakes.
Nature Category Highly Commended: Crater Row
A spectacular crater row in Iceland’s vast interior. The intense red on the rims is caused by the scoria being colored by the oxidation of the iron minerals in the lava, in contrast with the surrounding basalt. A white four-wheel-drive vehicle can be seen driving along the road beneath the craters.
Abstract Category Winner: Phoenix Rising
The phoenix rising is a symbol of re-emergence from the ashes of fire. This is symbolized through the beginnings of an actual regeneration process at the industrial mining site of Lake Owens. After a destructive past and the creation of the most toxic dustbowl in America, migratory birds are returning, and life is beginning anew…
Wildlife Category Highly Commended: Homecoming
A buffalo herd is passing a lake before moving to its shelter where the herd will retreat to rest.
Wedding Category Winner: Tropical Bride
"I used the flowers and the leaves left over from the decoration of a wedding to make something creative."
Abstract Category Highly Commended: Spring Zebra
The area of this small village in the Częstochowa region is characterized by large rapeseed crops that create beautiful patterns that extend to the horizon.
Wedding Category Runner-Up: Lovers On The Field
We were looking for some abstraction. We had a boat, a drone and... a lot of time. A strong wind created a beautiful storm in the field. Perfect weather conditions showed me "the eye of the tiger" or "deer eye" through the couple in the kayak. A wonderful combination: beautiful lovers, fantastic nature, strong wind, and this perspective.
Sports Category Winner: On The Sea
An aerial view of swimmers, where the sea becomes the place to take refuge, between the blue carpet and the white foam of the waves.
Wildlife Category Runner-Up: Munk's Mobula Rays Schooling
Though from a boat, it was hard to appreciate just how enormous this shoal was, the drone revealed a mass of thousands of Munk's Mobula rays (also called Munk's pygmy devil rays) all swimming in the same circular direction.
People Category Highly Commended: Carpet Field
Hundreds of handwoven carpets are placed in the fields in order to draw out different colors with the burning effect of the sun’s rays. A pair of workers lies down on the carpets after finishing their work to relieve the tiredness of the day.
People Category Highly Commended: Women Sorting Dry Red Chillies
Women collecting red chilies under the sun for more than 10 hours a day for little pay, employed in one of the many factories that specialize in drying chilies.
Abstract Category Highly Commended: Swirl
An abstract shot of a pink lake chemical reaction in Western Australia.
People Category Runner-Up: 2,000,001
Two million Hongkongers took to the streets on 16 June 2019, calling on the government to withdraw the controversial extradition bill. The night before the historic march that nearly one-third of the population took part in, protestor Leung Ling Kit ended his life after hanging a banner of the people's demands in the city centre.
"Life Under COVID-19" Runner-Up: Heart Of Warsaw
The deserted oldest part of Warsaw which, before the pandemic, used to be filled with sun umbrellas of nearby restaurants and crowds of people.
Wedding Category Highly Commended: Framed
This is one of my favorite pictures. It was a perfect match. The great couple, the VW Beetle, the frame. So, it was easy to create a great composition.
Wedding Category Highly Commended: Pebble / Wave
After the ceremony, the couple headed to the beach and decided to go in for a dip. We were lucky to find the perfect waves which only touched the bottom of the dress.
Sports Category Highly Commended: Waterfall
Surfers try to challenge the waves. It is difficult enough to ride them, not to mention to tame them and be able to take off, as well as break them and then caress them.
Abstract Category Runner-Up: Largest Congregation
More than 600,000 devotees participated in South Asia's largest Eid-ul-Fitr congregation. The prayers began at 8:30 am with devotees coming from different parts of the region. Eid-ul-Fitr is a Muslim festival of happiness celebrated all over the world.
Sports Category Runner-Up: Ball Up
The physical motions of the tennis player against the clean abstract lineage of the court created a harmonious effect to the eye.
Note: this post originally had 43 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.