Eye in the Sky: Take Five to See the World’s Best Drone Photographs

Winning images from the International Drone Photography Contest 2016. | By NGT Staff

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Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italy | First Place (Travel) 

Photographer Francesco Cattuto took this photo the day after Christmas last year, after lunch at his parents' home in Umbria, Italy. “My girlfriend and I decided to go for a walk in Assisi,” Francesco says in his note describing the image. “It was a foggy day, nonetheless I decided to [send my drone] go up in the sky to see more from above. The view was spectacular.”


Photo: Francesco Cattuto/Dronestagram

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Moab, U.S.A. | First Place (Sports/Adventure)

Max Seigal captured this image when he was filming a couple of climbing friends in the desert of Utah. “We hiked for miles looking for the perfect line, and then spotting this amazing crack that was about 400 feet off the ground,” he said. “Using the drone, I was able to capture images that would have never been possible before!"

Photo: Max Seigal/Dronestagram

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Kalbyris Forest, Denmark | First Place (Nature/Wildlife)

"The Emerald is a small patch of pinewood surrounded by mixed forest and a small creek,” says photographer Michael B. Rasmussen. “It is the very first series of pictures I took with my Phantom 3. That was the first dedicated photo trip I planned with my drone, after three months of owning it and only having the chance to fly it seven times due to the terrible weather we have in Denmark during the winter months. I had been spending hours on Google maps, in satellite mode, trying to locate interesting patterns and places. I had a pretty good idea about what I should expect when I arrived at the location. To my luck it had snowed all day so that the pine woods really stood out."

Photo: Michael B. Rasmussen/Dronestagram

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Cable Beach, Australia | Second Place (Travel)

“I took this picture of a caravan of camels at sunset on Cable Beach earlier this year.”

Photo: Todd Kennedy/Dronestagram

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Cúcuta, Colombia | Second Place (Sports/Adventure)

“A group of young swimmers are preparing for competitions on a cold morning.”

Photo: Los Manes Del Drone/Dronestagram

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Marpod, Romania | Second Place (Nature/Wildlife)

“I usually travel everywhere with my drone. Once I was driving through the Romanian countryside when I spotted this herd of sheep in the distance. I set up my drone and captured the herd’s formation.”

Photo: Szabolcs Ignacz/Dronestagram

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Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain | Third Place (Travel)

“This is a picture of a summer camp on one of Gran Canaria’s finest beaches: Playa de Amadores.”

Photo: Karolis Janulis/Dronestagram

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Chugach Mountain Range, U.S.A. | Third Place (Sports/Adventure)

TJ Balon took this shot while skiing in Alaska. “This shot is of my guide and mate Jason Bilek, ripping open a huge Alaskan face. The thing I like most about this shot is the solidarity of the line and the sun shadow line splitting the face in two.”

Photo: TJ Balon/Dronestagram

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Réunion Island, Indian Ocean | Third Place (Nature/Wildlife)

“This is the first aerial view of an erupting volcano in Reunion Island taken by drone.”

Photo: Jonathan Payet/Dronestagram

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Earlier this year, Dronestagram—a website and online community dedicated to aerial photographs and videos taken by drones—conducted their annual photo contest.

This week, the site announced the winners across three categories: travel, adventure/sports, and nature. Here are the prize-winning images: sweeping frames that take us from Italian basilicas floating on a blanket of clouds to the soaring pinewood forests of Kalbyris in Denmark.

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