Back in November, drone cinematography platform SkyPixel announced the shortlist of finalists for its annual photo contest, a set of images that continued to push the boundaries of this high-flying art form. Now the judges have had their say and the winners are in, and as we've come to expect from competitions of this sort, those to take the glory are nothing short of spectacular.

Much like rival Dronestagram, SkyPixel is a platform dedicated to sharing and celebrating photos and videos captured by flying robot cameras. Its 2016 photo contest drew more than 27,000 entries from around the globe, and the winners were judged by photojournalists from Time magazine and Conde Naste Travel – you know, people who might have an eye for such things.

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The submissions were sorted into categories for Beauty, 360-degree photos and Drones in Use (which don't necessarily need to be taken by drone). Professional entries were judged separately to those submitted by hobbyists and there was also a Popular Prize, determined by the highest number of "likes" on the platform.

A beautifully composed shot of a fisherman in China tending to his nets was selected as the 2016 SkyPixel Photo of the Year, and what a striking image it is (see above). Other beautiful images from the collection include a creative long exposure shot of a drone circling an old storehouse and a bird's eye view of cracks appearing in an icy river.

But perhaps the most breathtaking are the prize-winning 360-degree photos. These are best viewed on SkyPixel's platform, where you can switch on VR mode for an immersive experience. We've provided links to each in the gallery if you feel like having a poke around.

Source: SkyPixel

View gallery - 19 images