Founded in 2013, Dronestagram has been cultivating a thriving community of drone photographers allowing this new photographic aesthetic to flourish. The platform has just revealed the winners of its 5th annual drone photography contest, illustrating the best and most breathtaking aerial images from the past 12 months.

It's easy to forget that only a few short years ago aerial photography was limited to those well-resourced artists able to charter helicopters or hot air balloons. And even then, the types of images that could be captured were relatively limited. With the advent of drones photographers have been able to get cameras into astonishing new positions and snap images that we have quite literally never seen before.

The top three winners in this years Dronestagram contest offer a trio of compelling aerial images, suggesting this nascent photographic aesthetic can still deliver spectacular surprises. The overall first prize went to accomplished drone photographer Martin Sanchez for an image amusingly titled, Hungry Hippos.

The image, which also won a People's Choice award in the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest, was captured in Tanzania using a Mavic Pro. The incredible shot of hippos bathing presents a unique view on these glorious animals crammed together in a small body of water.

Second place went to Vietnamese photographer Trung Pham for a beautifully surreal snap freezing a moment in time as a fishing net is thrown out over the sea. The third place winner is possibly the most compellingly uncanny of them all. From a Ukrainian photographer known as Q-lieb in, the shot perfectly captures the shadows of two people walking dogs on the beach, flattening the perspective to create an excitingly strange composition.

Take a look through our gallery for our favorite submissions in this impressive photo contest capturing the very best drone photography from the last year.

Source: Dronestagram

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