Drones have put powerful new tools in the hands of photographers, and the results are only getting more spectacular. The gear is getting cheaper, the folks flying it are getting more skillful, and one of the best places to track the progress is dedicated drone photography platform Dronestagram. Here are its best snaps of 2017.

Thousands of photos are shared on Dronestagram each year by pilots from all around the world, and at the end of each year its hand-picked photo collection makes for some serious eye candy. Camera drones have made it possible to see the world in ways we haven't seen it before, and the 2017 selection certainly does its bit to drive this point home.

There's a polar bear skipping between icebergs, hippos doing their thing in a Tanzanian river and spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. The collection puts nature firmly in the spotlight, but also includes some incredibly serendipitous encounters between it and people, like this pair of stingrays approaching a pair of beachgoers in French Polynesia.

That's not to say there aren't photos where the landscape is left to do the talking, like this shot of a coastal stairway in Portugal.

Midway through each year Dronestagram runs a photography competition in conjunction with National Geographic, and a few prizewinners from the 2017 event are also featured here (naturally), so some will seem familiar to close observers. But for the most part, the set features fresh, spectacular perspectives on our planet and its inhabitants.

Check them out in the gallery.

Source: Dronestagram

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