From the pure fun to the potentially world-changing, we continue to find exciting new reasons to put drones in the sky. But one of the most compelling is the blossoming world of drone photography, where vehicles hover with ever-improving camera gear open up new perspectives on the world around us. Dronestagram has just held its second annual drone photography competition and it's no surprise the judges had no shortage of stunning images to choose from.
Dronestagram is an online hub for photographers to view, like and comment on photos and videos captured by drones and uploaded by other users. This year's competition attracted more than 5,000 entries from all over the world, snapped by both professional photographers and those just coming to grips with their joysticks. Two National Geographic photographers teamed up with the folks over at Dronestagram to form the judging panel, which sorted the best from the rest across four different categories.
Taking out the Places category was a cityscape with a difference taken by Ricardo Matiello's custom-built drone of his hometown Maringá, Brazil. Taken with a GoPro Hero 3 Black, the image captures the tips of the town's tallest buildings poking through dense cloud. Unsurprisingly, Matiello says he lost sight of the drone as it flew up through the blanket of white fog, so he landed it soon after and discovered this awesome photo waiting on its memory card. Matiello's effort also won first place in the Popular Prizes category for the most liked photo.
Winning out in the Nature category is a mildly unsettling photo of snorkellers taking a dip amongst a school of sharks in French Polynesia, taken by user tahitiflyshoot with a custom machine. Claiming first prize for Dronies (think selfies, but with drones), is a Where's Wally-esque image shot by user FlyMediaCy, portraying a crowd of similarly dressed party-goers at Cyprus' Limassol Carnival this year.
You can click through to our gallery to view the place-winning photos in all their glory.