Photography

The art of aerial photography in the 2021 Drone Photo Awards

The art of aerial photography ...
Commended - Nature. Poodle in Rapeseed. Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
Commended - Nature. Poodle in Rapeseed. Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
View 20 Images
Commended - Wildlife. Sheep in Congress. Ramot Menashe (Israel)
1/20
Commended - Wildlife. Sheep in Congress. Ramot Menashe (Israel)
Commended - Urban. Frozen Fun. Moscow, Russia
2/20
Commended - Urban. Frozen Fun. Moscow, Russia
Highly Commended - Urban. Space Invaders. The Dead Sea, Egypt
3/20
Highly Commended - Urban. Space Invaders. The Dead Sea, Egypt
Commended - Urban. Dusk at Rohingya Refugee Camp. Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
4/20
Commended - Urban. Dusk at Rohingya Refugee Camp. Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Commended - Nature. Wild Night in the Adriatic. Hvar Island, Croatia
5/20
Commended - Nature. Wild Night in the Adriatic. Hvar Island, Croatia
Commended - Wildlife. Sleeping Beauty. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
6/20
Commended - Wildlife. Sleeping Beauty. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Commended - Nature. Entrance to Another World. Utah, USA
7/20
Commended - Nature. Entrance to Another World. Utah, USA
Commended - Urban. Four Seasons 05. Kigyei Kapolna, Romania
8/20
Commended - Urban. Four Seasons 05. Kigyei Kapolna, Romania
Photo of the Year. Pink-Footed Geese Meeting the Winter. Levanger, Norway
9/20
Photo of the Year. Pink-Footed Geese Meeting the Winter. Levanger, Norway
Commended - Nature. Poodle in Rapeseed. Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
10/20
Commended - Nature. Poodle in Rapeseed. Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
Highly Commended - People. Correlation. Hamedan, Iran
11/20
Highly Commended - People. Correlation. Hamedan, Iran
Runner Up - People. Beach Season. Kapchagai, Kazakhstan
12/20
Runner Up - People. Beach Season. Kapchagai, Kazakhstan
1st Place - Wildlife. Back to Adventure. Oman
13/20
1st Place - Wildlife. Back to Adventure. Oman
1st Place - Sport. Gold at the End of the Rainbow. Western Australia
14/20
1st Place - Sport. Gold at the End of the Rainbow. Western Australia
Highly Commended - People. Collecting Water from Driedout Riverbeds. Khulna, Bangladesh
15/20
Highly Commended - People. Collecting Water from Driedout Riverbeds. Khulna, Bangladesh
1st Place
16/20
1st Place - Nature. Extragalactic. Iceland
Highly Commended - Sport. Wrong Way Buddy! Meeanee - Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
17/20
Highly Commended - Sport. Wrong Way Buddy! Meeanee - Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
1st Place - Urban. Metaphorical Statement About City and Winter. Dzerzhinsky, Moscow Region, Russia
18/20
1st Place - Urban. Metaphorical Statement About City and Winter. Dzerzhinsky, Moscow Region, Russia
Commended - Sports. Enjoying Wrestling. Kolkata, India
19/20
Commended - Sports. Enjoying Wrestling. Kolkata, India
Commended - Abstract. No Stress. Santa Maria, Cape Verde
20/20
Commended - Abstract. No Stress. Santa Maria, Cape Verde
View gallery - 20 images

Now in its fourth year, the Drone Photo Awards has quickly become one of the most spectacular aerial photography competitions on the calendar. This year’s winners raise the bar for the art of drone photography, from an incredible close-up of a polar bear taking a nap to a mind-bendingly surreal glimpse inside an erupting volcano.

The contest spans seven categories, representing all the usual suspects – People, Nature, Wildlife, Abstract, etc. All kinds of aerial photography can be entered into the contest, including shots taken from aircraft and balloons.

Photo of the Year. Pink-Footed Geese Meeting the Winter. Levanger, Norway
Photo of the Year. Pink-Footed Geese Meeting the Winter. Levanger, Norway

This year’s overall winner went to Terje Kolaas for an impressively immersive shot of pink-footed geese migrating to their breeding grounds in the Arctic. The unique nature of the photograph, shot from a perspective that could only be taken by a drone, highlights increasingly experimental trends in drone photography.

Many winning and commended images this year utilize the familiar overhead "God’s-eye" view, however, a number of shots suggest intriguing new perspectives. Martin Gregus’s exceptional shot of a sleeping polar bear, for example, shows how drones and remote cameras can help capture images of animals from unprecedented angles.

Commended - Wildlife. Sleeping Beauty. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Commended - Wildlife. Sleeping Beauty. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

“Working closely with the bears and getting them used to our behavior meant that by day five we were well underway to documenting some truly unique behavior,” Gregus explains. “By this point we have gotten to know in detail the personalities of 27 different bears, and they in return welcomed us into their lives and let us film around the clock. Utilizing drones, remote cameras, and custom made gear in order to capture the most intimate footage.”

Commended - Urban. Dusk at Rohingya Refugee Camp. Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Commended - Urban. Dusk at Rohingya Refugee Camp. Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

Other new trends in this year’s batch of impressive entries is a growing tendency for drone photographers to take on journalistic or political topics. A perfect example comes in Azim Khan Ronnie’s profound shot of a Rohingya refugee camp.

Called Cox’s Bazar, the camp sits on the Myanmar/Bangladesh border and is home to over a million refugees. The incredible night drone shot shows how the makeshift camp has grown into a tiny city.

1st Place
1st Place - Nature. Extragalactic. Iceland

Other highlights from this year’s strong collection of winners include an amusing look at a small forest in the shape of a poodle, a stunning glimpse at bubbling lava inside a volcano in Iceland, and a spectacular shot of lightning over the Adriatic sea.

Take a look through our gallery at more highlights from this year’s contest.

Source: Drone Photo Awards

View gallery - 20 images
1 comment
1 comment
ljaques
I don't at all understand the draw to the Photo of the Year. More geese? (yawn) [ditto polar bear/turtle]
Loved the Wild Night in the Adriatic, Beach Season, Gold at the end of the Rainbow, and Extragalactic.