The art of aerial photography in the 2021 Drone Photo Awards
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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