Gallery: SkyPixel's jaw-dropping drone photos of the year
Like competitor Dronestagram, SkyPixel is a platform dedicated to drone photography, and like Dronestagram, SkyPixel holds an annual photo contest that brings out the very best imagery from this emerging art form. Here is the class of 2017, in all its high-flying glory.
SkyPixel received more than 44,000 submissions from 141 countries for its 2017 Photo Contest, which it runs in collaboration with drone-making giant DJI. These submissions were sorted into Professional and Enthusiast groups, and awarded prizes across categories of Landscape, Portrait and Story, along with nine additional "Nominated Entries" and ten "Popular Prizes," the platform's ten most liked photos of the year.
The winners were adjudged by a panel of photography professionals, including multimedia editor at Time, Josh Raab. Showing the majestic beauty of Iceland, mountaintops in China and fields of olive trees in Spain, every one of the shortlisted images is spectacular in its own way. But none astound like the Grand Prize winner, a shot of a polar bear skipping between icebergs in the Arctic circle.
"There are images that might impress you with their technical mastery, and then there are images that make you feel something," said Jarrad Seng, a SkyPixel judge, photographer, filmmaker and creative director based in Australia. "This photograph floored me. It's especially poignant given the climate crisis our world is facing right now."
The man behind the lens, French photographer Florian Ledoux, caught the leaping polar bear with his Phantom 4 Pro, and has earned US$15,000 worth of prizes for his troubles, including a shiny new DJI Inspire 2.
"I have witnessed incredible moments and scenes of the wild but I can guarantee you that this, by far, is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen," he said. "I hope that future generations will still be able to witness the beauty and grandeur of the Arctic wildlife the same way we do today."
Check out the rest of this stunning photo collection.