Drone Photography Contest 2016 winners showcase the scope and beauty of aerial photography

Drones can capture images in places that are impossible to reach

Jess Denham,Iwona Karbowska
Thursday 07 July 2016 15:03 BST

Moab Rock climbers, Denmark’s Kalbyris forest and the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi emerging from a sea of fog are the subjects of this year’s winning drone photographs.

Over 6,000 photos were submitted across the three categories of Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Adventure and Travel for social network Dronestagram’s third aerial photography competition, judged again on creativity, photographic quality and respect of the theme by a panel of experts.

Here’s what the winners had to say about how they took their shots:

“Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi” by fcattuto, Travel winner

“It was the day after Chirstmas 2015 and my girlfriend and I, after a lovely lunch at my parents' home which is in beautiful Umbria, we decided to go for a walk in Assisi. It was a foggy day, nonetheless I decided to go up in the sky to see more from above, and after the drone came out from the clouds the view was spectacular and got me completely astonished and, without breathing, I had the time to take some shoots before the sun went down and the cloud got higher hiding everything.”

“Moab Rock Climbing” by maxseigal, Sports winner

“I spent the day filming a couple friends of mine who were trying to put up a first ascent on some epic off-width climbing routes in the desert. We hiked for miles looking for the perfect line, and then spotting this amazing crack that was about 400 feet off the ground. Using the drone, I was able to capture images that would have never been possible before!”

“Kalbyris Forest, Denmark” by mbernholdt, Nature winner

“The Emerald is a small patch of pinewood surrounded by mixed forest and a small creek. The Emerald is the very first series of pictures I took with my Phantom 3. That was the very first dedicated photo trip I planned with my drone, after three months of owning it and only having the chance to fly it seven times due to the terrible weather we have in Denmark during the winter months. I had been spending hours on Google maps, in satellite mode, trying to locate interesting patterns and places. I all ready had a pretty good idea about what I should expect when I arrived at the location. To my luck it had snowed all day so that the pine wood really stood out.”

Guillaume Jarret, co-founder of Dronestagram said that when reviewing the entries, the jury kept in mind what makes a great drone photo. “A good drone photo is a picture that you immediately identify as a drone photo: it is taken at a low altitude, near the target of the picture and you must see on the picture that it is impossible it has been taken with another device than a drone,” he said. “Drones can capture images in places that are impossible to reach with another flying device, as you can see with the hiking picture.”

The winning photos will be published on the National Geographic website and featured in the magazine.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in