30 Drone Aerial Photo Contest Shots That Rival Iron Man’s View

July 23rd, 2015 Permalink

When it comes to privacy, there are plenty of arguments to make against drones; yet it’s hard to make a case against the awesomeness of photos and videos captured by drones. Some droners take dronies — the drone photo equivalent to selfies — but drone photographers give us aerial views that rival the view of even superheroes like Iron Man and Superman. You’re probably familiar with Instagram, but what about Dronestagram? These fabulous bird’s eye shots were but a few of the entries from the more than 5,000 drone aerial photos submitted by professional and amateur drone photo enthusiasts in Dronestagram’s 2015 Drone Aerial Photography Contest. Thank you to all the photographers who captured these shots by potentially risking their ludicrously expensive drones and cameras. [30 Drone Aerial Photos]

Dronestagram first place winner in Category Nature Snorkeling with sharks

Using a “custom” drone and a camera listed as “other,” the photographer captured first place in Dronestagram’s nature category. “Snorkeling with shark – Wild nature in french Polynesia.” The photographer added, “This picture was a magical moment; we realized this image with our exclusive partner Tim McKenna photography in a shooting session for an international brand. The photo was taken on the island sister of Tahiti, Moorea. The conditions were perfect and we were fortunate that sharks arrived at the perfect time. The Mana, the Polynesians spirit, was with us for each aerial shooting.” Photo #1 by © Tahitiflyshoot

Dronestagram first place winner in category places Above the mist

Using a “custom” drone and a GoPro Hero 3 Black, “Above the mist” won first place in Dronestagram drone aerial photography category of places. The photographer described the shot as: “One day I saw a picture taken from an airplane, showing the center of a city surrounded by a heavy fog exposing only the tops of buildings. Since that day, I had the desire to take a picture like that; but only of my town. One morning, a dense fog formed, very rare here, because I live in a fairly leveled area where it is sunny and hot almost all year round. That day, I had a job to do with the drone and therefore the equipment was already in my car. I drove my daughter to school and on my way to work I decided to try to take the picture. I had no idea how was up there, because the only thing I could see were clouds hiding the buildings. I did not know if there would be sun, or if the weather was completely cloudy as the day before. I chose the area of Maringa Cathedral, a symbol of the city, and because this monument was inspired by the creation of spaceships called Sputniks. (Source: Wikipedia) I flew the drone few meters up, making it disappear in the fog, and soon after, flew it back down because I could not fly it without visual contact. By accessing the camera’s memory, I was amazed by the beautiful day above the clouds and to my surprise and delight, I was able to take the exact picture I was looking for. The result is this….” Photo #2 by © Ricardo Matiello

Dronestagram 2nd Prize Winner in Category Nature La Jolla

La Jolla won 2nd prize in Dronestagram’s nature category.The drone used was a DJI Phantom and the camera was a GoPro Hero 3 Black. The photographer remarked, “9am 6-20-2015 the annual La Jolla pier to cove ocean race. My fiance was one of the athletes in the race; it was low tide and water temp was a nice 70 degrees. All athletes start standing on the beach; at the start of the gun they run into the water, swim the length of the pier, and then take a left hand turn at the end of the pier for a 1 1\2 mile swim to the finish line located on the sand of La Jolla cove. This pic was taken moments after the start as the athletes run jump and swim through the ocean break.” Photo #3 by © kdilliard

Dronestagram 2nd Prize Winner in Category places Mont-Saint-Michel

This shot of Mont-Saint-Michel was captured via a GoPro HERO4 camera and a DJI Phantom drone. It was Dronestagram’s 2nd prize winner in the category of places. The photographer wrote, “Supertide Turns Mont Saint-Michel Into Island,” adding, “it’s a magic place, especially when you are going there in the winter, or really early in the morning. You can be alone, enjoying the place. The sand around Mont Saint Michel moved, so if nothing was done, in few years Mont Saint Michel would have been ending in the middle of a field and not any more in the sea. So they start some work to let the Mont Saint Michel in the sea, and 20 years later it’s now almost finished. January 2015, we had some big tide in France, so it was one of the first time that the Mount was going to be an island again. I ask all the drone permit to do it at the big tide, and few weeks later I got all the paper. I was following closely the forecast, and at the beginning of the week it was just storm and rain…and finally two days before the ‘D’ Day, the weather forecast somehow became super nice, clear, no wind at all, super cold. So the first morning I went there at 5 AM, walked all the way to the Mount, and waited at the bottom. The water came slowly, and the Mount became again an island; it was very intense, the sun came out, few people were there, and I had a strong feeling to be privileged. I start the drone and enjoy as much as I could.” Photo #4 by © Wanaiifilms

3rd Prize Winner in Category Nature Lost island, Tahaa, French Polynesia

Drone aerial photography 3rd prize winner in the category of nature. Lost island, Tahaa, French Polynesia. The photographer shared, “We were waiting for sunset, drinking a Hinano, installed in warm water, rain was behind us, a rainbow appeared; this is Tahitian life!” Drone: DJI Phantom; Camera: GoPro Hero 3 Black. Photo #5 by © Marama Photo Video

Dronestagram 3rd Prize Winner in Category places Tulip fields

Tulip fields, 3rd prize winner in Dronestagram’s category of places. The photographer described this shot as: “Multi colored tulip fields, a canal and men inspecting the fields for virus infected tulips, which they remove when found. The \tulip mania\ area in Holland is a dream landscape for a drone pilot. I’ve seen aerial images of tulip fields before, but never anything shot from a drone. So I figured that I better get to it before someone else does! A friend of mine, Ulf Hansson (who is a tulip maniac and grows rare species from the 1600’s) did some detailed studies of Holland via Google Earth in order to find the most interesting shapes and compositions in the landscape. Most fields are square or rectangular, so I was particularly looking for odd geometric forms or fields with ‘organic’ shape. Of course there was no way of knowing if they would be growing tulips or cabbage this particular year…The weather was also a concern, since the unusually cold spring made blooming late. If we came too early, the tulips wouldn’t be in full bloom, and coming too late would mean that they had already been harvested. We anxiously followed the forecast, and left Sweden on an early morning in late April, heading for the northern parts of The Netherlands, where most of the tulips are grown. We weren’t disappointed for sure! And when we closed in on the most promising field just north of Sassenheim, we passed a sign saying ‘tulip mania,’ and then we knew we were in luck. I did both shots on an angle, like this one, and even more abstract ones shooting straight down. The drone used is a HAB paparazzo v2, made in Ljungby, Sweden, equipped with a full frame Sony A7 and a Sony zeiss FE 35 2.8 lens.” Photo #6 by © [email protected]

Dronestagram contest entry Whale shark and tourists

Dronestagram, the Editor in Chief of National Geographic France and National Geo photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner Ken Geiger judged the drone aerial photo competition on creativity and photographic quality. With over 5,000 entries, the judging must have been tough. Although most of the rest of these were not prize winners, we thought the shots looked great to us! This Dronestagram entry of a whale shark and tourists was captured with a DJI F450 drone and a GoPro HERO4 camera. The photographer noted, “In La Paz Bay every year hundreds of teen whale sharks come to eat. It’s incredible how 10 minutes away from the city you can spot many of these incredible animals. This was a picture taken in the production of my mini series Exploring Baja my objective was to capture wildlife.” Photo #7 by © postandfly

Dronestagram contest entry Omarama, South Island New Zealand

Dronestagram contest entry of Omarama, South Island, New Zealand, captured with a DJI Inspire 1 drone and a camera listed as “other.” The photographer added, “Omarama clay cliffs, MacKenzie Basin, just after sunrise.” Photo #8 by © grant

Dronestagram contest entry Gokarna, Karnataka, India

A DJI Phantom drone and GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition camera was used to capture this shot of Gokarna, Karnataka, India. Photo #9 by © Blore

Dronestagram contest entry Sofia, Bulgaria

Dronestagram contest entry of Sofia, Bulgaria. Drone: DJI Phantom 2 Vision; camera listed as “other.” The photographer wrote, “The match between the Bulgaria\s team of Levski and Lazio from Italy has just concluded. It’s 0:00 AM in the morning, and Levski has it’s 100th year anniversary. For a moment it’s dark, and you can feel the dense air, filled with emotion… And then – BOOM! The whole stadium explodes in a gran firework show, while everyone runs over the stadium singing and dancing all together! A moment to remember!” Photo #10 by © IceFire

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. Drone and camera used are listed as DJI Phantom 3. Photo #11 by © levanterman

View of Toba Lake from Simalem Resort in Merek, North Sumatera

View of Toba Lake from Simalem Resort in Merek, North Sumatera, Indonesia. The drone was listed as “other” and the camera marked as Canon miscellaneous. Photo #12 by © ajdaulay

Toba Lake

The same drone pilot/photographer as above also captured this shot of Toba Lake, adding “The largest lake in Southeast Asia, the lakes are simply amazing with a very ancient tradition.” Photo #13 by © ajdaulay

Lake Wabby Great Sandy National Park Fraser Island

Lake Wabby Great Sandy National Park, Fraser Island. Drone: DJI Phantom 2 Vision; Camera: GoPro Hero 3 Black. The photographer noted, “Lake Wabby is a small freshwater, green colored lake, directly adjacent to the Hammerstone Sandblow, which is slowly moving into the lake. Eventually it will disappear under the sand.” Photo #14 by © pictadrone

Drone aerial photography of meadow burning in Poland

A meadow burning in Poland. Both the drone and camera used are listed as “other.” Photo #15 by © Myszon

Giraffes in Germany's Zoo of Leipzig

Giraffes in Germany’s Zoo of Leipzig. Drone and camera: DJI Phantom 3. Photo #16 by © Nobsch

Drone photography aerial view of Old Finnish Quarry

The Old Quarry in Eräjärvi looks a bit like a heart. Drone: DJI Phantom; Camera: other. The photographer remarked, “Old Finnish Quarry, nice place to swim.” Photo #17 by © pexi110182

Xiwei Reservoir, Zoucheng, Shandong, China

Xiwei Reservoir in Zoucheng, China. Shot captured by drone and camera listed as “other.” The photographer wrote, “Chinese fishermen were catching fish in the reservoir and enjoying their cozy lives while farmers were ready to harvest their grains.” Photo #18 by © AmbroseLune

ShangHai NanPu Bridge approach

ShangHai NanPu Bridge, a “unique view of unique bridge approach.” Captured by drone and camera listed as “other.” Photo #19 by © danielski

Marina Cay, British Virgin Islands

Aerial of Pusser’s Co Store on Marina Cay, British Virgin Islands. The drone used was a DJI Inspire 1, while camera was “other.” Photo #20 by © swoopaerial

Robinsons Island

Robinsons Island. The photographer said, “As an International Designer it is a pleasure to be able to visit the wonderful places my projects are located. Brought my DJI Phantom 2 at one site visit to be able to survey the progress on site. While my project is in construction I get to stay in this amazing resort close to the island construction site. Maldives is a unique place for its geography. White sand beaches, colorful corals, and many more to offer.” A GoPro Hero 3 Black was the camera used. Photo #21 by © jericsaniel

Uninhabited Island, The Maldives

An uninhabited island in the Maldives. The photographer noted, “Taken with our DJI Inspire 1: uninhabited island on the Maldives which our small family of three had all to ourselves for a couple of hours. As the Maldivian names for the islands are too complicated to remember, our four-year-old daughter (the pink dot in the photo) named this paradise “Crab Island” as she had great fun chasing many different crabs into the water.” Camera used was a Sony (miscellaneous). Photo #22 by © AdrianBaris

Soaring with a bird over the Maharivo river in Madagascar

Soaring over the Maharivo river in Madagascar. Drone: DJI Phantom 2 Vision; Camera: GoPro HERO4. Taken “as we crossed this river with our oxcart pulled by two zebus during our trek around Madagascar.” Photo #23 by © alexandre poussin

Rice terrace Batad, Ifugao, Philippines

Terrace in the Philippines captured by drone and camera listed as “other.” The photographer added, “Batad Rice Terraces is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The landscape is truly stunning and is one of the must to visit tourist place in the Northern part of the Philippines. It was my first time to visit Batad and it was an amazing experience to see the beauty of the terraces and how the locals were able to preserve it for so many years. I’m just an amateur photographer who wants to capture how wonderful this place is and somehow promote tourism in my province.” Photo #24 by © karen_gullon

Angara river near lake Baikal, Russia

Angara River near Lake Baikal in Russia. Both the camera and drone used are listed as “other.” Photo #25 by © greenjew

Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi, Thailand

“A dronie from a few hundred feet above the Tiger Cave Temple,” in Krabi, Thailand. Drone: DJI Phantom 2 Vision; Camera: other. Photo #26 by © EricHanscom

Aerial view near near Tunnel Beach, Dunedin, New Zealand

The photographer noted, “This preserved piece of natural New Zealand coastline beauty caught our eye when we moved to the area. Watching the Fairy Prion (Māori translation: tītī wainui) a bird very close to extinction feeding around our favourite spot is priceless. Looking at the Aurora Australis, whilst listening to the waves crashing against the cliff is special to us. No human can get into this paradise for birds and seals and fish. We are proud to share this piece of nature with the viewers.” Drone: DJI Phantom 2 Vision; Camera: GoPro HERO4. Photo #27 by © andrea lemm

Beautiful quarry located near Prague in the Czech Republic

Beautiful quarry located near Prague in the Czech Republic. Drone: DJI F550; Camera: GoPro Hero 3 Black. Photo #28 by © martinkoudela

Dronestagram contest entry Plovdiv, Bulgaria

In the end, this shot of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, won 2nd place for the Dronestagram “popular prize” due to being “most liked picture.” Drone and camera: DJI Phantom 3. Photo #29 by © IceFire

Dronestagram contest entry Glorieta Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico

We’ve looked at cliff divers in Acapulco, but none were shot via drone. This capture of “Glorieta Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico” won Dronestagram’s 3rd place under “popular prizes” for “most liked picture.” Drone: DJI Phantom; Camera: GoPro Hero 3 Silver. Photo #30 by © w00tsor

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