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These Are Some of the Best Drone Photos in the World

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Drones allow photographers to capture images and video from perspectives that would be nearly impossible — or prohibitively expensive — otherwise. Some of the best examples of this type of photography can be found in Dronestagram’s annual contest, which recognizes the most stunning images captured from the skies.

This year’s competition included 5,900 submissions from 28 countries, according to National Geographic. The photos are broken down into three categories: Nature-Wildlife, Sports, and Travel. First, second, and third place winners have been announced for each. The categories differ slightly from last year’s competition, which also honored dronies (think: selfie, but taken with a drone.)

Many of the 2016 winners used drones made by DJI to get their images, according to interviews Dronestagram conducted with the photographers. Michael Bernholdt, whose photo of pinewood surrounded by forest won first place in the Nature category, said he spent hours examining Google Maps to find his shot.

“To my luck it had snowed that all day so the pinewood really stood out,” he told Dronestagram.

Check out the images in our gallery above.


"...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 shots before the sun went down and the cloud got higher hiding everything."Francesco Cattuto. Courtesy of Dronestagram
Beach Camel Caravan
2nd Place—Travel "This image was captured while honeymooning at Cable Beach, Western Australia. We rented a 4WD and drove 8,000 klms around outback Australia. I like the 100% vertical downward point of view that is so well captured by camera equipped quadcopters."Todd Kennedy. Courtesy of Dronestagram
3rd Place—Travel "I was on a road trip in Gran Canaria Island in Spain where I captured some aerial shots of one of the most amazing beaches in the world - Playa de Amadores."Karolis Janulis. Courtesy of Dronestagram
Pine tres
1st Place—Nature "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."Michael B. Rasmussen. Courtesy of Dronestagram
2nd Place—Nature "We wanted to present the traditional Romania in its full beauty. We were travelling by car and suddenly along the road from the distance I've spotted the sheep herd. 99% of the time I'm travelling with my drone."Szabolcs Ignacz. Courtesy of Dronestagram
3rd Place—Nature "This picture was very difficult to catch because off ascending hot-air and 50Km/h wind. There was also sulfur next to the volcano so I need to have a mask while piloting."Jonathan Payet. Courtesy of Dronestagram
1st Place—Sports "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!"Max Seigal. Courtesy of Dronestagram
2nd Place—Sports "I work as a photojournalist in the local newspaper, La Opinión, and I was assigned the task of taking a picture of the swimming competitions , which were held in the city , but instead of taking the same photo as always, it occurred to me to fly my drone to try to achieve something different, the result, an overhead photo of athletes warming up to begin the competitions."Juan Pablo Bayona. Courtesy of Dronestagram
3rd Place—Sports "picture was taken in the Chugach Mountain Range outside of Cordova Alaska. Its subject is my friend and guide Jason Bilek Opening up some turns on a giant mountain face we called Buzzy's. Its about 45-50 degrees and a very fun run. My fingers always get cold while I fly up there but the results are ALWAYS worth it."Tj Balon. Courtesy of Dronestagram

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