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.