Drones have become an integral weapon in the arsenal of today’s photographer, so it should come as no surprise that there’s a dedicated photo contest focusing purely on aerial imagery.
In fact the annual contest from social network, Dronestagram is now in its fourth year and saw over 8,000 submissions entered for the various categories, which were judged by industry professionals, including staff from National Geographic.
Jerome Courtial, a French creative based in London, picked up the top prize in the ‘Nature’ category and commented on his image; “I went to Valensole hoping to get an original picture rather than the classic view with the sunset in the background. I knew this was the beginning of the harvest season so I hunted down tractors and waited patiently until some started to harvest in a pattern that would create a pleasing composition from above. I just had to start the drone engine and capture the photo against really strong wind. I thought I would have had a nice picture, but I had no idea this one in particular would be so well received. It has now become my favourite picture I’ve ever taken.”
US photographer, Martin Sanchez, took top honours in the people category and described the story behind his image; “While driving, I noticed an empty tennis court that just stood out like a treasured story in a book of empty words. I usually don’t do these unless the surface canvas is what I am looking for. I had a battery at 50%, which was enough. After a few takes things got a little weird. Two people came by to play some tennis on the other court. As they got closer they had no idea what was happening on my end. They seemed very confused watching just lay on the ground and make weird holding positions. They didn’t know whether to play or call for help. When I was all done, I showed them the somewhat final result and both of them said; ‘Ohhhh! I get it’.”
Bachir Moukarzel took first place in Dronestagram’s highly contested Urban category with this dramatic aerial image of Dubai. Bachir said; “This picture was capatured at sunset. I was trying to capture an area which was a literally a desert 10 years back and now became a concrete jungle with the highest buildings in Dubai.”
Drones are used to capture landscapes and architecture, but Thibault Beguet had the amazing idea to use a drone to capture the ultimate baby announcement image with a video game twist. Thibault commented; “We love Normandy, the sea, and outdoor activities, so we choose naturally to shoot on the beach. The name of this photo, Next Level, has been choosen for a new start of our life, a parent’s life, and is a reference to videogames like the picture.”