The most stunning, award-winning drone photos of 2021 are here

drone photo awards 2021

The international Drone Photo Awards are a celebration of aerial photography. This year, the coveted awards saw tens of thousands of image submissions by photographers from 102 countries. And the entries that caught the attention of the jury? Well, those feature everything from monster waves and volcanic eruptions to buffalo buffets and even a 500-year-old monastery in Moscow. Take a look…

Drone Photo of the Year: Pink-Footed Geese Meeting the Winter

The overall winner of the Drone Photo Awards 2021 is an image that shows a thick flock of pink-footed geese flying over snow-covered ground. Immortalized by Norwegian photographer Terje Kolaas, the image was shot in central Norway and portrays geese flying toward Svalbard, in the Arctic, with the landscape still covered with snow.

Probably because of climate change, the geese arrive earlier every year and often the ground and the fields where they feed are covered by snow when they arrive. The geese tend to use the same paths, so when waiting for them in the air with a drone, photos like this one are possible.

Terje Kolaas

Category: Wildlife

Winner: Back to Adventure

This winning entry by Qasim Al Farsi features a green turtle heading back to the water after laying down eggs in her peaceful nest at Oman coastline between Ras Al Jinz and Rashad turtle reserve.

Runner-up: Fast Food

This photo was taken in Zambia by Igor Altuna. Two male lion brothers killed a buffalo, and after eating for a day they left the remains to the others.

Category: Urban

Winner: Metaphorical Statement about City and Winter

Captured in Russia by Sergei Poletaev, this image shows a 500-year-old monastery in the Moscow region and a large power plant in the background. The steam from the cooling towers is particularly dense due to severe frost.

Runner-up: The Kingdom Centre

This Drone Photo Award-winning photo was taken by George Steinmetz in Riyadh. Standing 992 feet high, the Kingdom Centre was the tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia when completed in 2002, and is considered only the second to have been built in the country, but is now 5th on the list.

Category: Sport

Winner: Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Photographer Phil De Glanville captures a striking rainbow above a surfer struggling with a frightening wave to take home a prize at Drone Photo Awards 2021.

I found gold at the end of this rainbow as surfer, Ollie Henry, escapes a monster wave off the coast of South West Western Australia.

Phil De Glanville

Also see: FPV racing drone chases kiteboarder in this adrenaline-pumping video from Spain

Runner-up: Follow Me

Pierluigi Orlertook this photo in Bernau, Germany, near the Black Forest. A snowcat is marking the new trucks after a snowfall, while two cross-country skiers train behind him. The image has been overexposed to give this idea of evanescence.

Category: People

Winner: Fishing in Mangrove Forest

In this photo taken by Trung Pham Huy, a fisherman is shown starting his day in the mangrove forest in the lagoon of Tam Giang in the Hue province of Vietnam. Mangroves lose all their leaves and turn white during the winter season.

Runner-up: Beach Season

Tells photographer Alexandr Vlassyuk:

I took this picture in February 2021, on ice hummocks at the Kapchagai reservoir in the Almaty region of Kazakhstan. The air temperature on that day was -10 degrees Celcius; for our region and season it could be said warm, and so, without waiting for summer, we decided to open the beach season!

Category: Nature

Winner: Extragalactic

The image was shot in Iceland by Martin Sanchez. It captures the extraordinary moments of the eruption of a volcano from above, offering an exclusive view of the interior of the crater.

Related: Absolutely insane footage of FPV drone melting inside an active volcano

Runner-up: The Great Divide

Ice sheets drift apart on a glacial-fed lake providing a brief opportunity for exploration. With one path to continue moving forward, moving toward hope, this vast expanse of ice provides a look into the power and grandeur that nature possesses. Photographed by Janessa Anderson.

Category: Abstract

Winner: Poisoned River

The image from Drone Photo Awards 2021 portrays many small channels full of poisons. It was shot by Romanian photographer Gheorghe Popa. In an abstract and personal way, it describes the natural disaster produced by chemical waste generated by the mining of copper and gold in the Apuseni mountains in Transylvania.

Runner-up: Caleidoscopio

Italian photographer Paolo Crocetta says this shot was inspired by the colorful patterns of the Navajo people. The bright colors of the containers and the diagonals created by the play of light and shadow give life to an interesting pattern.

Category: Wedding

Winner: Verso l’Infinito Insieme a Te

From Italy’s Tuscan coast, and in particular, on the occasion of a late summer sunset in Marina di Pisa, photographer Matteo Originale took this shot entitled “Towards the Infinite Together with You.”

Runner-up: Boundless Sea of Love

In the Jiangsu region of China, photographer Wujiang Zhu uses a unique location to capture the traditional pictures of a newly married couple: in the middle of a beautifully kept garden in the blooming season.

To see the other commendable pictures submitted in different categories, you can visit the Drone Photo Awards 2021 gallery here.

Read more: See Porsche’s hauntingly beautiful drone light painting shoot for 2021 Panamera

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