The drone photo that won $15K in prizes at DJI SkyPixel contest

dji skypixel contest drone photo winners 2023

SkyPixel, one of the world’s most popular aerial photography communities established by tech giant DJI, has announced the winners of its annual drone photo and video contest. See all the top, prize-winning drone photographs here and find out how a Vietnamese photographer’s delicate composition secured the distinction of Annual Best Work with over $15,000 in prizes.

The SkyPixel 8th Annual Photo & Video Contest, co-organized by DJI, attracted over 65,000 submissions, which is a 120% increase from the previous year. With a central theme of “The Story Behind,” DJI and SkyPixel called upon drone pilots to share what mattered to them most. The photo judging panel included renowned photographers and publication editors, and they chose Khánh Phan’s photo Floral Dress as the grand prize winner of a Hasselblad 907X Anniversary Edition Kit, a trophy, and an award certificate.

The photo is a bird’s-eye portrait of two women wading in a pond as they collect a harvest of water lilies, whose white and magenta blooms create the illusion of a floating floral dress. Phan says she captured the photo in her hometown of Long An in southern Vietnam with a DJI Mavic 3, which features a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera.

Explaining that she wanted to share a time-honored tradition of her ancestors, Phan says, “They have worked as water lily pickers for many years, having learned the craft from their mothers and grandmothers. I believe these women are most beautiful when working because labor creates value and happiness. They also let me express my mission to create what is hard to imagine, and I am truly grateful to them.”

For judge Anne Farrar from National Geographic Magazine, Phan’s portrait is “a near-perfect color scheme with lovely waves of flowers” moving across the frame. “This beautiful image is so well-composed and balanced, it brings a sense of beauty and calmness,” Farrar notes.

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Top 10 drone photo prize winners in DJI SkyPixel annual contest

In addition to the Annual Best Work above, the DJI SkyPixel contest also awarded the winners of the top 10 photos with a Mavic 3 Fly More Combo with DJI RC (or its equivalent credit in the winner’s DJI account), a trophy, and an award certificate, with a total value upward of $4,000.

Here’s Cage, captured by a China-based professional photographer, who goes by the moniker “It’s someone from Pear” in the SkyPixel community, using an Air 2 drone.

Colored Shutters is a composition that photographer Jiang Xiaoyi sought out on an exterior wall of the Foshan Science Museum in China, using his Mavic 2 Pro.

A sub-250-gram DJI Mini 2 captured Light and Shadow Stadium, enabling photographer Pan Pan to showcase that on a sports field, the grind never ends. “Even where the light cannot reach, the shadow represents the shape of struggle,” says Pan Pan.

Friendship comes from Mandi, an Aussie photographer based in Shanghai, who used a Mavic 3 drone to look for something different in a routine moment.

A DJI Mavic Air flown by award-winning photographer Shenyang Yunhe captured the Flower of the Earth below.

The stunning Lava Lizard comes from the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland. Michal Sadowski, a Polish photographer in love with minimalism in nature, got this shot using a Mavic 2 Pro. “Witnessing a volcano while it erupts is a truly surreal experience,” says Sadowski.

Industrial Scars: Burning Earth has been shot with a Mavic 3 drone by photographer Han Kai.

Migration is shot by HGY, a SkyPixel user from China.

Harvesting Grass comes from the lens of Vietnam-based SkyPixel user Huybank who used a DJI Mavic 2 Pro to capture this shot.

The Maze Runner is shot using a Mavic 2 Pro by Mel Zagers, a landscape photographer and videographer from Belgium.

For more details on the individual photos, you can visit the SkyPixel website.

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