The Dronestagram 2014 Drone Photo Contest honors this year’s best aerial photography

by Felix Esser

posted Monday, July 14, 2014 at 3:02 PM EDT

As surprised as we were when we first heard of the iPhone photography awards (now entering its eighth year), we're now just as surprised to find out that there are awards for the best drone photography. But just as smartphones have become viable tools for photography in past years, drone copters are fast becoming an established photographic tool now.

The contest was organized by Dronestagram, an online photo community dedicated to drone photography, and was supported by National Geographic and GoPro, among others. It was open for submissions from May 15 to June 30 this year, and the winners were announced in early July.

The winning photo shows an eagle in flight, from above, filling more than half the picture. It was taken by Dronestagram user 'Capungaero' in the Bali Barat National Park in Bali, Indonesia, using a GoPro Hero 2 action cam. Considering the noise that a multicopter drone makes, and the speeds at which eagles travel, the picture seems like an almost impossible achievement and well deserving of the first prize.

2014 Dronestagram Photo Contest 1st prize winner: Bali Barat National Park, Indonesia by Capungaero

Besides three main prizes, which include a crowd shot from above as well as a panoramic photo of the French town of Annecy, the Dronestagram awards also honored the three photos that achieved the most "likes" by Dronestagram users during the contest. These show the Tamul waterfalls in Mexico, another panoramic city shot as well as a picture of fireworks in Sofia, Bulgaria's football stadium.

Congratulations to the winners, who received prizes such as a DJI Phantom 2 multicopter with a GoPro Black Edition camera or Parrot AR drones. More drone photography in various categories such as Urban, Industrial, Sports and Video can be found over at Dronestagram.

2014 Dronestagram Photo Contest 2nd prize winner: Manila Philippines by Jericsaniel

2014 Dronestagram Photo Contest 3rd prize winner: Annecy, France by Drone-cs

2014 Dronestagram Photo Contest 1st popular prize winner: Tamul waterfall by Postandfly

2014 Dronestagram Photo Contest 2nd popular prize winner: Sanary-sur-Mer by Jams69

2014 Dronestagram Photo Contest 3rd popular prize winner: Sofia, Bulgaria by IceFire

(via The Verge. Images used with permission from Dronestagram.)