What does our planet look like from the sky?
This year’s winning Drone Photo Awards images capture an incredibly fantastic view of the world. Seen from above, a field of bright green grass in Vietnam looks like faux fur – and a frozen reservoir in Kazakhstan looks like shards of shattered glass.
The awards, in their fourth year, received nominations from 105 countries and 2,900 professional and amateur photographers, said Luca Venturi, founder of the competition and artistic director of Siena Awards, a group based in Siena, Italy, which organizes international photos. competitions.
The availability of cheaper and better drones in recent years has helped popularize this style, especially among hobbyists, says Ken Geiger, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and one of this year’s judges. Not only is drone photography “fabulously fun,” he adds, “it’s a medium that helps us learn things about our planet that we’ve never experienced before.”
The competition is open to all kinds of aerial photographs, taken not only with drones but also with airships, kites, parachutes, helicopters and even hot air balloons.
Here is a selection of contest winners and honorable mentions from around the world, including low income countries covered by Goats & Soda. There is photorealism – and also staged scenes that capture the times of pandemic we live in.
The trees reveal their true colors
Trung Pham Huy
Photographer Pham Huy Trung calls his “Mangrove Forest Fishing”, taken in Vietnam’s Hue province, “a balance between humans and nature”.
A former engineer, Trung says it’s handy when using drones to take photos, always checking wind and fog levels before setting off, as both can affect photo quality. His ultimate goal, he says, is to find times when a person “feels at peace with the universe, inside and out.”
Scale and color play an important role in this photograph. “The white color of the forest shows how spectacular nature is, while the red color of the fisherman’s clothes represents the beauty of man, ”says Trung. “Small and large, red and white – much more should be [in harmony] together in life. “
Sunbathing – on ice
In the “Beach Season” photo, taken in a reservoir in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Alexandr Vlassyuk is both photographer and subject – a task he said was no small feat. He operated the drone while posing with his friend on mounds of ice at a temperature of 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Both were almost naked. Oh, and it was windy, he adds.
“The shooting turned out to be quite difficult,” explains Vlassyuk, a publicity photographer with a passion for landscapes. “I took a series of shots with two drones. The batteries were low. In order not to freeze, we had to warm up periodically with hot tea.”
Geiger says he likes the concept. “It’s so over the top that I couldn’t help but vote for it. It made me smile.” And the “pop of people and colors” amid the broken ice, he says, “creates a strong entry point” for viewers.
Managing Director Tanveer Hassan Rohan
MD Tanveer Hassan Rohan, a freelance photographer from New York City, always tried to take pictures from the highest possible places, long before drones came into the picture. “I’m trying to find a place where I can see the area from above,” like a roof, he says. “It allows me to really see this place.”
When commercial drones became available, he says, he knew he had to have one. “I try to avoid congregating where a lot of photographers fly drones. Sometimes I go to unfamiliar places and fly my drone from a safe place to see what I can find.”
One of those places is the courtyard of a chili factory in Bogura, Bangladesh, just over 160 km from where Rohan grew up in Dhaka. His photo “Harvest of red peppers” captures two rows of women sitting under umbrellas as they sort through a carpet of bright red peppers to dry and store.
Other winners and commendations