CULTURE & ARTS

International Drone Photography Contest Draws Some Of The Most Stunning Aerial Shots Of The Year

More than 5,000 people -- professional and amateur alike -- submitted images captured by their flying photo contraptions for the second International Drone Photography Contest. Organized by Dronestagram and sponsored by the likes of National Geographic and Kodak, the competition features stunning shots overlooking Brazil, French Polynesia, Bulgaria and more.

Dronestagram just announced the winners in three categories: places, nature and "dronies," or selfies made with drones. There was also a "most liked" category that was based on online voting. The photos reflect the changing landscape of photography and film, as drones have become far more common.

"This is the way buildings were designed to be seen," drone photographer Amos Chapple told BBC News last year. "This is their best side."

Take a look below, and if you're inclined to get a drone of your own, make sure to use best practices so you don't accidentally fly yourself into anything. Oft-maligned drones are also banned in quite a few places, so it might be better to stick with the old DSLR in some locales.

  • First prize in "places": "Above the mist," taken in Maringá, Paraná, Brazil
    Ricardo-Matiello
    First prize in "places": "Above the mist," taken in Maringá, Paraná, Brazil
  • First prize in "nature": French Polynesia
    Tahitiflyshoot / Dronestagram
    First prize in "nature": French Polynesia
  • First prize in "dronies": "Where's Wally?" taken in Limassol Carnaval, Cyprus
    FlyovermediaCy / Dronestagram
    First prize in "dronies": "Where's Wally?" taken in Limassol Carnaval, Cyprus
  • Second prize in "nature": La Jolla, California
    kdilliard1 / Dronestagram
    Second prize in "nature": La Jolla, California
  • Third prize in "nature": Lost island, Tahaa, French Polynesia
    Marama Photo Video / Dronestagram
    Third prize in "nature": Lost island, Tahaa, French Polynesia
  • Second prize in "popular": Plovidv, Bulgaria
    Svetlin Marinov / Dronestagram
    Second prize in "popular": Plovidv, Bulgaria
  • Third prize in "popular": Glorieto Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
    Alejandro Ochoa / Dronestagram
    Third prize in "popular": Glorieto Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
  • Second prize in "places": Mont Saint Michel in Normandie, France
    Wanaiifilms / Dronestagram
    Second prize in "places": Mont Saint Michel in Normandie, France
  • Third prize in "places": Tulip Fields in the Netherlands
    Anders@anderssa.com / Dronestagram
    Third prize in "places": Tulip Fields in the Netherlands