These Breathtaking Drone Photos Will Blow Your Mind

Professional - 360 - 1st - The Starry Night
Professional - 360 - 1st - 'The Starry Night' | © Jingwen Chen / SkyPixel

Art & Design Editor

Drones are no longer just for covert military missions or spying on your neighbour, they’re now actively used by artists to create spell-binding views of the world around us. SkyPixel – the online aerial photography community – have just announced the winners of their global competition to find the top drone photographs of 2016.

From an impressive 27,000 submissions from 131 countries, 19 photographs were selected by a jury made up of TIME and Condé Nast Traveler photojournalists and award-winning photographers. All varying in approach, style and subject, the selection reveals how drone photography can capture the planet in an extraordinary manner.

Grand Prize

The overall Grand Prize winner went to Ge Zheng for his exquisite shot of fisherman in Fujian Province in China. Here, Zheng transforms a daily activity into a striking moment through skilful use of aerial perspective and considered composition.

Professional – Beauty – 1st – ‘Exploration’

The other winners were chosen from six categories subdivided into professional and enthusiast. Here, they interpreted the themes: Beauty, Drones in Use and 360 photos, to spectacular effect, capturing everything from camels trekking across desert dunes to the tips of the Tianshan Mountain range.

Professional – Beauty – 2nd – ‘Spilway Selfie’
Professional – Beauty – 3rd – ‘The Earth’
Professional – Drones in Use – 1st – ‘A Happy Morning’
Professional – Drones in Use – 2nd – ‘Meet the Phantom’
Professional – Drones in Use – 3rd – ‘Drone in use’

Click the image below to view the interactive 360 image taken by 1st place Professional winner, Jingwen Chen.

Professional – 360 – 1st – ‘The Starry Night’
Enthusiast – Beauty – 1st – ‘Overbridge’
Enthusiast – Beauty – 2nd – ‘Green Waves’
Enthusiast – Beauty – 3rd – ‘Ice River’
Enthusiast – Drones in Use – 1st – ‘Despectus’
Enthusiast – Drones in Use – 2nd – ‘Inspire in Use’
Enthusiast – Drones in Use – 3rd – ‘ The Phantom of the Earth’

Click the image below to view the interactive 360 image taken by 1st place Enthusiast winner, Wen Li.

Enthusiast – 360 – 1st – ‘Flying Ink of Tianshan Mountain’

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