Best drone photos ever: Stunning images taken from the sky
(Pocket-lint) - Drone photography has soared in recent years, with the number of and quality of drone photos increasing every year. There are so many photos in fact that drone photography even has its own official awards programmes. Now that most new drones come equipped with high-quality cameras capable of capturing great shots and videos the images are only getting better and better.
We say easier but that's not to say it's a walk in the park. We've compiled some of the best photos we've seen as well as plenty more from Dronestagram and the Skypixel photo contest to show off just how stunning drone photos can be. Get ready to pick your jaw up off the floor.
From the abstract category, it shows an area in China where rice is grown. The different levels of the fields result in a weird and wonderful, colourful view.
Some man-made objects are best viewed with a drone. A case in point is this brilliant dragon.
Another seriously nifty aerial view from the Drone Awards.
A colourful field now looks like it's getting painted by a lone car.
Mont Saint Michel in the fogLuke Bell
Two moo by Luke Bell
Luke Bell, a Cape Town-based videographer and photographer, said he took this photo on a cold, early morning in South Africa on a farm near Stellenbosch. "Two cows drinking from a nearby dam caught my eye when I saw their long shadows," he explained. "I launched my drone to capture the scene in a way impossible with any other type of camera."Alexey Goncharov
Dawn on mercury tower, Russia by Alexeygo
Alexey Goncharov, a 36-years-old physicist who works at Moscow State University, said he sometimes takes drone photos before heading into work. One morning, while in search of a beautiful reflection in mirror windows of Mercury tower, he spotted industrial climbers: "I liked the way their work looked from that perspective.
They seemed to wash the city itself, not just the building's windows."Bachir Moukarzel
Concrete jungle, Dubai, EAA by Bachirm
Bachir Moukarzel, a 33-year-old Lebanese living in Dubai, is a cluster Financial controller in Rotana Hotels. This picture was shot at sunset time in Dubai at 6pm, while trying to capture an area which was a desert 10 years back but is now "a concrete jungle with the highest buildings in Dubai". He said every flight is a new adventure, even though he has been flying for ages, as each flight "has its own taste".
This is certainly a breath-taking view of an already awe-inspiring temple of worship.
The Lotus Temple is located in Delhi, India and is famed for its flowerlike shape. It's also a place of wonder thanks to welcoming everyone - regardless of religious belief.Jerome Courtial
Summer trim, France by jcourtial
Jerome Courtial, a 39-year-old Frenchman based in London, went to Valensole to get "an original picture rather than the classic view with the sunset in the background". His girlfriend was with him, and in an interview after being chosen as the No.
1 winner of Dronestagram's 2017 awards, he thanked her for her patience, as they "waited quite a long time to find the perfect spot". The photo ended up being his favourite picture ever taken.
A deserted college
This is a beautiful view of the countryside of the Republic of Abkhazia. It shows an amazing landscape with a tragic history as this is part of the region where ethnic cleansings occurred in the 1990s.
People were expelled from their homes, brutally murdered and persecuted. Now a broken, deserted college stands as a homage to this tragic time.
The red train
This brilliantly contrasting image from the sky shows a fantastic red train passing through the snow-covered mountains of Switzerland.olivier.../SkyPixel
This astoundingly beautiful image of the landscapes of Iceland is actually 12 separate images stitched into one. A brilliant panoramic shot of the surroundings with the cloud-covered mountaintops and flowing rivers cutting through the landscape.nigelkwan/SkyPixel
But I knew exactly how to get in. Something they couldn't resist. A game of Hungry Hungry Hippos!"
Savior on the Spilled Blood
This is a magnificent view of a Church in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
It shows the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. This incredible building originally began construction in 1893, and represents a romantic nationalism architectural style by Alfred Alexandrovich Parland and Archimandrite Ignaty.
A thoroughly cheerful view from the rivers of Singapore shows canoes from above, posing in a position that makes them look like a happy face. Of course it could be an accident, but it's a happy accident if it is.
Sunrise in Bagan
This brilliant drone photo was snapped in Bagan, Myanmar by Witold Ziomek.
He used a Mavic Pro done to snap this brilliant photo of ancient architecture backdropped by hot air balloons.Trung Pham/SkyPixel
Baby lobsters breeding farm
Above the waters of Vietnam, Trung Pham captured this image of the lobster farms of the Phu Yen province. The striking colours and mix of man-made materials with nature make for an incredible photograph.Luis Saguar Domingo
Peace, Spain by luckydron
Luis Saguar Domingo, a 24-year-old, said he got his drone as a gift at Christmas and was in Madrid looking for a nice place to fly the new drone. He feels relaxed when flying simply because of all the beautiful landscapes he's able to see, and when he took this picture, he thought it was "really cool and symmetrical".
From this point of view, Domingo said it is really "hard taking a pic like that".
An unhappy accident makes for a pretty awesome aerial photograph. A lorry has tipped over and spilt its load on the side of the road. Ilya Martyanov noticed the accident and quickly dashed out to send his drone up for a snap. The result of which is a fantastic drone photograph of the pitfalls of modern life.
When in Rome
The Roman Colosseum is an incredible sight from the ground and from most angles.
It's a marvel of architecture and a fantastic view of our history. Just when you thought it couldn't get more impressive, along comes this image by Mauri Pagliai showing it in full nighttime splendor from the sky. This image was selected for one of the People's Choice Prizes in the Sky Pixel contest.
A weirdly beautiful black and white photograph that appears to show a vein-like pattern on the ice below.
Perhaps the remains of a tree that's disappeared below the icy depths?Javier del Cerro/SkyPixel
Geometry of liquid gold
Javier del Cerro captured this brilliant aerial snap of the amazing symmetry of the olive tree groves of Castilla La Mancha, Spain.Thibault Beguet
Next Level by Macareuxprod
Thibault Beguet, a 34-year-old photographer based in Rennes, Brittany, uses drones to take photos and make films for companies, agencies, TV, etc. This picture was captured with his girlfriend, Manon, while looking for a fun, original, and unusual way to announce they're expecting to loved ones and friends: "We love Normandy, the sea, and outdoor activities, so we choose naturally to shoot on the beach."
The star fort at Bourtange
Fort Bourtange was originally built in 1593 in the Netherlands to defend and control the road between Germany and the city of Groningen. It has seen a lot of history in the decades and centuries that have passed since and has recently, rather fittingly been converted into a historical museum.
From above, Fort Bourtange is certainly beautiful, surrounded by defensive moats and brilliant countryside.caokynhan/SkyPixel
Raising ducks by the river
In the skies above Vietnam, a drone captures ducks being raised by the local farmers. A mass of white ducks relax on the peaceful riverways while the farmer works.Romain Gaillard
Ugo le marin by Rga
Romain Gaillard said this picture was taken early in the morning. "I had gone to the beach to take some pictures," he explained. "As I watched my children playing on the beach... I had the idea of using the sand as a large sheet of paper.
So my two sons and myself drew a scene related to the sea - on the image you can see my oldest son."The best drones 2021: Top rated quadcopters to buy, whatever your budget By Cam Bunton . 7 June 2021
Which drone should you choose? See our guide to the best quadcopters to buy from hobby drones to serious devices capable of capturing film.Bobo/SkyPixel
Woman in the wash
From the shores of Taiwan, this aerial image captures the photographer laying by the edge of the water, the whitewash of the waves blending with her white dress. This brilliant photograph was nominated as a professional image in the portrait category.
The photographer, Bobo, commented about this image: "This is my Taiwan film, Hualien's coastline is steep cliffs and secluded sea, steep terrain, step by step is the deep sea. I've always wanted a special perspective, so try my best to try that as Mavic flies over the coastline, I find the waves on the coast flashes beautifully between dark grey gravel and turquoise water, dark and light.
The contrast was very strong. When the waves fell toward the shore and retreated, they showed a vast and euphemistic shape, reminding me of the tail end of the whale, and finished the work. I pressed the shutter when the spray and the skirt were handed over to make the skirt and the sea wave blend together and have a sense of extension, leaving the work with an attachment and a similar space.
With this idea, I shot a series of compositions in different forms continuously. The whole process was very exciting. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day.
If it is sunny, the overall color of the works will be even more gorgeous."Barry1602
This simple photo wasn't snapped as high in the sky as some of the others on our list, but that's doesn't make it great. The view of rows and rows of vines stretching off as far as the eye can see look fantastic. Even more so with the brilliant symmetry.lalienware/SkyPixel
This image shows a Chinese fisherman working in the waters, plying their trade.
Dolphins are awesome, aren't they? Even more so when you get to see them like this at home in their natural habitat in incredibly crystal clear waters off the coast of Western Australia.Quitos123
This brilliant image shows Tatahatso Point at the Grand Canyon. A popular photography spot, but not often seen from the sky.
Lighthouse of Smogen
A perfectly timed photograph of a lighthouse in Sweden shows the sun setting through the top.
The brilliant red of the tip shining brightly for all to see. An empty horizon stretches off into the background. Brilliantly simple, wonderfully framed and fantastic use of a Mavic Pro.PJSmooth77
Novo Mesto, Slovenia
This incredible sight is seen in the town of Novo Mesto, near the border of Croatia.
A lush green landscape, winding river and close-knit community can be easily seen from the sky.
A wonderful Mavic Pro photo of the landscapes of Iceland and one of the many ice-encrusted waterfalls visible across the landscapes.Alkesnadr
This isn't just a small jetty into beautiful waters. It's also an aerial view of a lighthouse on the coast of Yalta. The waters are actually the Black Sea.
This impressively high photo makes the lighthouse appear tiny too. Which is no mean feat.Max Foster/SkyPixel
This aerial photograph was captured at 1,500 feet above the rivers of Iceland. The swooping lines show the beauty of nature and this image is part of a series of equally magnificent snaps with a similar theme.???/SkyPixel
Inle Lake fishing show
This image highlights the show the fishermen put on for tourists on the Inle Lake in Burma, but actually represents their traditional fishing methods in action.
The aerial view taken with the DJI Mavic Pro is certainly something special and likely very different to the view usually seen by people visiting the lake. The photographer commented: "Myanmar's Inu River, the ancient and unique fishing methods, attracting countless tourists to watch, and now has become a show."
This image captured with a DJI Phantom 4 and shows the docks of the Yantian District, China. This photo is part of a series of beautiful images of workers caring for the docks and maintaining the surfaces.???/SkyPixel
Anchang town more goods
This image shows an old town around twisting waterways. This town is known for its produce, but it's now also known for its views.
This aerial image is part of a collection captured using the DJI Spark a small but clearly capable drone. Zeng Xinmin commented about this image: "Anchang Ancient Town is one of the four famous ancient towns in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province is the first batch of published historical and cultural towns.
Was built in the Northern Song Dynasty, after the war, repeatedly burned, and rebuilt in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the architectural style inherits the typical characteristics of Jiangnan Water Village, a water, simple and elegant, its speciality Anchang sausage, or "sauce" The poultry meat, etc. Only you can not think of, there is no Anchang "wax", "sauce" can not. It is the hometown of Shaoxing Master."@bachir_photo_phactory
A lion's eye view
The king of the jungle is also perfect fodder for a fantastic aerial snap.
This brilliant image shows a lion disturbed by the sounds of the drone, but not put out by its presence. Not often you get to safely view a wild animal in this manner unless you happen to be hiding in a nearby tree.Valentin Valkov/SkyPixel
Santa Maddalena village, Italy
This incredible photo shows the beautiful green hills and surroundings of Santa Maddalena in Italy. A brilliantly colourful shot of nature made possible by a man-made drone.
Fire and ice
Another brilliant Mavic Pro photo.
This time from Yellowstone National Park in the US. The icy surface below shows brilliant colours as hot sulfur water finds its way through the snow.Jesper Guldbrand/SkyPixel
The long ride
This photo is actually the result of a number of different images stitched together to create the end result. This stitching gives the impression of a bending world that stretches off into infinity.
We've seen this style before and have to say it's a pretty awesome way to capture drone photographs. Jesper Guldbrand gives a bit more insight: "This series is called "Mind bending" and is shot during 2017 in different locations of Sweden.
Falun is a great city for mountain biking. This photo shows it.
20 images stitched together. A process that took about 1.5 months."????????/SkyPixel
The land of the Earth
This image is a part of a collection of photos showing the damage industrial waste has done to the landscape.
Although showing waves of beautiful colour, these aerial photographs actually demonstrate the damage mankind has done to the world we inhabit. The photographer commented: "The rapid development of human civilization has brought a series of negative effects.
The environment is polluted and the ecology is destroyed. At present, the status quo of pollution in the earth is very harsh, forming a staggering "earth ?"! Mankind must reflect on the triumphant industry development model, truly implement the policy of transforming the development mode and achieve sustainable social and economic development.
Face the devastation of the earth, forever scars. Environmental pollution must be managed, otherwise, there will be no complete earth. Without protection of the environment, mankind will perish.
Abstract images can instead better express the environmental impact of industrial pollution. Although these industrial pollution-related environments, details and colours can produce an attractive charm, the appearance does not represent the essence of spectacular colourful pictures may be very ugly nature, it is dirty, very evil. Human beings are rich in invention and creativity.
They can also create a distinctive visual beauty in the process of industrial pollution and destruction of nature. The author recorded the destroyed land in aerial photography. This group of photos (18) 2017 shot in a mine tailings."
Not a small Hong Kong island
Like a scene out of Inception, this drone photo captured with a Phantom 4 Pro shows a dream-like view of Hong Kong.
A collection of 43 photos was just to create this amazing view and it's certainly impressive.Bryan Dumas
A bird's eye view of Lombard Street, San Francisco
Most people will be able to identify this as the famous Lombard Street - reportedly "the crookedest street in the world". This windy road is certainly iconic and this drone photo is equally fantastic.??/SkyPixel
Taken in the skies of China, a number of magnificent photos were snapped by this professional photographer using a DJI Phantom 4 Pro. One of these images shows the rural villages and the hard work that goes into reaping the crop of fruit. This aerial view was chosen as the runner-up in the professional story category.
We'd highly recommend checking out the rest of the images too. The photographer commented: "Autumn season is the season of harvest, full of golden fruit is the earth's contribution to the hard work of mankind."Bryan Duma
Central Park in the winter
New York City certainly sees some regular snowfall.
The city's park looks incredible from this angle - even more so when sprinkled in wintery snow.Bryan Dumas
Where we're going we don't need roads
Roads, roads, so many roads. But who needs roads when you can fly? Certainly not this drone.FreDD
A lonesome home
In the dusty plains, a lonely house sits surrounded by nothing but dust, brush and the occasional tree.
The buildings casting magnificent shadows across the land.???/SkyPixel
This image captured with a DJI Phantom 4 and shows the docks of the Yantian District, China. This photo is part of a series of beautiful images of workers caring for the docks and maintaining the surfaces.Florian Ledoux/Skypixel
Above the polar bear
"Dear future generation, I hope we will still be able to see the Arctic wildlife as we do now. It is threatened as the environment is changing. I was able to witness many scenes of wildlife and I can guarantee you this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Incredible and unique shot above a polar bear in Nunavut, Baffin area during wildlife reportage in Nunavut and Greenland."Marc Lamey/SkyPixel
Lost in the sand dunes
Near the Grand Staircase National monument area in Utah, Marc Lamey snapped this image using a DJI Phantom 4 Pro. The subject of his photo curled up on the warm sands below.caokynhan/SkyPixel
Raising ducks by the river
In the skies above Vietnam, a drone captures ducks being raised by the local farmers. A mass of white ducks relax on the peaceful riverways while the farmer works.helios1412
Waterlily, Vietnam by helios1412
A beautiful shot from above the waterways of Vietnam shows a lone worker wading deep in the water.Zay Yar Lin/SkyPixel
Sun's Up, Nets Out
This snap shows a fisherman on his boat on the waters of Inle Lake.
This talented man is not only rowing his boat with his leg, but also managing to catch fish at the same time. A brilliant photograph, well deserving of the prize. "An Intha fisherman sets up his net to fish as he paddles his boat with a unique leg-rowing technique in Mayanmar's Inle Lake"Florian Ledoux
Ice formation By Florian
Florian Ledoux, a 27-year-old who recently moved to Reykjavik to get closer to the Arctic, started to photograph in Greenland in 2014 to "report changes in Inuit culture and to witness the beauty of this huge land".
This photo was taken during winter in East Greenland - one of the most remote place on Earth. He said he attempted to fly here several times, and that his drone got attacked by two Gyrfalcon.LENG_VISION/SkyPixel
Grab the fall's tail
Another breath-taking aerial photograph captured on the Phantom 4 Pro shows the wonderful reds of the Autumn trees.Calin Stan
Infinite Road by Calin Stan
Calin Stan, a 30-year-old who has worked in the photography business for more than a decade and owns his own business, said his drone image is of the Cheia DN1A road that takes you to Transylvania in Romania. Or, as the legend says, this is the view that "Count Dracula himself saw on his nocturnal flight", Stan explained.
He actually first captured the image for the Transylvania Roads Project.
The lost island
Who doesn't dream of this view? A peaceful sight on a deserted island, beautiful calm waters stretching off into the distance and a long way from the hubbub of urban life. This view was caught using a DJI Phantom and a GoPro Hero 3 Black while hovering over the French Polynesian island of Taha'a.
Comet into darkness
In the early hours of the morning, in Newfoundland Canada, a professional drone photographer sent his drone up to see what he could see on the waters. A fishing boat approaching the shore is flocked by seagulls, no doubt trying to snag an easy catch of their own. "One of my favourite shots.
An early morning in Newfoundland, I was hiking on the East Coast Trail when I heard a bunch of seagulls. I quickly launched my drone to find-out what was causing the mayhem. It was a small cod fishing boat steaming towards the harbour, a truly magical moment."
An amazing aerial view of the staggeringly beautiful beaches of Kwinana, Western Australia.
This image is part of a collection of similarly staggering images by Amphotoco that are posted to Dronestagram. We love them and now have a desperate urge to visit the country.
Whale shark and tourists
In the waters of La Paz Bay, Mexico hundreds of teen whale sharks come to eat and frolic every year. This image captures some tourists taking a dip with the magnificent creatures.cocoanext/SkyPixel
This brilliantly simple image was captured on a DJI Mavic Pro and shows a dancer in the centre of an ancient courtyard in Shanghai, China.
Photographer Cocoanext commented: "Shanghai's only nearly 190-year-old courtyard house with northern features is rarely seen in the south, where dancers dance not only skirts but also old Shanghai memories"
Daily Geometry by Petra Leary
If you're going to have a list of the best drone photos around, it only seems fair to include a real award winner. These images are part of a series called "Daily Geometry" by award-winning aerial photographer Petra Leary.
This collection of photos saw the aerial photography master selected for the shortlist of the Zeiss Photography Award 2019. Brilliant lines, bold eye-catching colours and amazing symmetry from simple urban locales.??/SkyPixel
A lone man is captured diving over the waterfall. This brilliantly timed photo shows a Guinness World Record holder carrying out his passion.
The photographer gave a little more insight into it: "He is over sixty, he is the world record holder for the Guinness waterfall diving. In China's famous spout of the Yellow River and the great falls of the water tower in Heilongjiang province, he surprised the world with his leap.
In the air, his action stretches the beautiful. Freeze the moment of the shock, take this leap into eternity."SkyPixel
"It was shot in the Tengger Desert, an outdoor sportsman walking hard in the desert on foot, with the footsteps of deeper and deeper, will not be caught?"
Saksun is a small village located in the northwestern part of the Faroese island of Streymoy. The village is surrounded by splendid landscapes with breath-taking views of nature. This amazing view of the local church was captured by Ian Montgomery using his Mavic Pro and submitted to the Sky Pixel contest.Petra Leary/SkyPIxel
This aerial image of the basketball courts of Auckland shows wonderfully contrasting colours and brilliant symmetry from the skies. This image by Petra Leary, won first prize in the professional portrait category in 2017's Skypixel awards.????/SkyPixel
The sun is busy
This drone photo shows an aerial view of workers drying noodles on various racks.
The photographer captioned the image: "On October 5, 2017, villagers in Xiashi Town, Kaili City, Guizhou Province, were busy drying noodles."Martin Sanchez
End of the line, USA by Martin Sanchez
Martin Sanchez said he took this photo on a Saturday afternoon in April just before sunset in New Jersey. He noticed an empty tennis court that "just stood out like a treasured story in a book of empty words".
After a few takes, two people came by to play some tennis and seemed confused watching him lay on the ground. When he was done, he showed them his photo and they said, "Ohhhh! I get it!"
Basilica del Voto Nacional
An amazing sun-bathed view of the Basilica del Voto Nacional, a Roman Catholic church that dominates the horizon of Quito, Ecuador.
The amazing church was blessed by the Pope in 1985 and is one of the biggest attractions of the area. It also makes for an impressive drone photo as Alex Javier proved with this snap using his Phantom 4 Pro.Trung Pham/SkyPixel
Baby lobsters breeding farm
Above the waters of Vietnam, Trung Pham captured this image of the lobster farms of the Phu Yen province. The striking colours and mix of man-made materials with nature make for an incredible photograph.andrea/SkyPixel
"Now you're going to be witness to the rebirth of humanity."Javier Bustamante
La Vijanera, Spain by feelingmovie
Javier Bustamante, a 32-year-old designer, said he took this photo while at La Vijanera, a winter carnival that takes place in the town of Silio in Cantabria (Spain) on the first Sunday of each year. "This party consists on a group of hunters who want to capture a bear," he explained. "(Sic) Tour the village representing the capture of the bear... This photo is the end of the party in which the bear is captured."
A broken plane in Iceland
An incredible view shot using a DJI Air 2S and submitted to SkyPixel. This image from Iceland shows a brilliant view of a broken plane in an icy wasteland.
Pyramid of Austerlitz
Jelle Oostrom took this incredible shot of the Pyramid of Austerlitz using a DJI Mavic Air 2.
The landmark is actually a 36-metre-high pyramid of earth that was crafted by Napoleon's soldiers in 1804.
90 years later an obelisk was erected on top and that's what you're seeing in the centre of this shot. From ground level it looks a lot different.
Heart shaped waters
A lot of these drone photos show incredible views of the world like you're highly unlikely to see. In this case, incredible blue waters in a heart-shaped pool.
A starry lake
Siman Laszlo managed to snap this fantastic photo of a frozen lake which looks like night's sky: "When lakes freeze at winter we can look for ice-stars on the surface. This year I was lucky to experience this in the neighborhood of my village."
Writing by Adrian Willings and Maggie Tillman.
Originally published on 15 May 2015.
- ^ Drone photography (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ Skypixel photo contest (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ 2021's Drone Photos Awards (droneawards.photo)
- ^ the grand prize winner of 2018's Skypixel contest (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ ethnic cleansings (en.wikipedia.org)
- ^ 12 separate images stitched into one (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ Nigel Kwan's image (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ Dronestagram's 2018 drone photography awards (www.dronestagr.am)
- ^ Martin Sanchez (www.instagram.com)
- ^ Trung Pham captured this image (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ People's Choice Prizes in the Sky Pixel contest (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ Javier del Cerro captured this brilliant aerial snap (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ commented about this image (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ a series of similarly beautiful images (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ a series of equally magnificent snaps (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ seen this style before (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ photographer commented (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ DJI Phantom 4 Pro. (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ checking out the rest of the images too (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ captioned his image (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ Photographer Cocoanext commented (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ photographer gave a little more insight into it (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ submitted to the Skypixel awards with the caption (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ This image by Petra Leary (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ Trung Pham captured this image (www.skypixel.com)
- ^ a simple caption (www.skypixel.com)