the best drone photographs of the year: 7 winners and 8 other incredible shots

the best drone photographs of the year: 7 winners and 8 other incredible shots

after 4,400 submissions from over 101 countries, the 2018 drone awards photo contest for professionals and amateurs have announced the winners of the competition through six categories and one overall photo of the year.


the 2018 drone awards is a hub that has allowed photographers to creatively seek value and communicate an appreciation of our earth from all corners of the world. however, since the inception of aerial photography, the practice has allowed us to take a ‘step-back’ from our typical line of sight and provide us with a unique perspective that triggers an appreciative and sometimes emotional response. through archaeology, geology, geography and wider landscapes, environmental, rural and urban studies – aerial photography allows an audience to find value through an elevated portal.


aerial photography is not a new practice, with early practitioners such as nadar, who used a balloon in 1858 to go 260 ft in the air to capture an image of the suburbs of paris or james wallace black, who went 2,000 ft in the boston airspace in 1860. however the development of technology, specifically drones, have provided a new vehicle for photographers to expand their curiosity and redefine the capability of photography. drone photography is a modern method to provide an introspective look into our current urban society and sphere. for example, drone photography has the capability of ‘flattening the image,’ that ‘reveals variation in pattern and scale on the earth’s surface’ and as eloquently put by the drone awards, ‘deepens our understanding of the world beyond its surface appearance and the way we relate to it.’
winner of wildlife: blacktip shark by adam barker
(banner: photo of the year: above the polar bear by florian ledoux)

winner of abstract: weather snake by ovi d. pop
winner of nature: mada’in saleh by gabriel scanu

winner of people: pilgrimage of millions of people by qinghua shui/drone awards

winner of urban: assisi over the clouds by francesco cattuto

winner of sport: skating shadows by vincent riemersma
highly commended: der kratera by kirsten tñuber
highly commended: sportsmen under the sun by senrong hu
highly commended: cold winter night by yavor michev
runner up: warehouse fire by byron du bois
highly commended: mother and calf by anders carlson
highly commended: basketball by shihui liu
highly commended: saving to start out by fan zhang
runner up: amenities by gary cummins
runner up: responsible dady the gharial with babies by dhritiman mukherjee

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    art news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,380 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample