Discover the best aerial photos from the inaugural Drone Awards

After receiving 4,400 submissions from over 101 countries, the inaugural Drone Awards have announced the winners of their competition. The awards, which celebrates the art of drone photography, has allowed photographers to explore new perspectives and communicate an appreciation of our planet.

Aerial photography isn’t a new practice, dating back to at least 1858 with surveys completed in hot air balloons. However, drone photography has really taken off over the past few years, propelled in part by cheaper and more accessible technology. It’s provided a new vehicle for photographers to expand their curiosity and redefine the capability of photography.

The contest, which was created by the organizers of the prestigious Siena International Photography Awards, aims to remind the public of drone photography’s artistic value. From scenes depicting the perils of climate change to abstract art and images of our built environment, an expert jury had their hands full in deciding who would win the grand prize for the inaugural Drone Awards. Categories for the aerial photos include urban, wildlife, sport, people, nature, and abstract.

Drone Awards Photographer of the Year

In the end, it was French photographer Florian Ledoux who took home the title of Photographer of the Year for his award-winning photo of a polar bear swimming through the freezing waters of northern Canada.

Drone Awards Winner: Photographer of the Year
“Above The Polar Bear” by Florian Ledoux. Photographer of the Year

“I have witnessed incredible moments and scenes of the wild but I can guarantee you that this, by far, is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,” Florian said at the time. “I hope that future generations will still be able to witness the beauty and grandeur of the Arctic wildlife the same way we do today.”

The winning photographs will be part of a group exhibition, Sky’s the Limit, in Siena, Italy from October 26, 2018 to December 2, 2018.

2018 Drone Awards


Drone Awards Winner: Abstract
“Weather Snake” by Ovi D. Pop. Winner, Abstract


Drone Awards Winner: Nature
“Mada’in Saleh” by Gabriel Scanu. Winner, Nature


Drone Awards Winner: Wildlife
“Blacktip Shark” by Adam Barker. Winner, Wildlife


Drone Awards Winner: Sport
“Skating Shadows” by Vincent Riemersma. Winner, Sport


Drone Awards Winner: Urban
“Assisi Over the Clouds” by Francesco Cattuto. Winner, Urban


Drone Awards Winner: People

To discover more images from the Drone Awards and see the runner ups, visit their website.