The 30 Best Drone Photos Of 2020 Have Been Announced

Congrats to Photo of the Year honoree, Jim Picôt of Australia with “Love Heart of Nature!” and to all the talented photographers recognized at the Drone Photo Awards. See all winning images and artist bios at the contest gallery page at our website.

With the advent of drone photography, the photography game has reached new heights (pun intended). Drone photography lends itself in a way no other type of photography can: it can reach spots only a photographer with a helicopter can dream of. And because of that, almost everyone appreciates a good photo from a bird’s-eye view captured by one. Photographer Adam Vradenburg gives some useful tips on how to make drone photos really special. First and foremost, for a good photo, planning and research are essential. Strict laws and regulations in some countries are some of the reasons why. Second, make your flight time count: it’s best to use limited battery times to the fullest, since recharging, especially in nature, is also very limited. Third, one should test the limits of their drone, both in terms of altitude and range. It will give you a better idea of what’s possible with your drone. The fourth tip is “don’t just fly high, fly low,” which basically means that it’s not really necessary to have the highest altitude in order to get the best photo of something. Less is more. And the fifth and final tip is to keep the skies friendly, safe, and respectful. Day by day, the airspace is getting more and more crowded, and therefore it’s best to keep it as fun for as many people as possible!

More info: droneawards.photo | Facebook | Instagram | twitter.com#1 

Nature Category Winner: Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists

Nature Category Winner: Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists

At the end of the gray whale season, I was told about a gray whale that, for the last 3 years, used to play with the boats, pushing them gently. So we went back the year after and, incredibly, the gray whale appeared and this shot is the result.

Joseph Cheires Report83pointsPOST

Your Local Lizard1 day ago

For a second I thought the blue shadow was just some bubbles the boat engine made- But really beautiful!!6ReplyView more comments#2 

Wildlife Category Winner: Where Herons Live

Wildlife Category Winner: Where Herons Live

Many think that herons make nests in reeds or in a swamp. In fact, they nest in the tops of huge trees and with a drone, it is sometimes possible to see them.

Dmitrii Viliunov Report72pointsPOST

That Guy23 hours ago

They live in TREES? well come to think of it, they prob dont stay by the shore looking for fish all day8ReplyView More Replies…View more comments#3 

Photo Of The Year: Love Heart Of Nature

Photo Of The Year: Love Heart Of Nature

In winter, a shark is inside a salmon school when, chasing the baitfish, the shape becomes a heart shape.

Jim Picôt Report65pointsPOST

That Guy23 hours ago

Can you see the shark?4ReplyView More Replies…View more comments#4 

Urban Category Highly Commended: Sunrise On The Top

Urban Category Highly Commended: Sunrise On The Top

At 4:30 in the morning, mysteriously shrouded in clouds, this is what the second-tallest building in Shanghai looks like.

droneawards.photo Report63pointsLuca VenturiPOST

Foregone Conclusion8 hours ago

Imagine washing the windows on this!4ReplyView More Replies…View more comments#5 

People Category Highly Commended: Cross The Field

People Category Highly Commended: Cross The Field

A girl, her mother, and their herd of cows walking across the pasture return home after a day of labor.

Khanh Phan Report60pointsPOST

Kesyra23 hours ago

I want to pet that grass, it looks so soft!11ReplyView more comments#6 

Urban Category Winner: Alien Structure On Earth

Urban Category Winner: Alien Structure On Earth

Sometimes we need to change the perspective to feel the strength of the structure more strongly than we’ve ever thought. The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur.

Tomasz Kowalski Report59pointsPOST

Harold Summer17 hours ago

Well done, beautiful shot and processing.2ReplyView more comments#7 

“Life Under COVID-19” Winner: Black Flag

"Life Under COVID-19" Winner: Black Flag

Thousands of Israelis maintain social distancing due to Covid-19 restrictions while protesting against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rabin Square on 19 April 2020.

Tomer Appelbaum Report58pointsPOST

That Guy23 hours ago

Its amazing cause here in US, nobody social distances, let alone when they protest11ReplyView More Replies…View more comments#8 

Nature Category Runner-Up: Flamingos At Lake Logipi

Nature Category Runner-Up: Flamingos At Lake Logipi

The early morning sun lights a scene of flamingos gathered at the edge of Lake Logipi, next to an interesting fan-like geological formation.

Martin Harvey Report51pointsPOST

LeiLah11 hours ago

Flamingo spring break. I wonder if Flamingos Gone Wild was filming?!0ReplyView more comments#9 

“Life Under COVID-19” Highly Commended: The Lockdown

"Life Under COVID-19" Highly Commended: The Lockdown

The busiest highway in Dubai, shot with no cars present during the lockdown for the disinfection of the municipality. A moment to remember.

Bachir Moukarzel Report50pointsPOST

Levi Baker20 hours ago

Is it just me or does part of it either look like a clock or that one eye tattoo from the series of unfortunate events?6ReplyView More Replies…View more comments#10 

Abstract Category Winner: Phoenix Rising

Abstract Category Winner: Phoenix Rising

The phoenix rising is a symbol of re-emergence from the ashes of fire. This is symbolized through the beginnings of an actual regeneration process at the industrial mining site of Lake Owens. After a destructive past and the creation of the most toxic dustbowl in America, migratory birds are returning, and life is beginning anew…

Paul Hoelen Report43pointsPOST

ravn18 hours ago

It’s a pair of dragons sky-dancing…2ReplyView more comments#11 

Nature Category Highly Commended: Lonely Road

Nature Category Highly Commended: Lonely Road

Driving along Ring Route 1, in a magical and enchanted landscape, I was ready to embrace whatever may lie ahead.

Hong Jen Chiang Report41pointsPOST

JamezyJamez12 hours ago

Iceland.3ReplyView more comments#12 

People Category Winner: Frozen Land

People Category Winner: Frozen Land

With temperatures of minus 30°C, winters in the Eurasian steppe can be brutal. But life doesn’t stop, and local people move from one village to another with a sledge, crossing icy rivers and lakes.

Alessandra Meniconzi Report39pointsPOST

Levi Baker20 hours ago

Let it goooooooo1Reply#13 

Wedding Category Winner: Tropical Bride

Wedding Category Winner: Tropical Bride

“I used the flowers and the leaves left over from the decoration of a wedding to make something creative.”

Mohamed Azmeel Report37pointsPOST

That Guy23 hours ago

Amazing set up!4ReplyView more comments#14 

Abstract Category Highly Commended: Spring Zebra

Abstract Category Highly Commended: Spring Zebra

The area of this small village in the Częstochowa region is characterized by large rapeseed crops that create beautiful patterns that extend to the horizon.

Lukasz Rajs Report33pointsPOST

That Guy23 hours ago

Did they track cloud or sun trails?3ReplyView More Replies…View more comments#15 

Abstract Category Highly Commended: Swirl

Abstract Category Highly Commended: Swirl

An abstract shot of a pink lake chemical reaction in Western Australia.

Boyan Ortse Report33pointsPOST

Your Local Lizard1 day ago

looks like Melted lollipop from my childhood 🙂4ReplyView more comments#16 

Wedding Category Runner-Up: Lovers On The Field

Wedding Category Runner-Up: Lovers On The Field

We were looking for some abstraction. We had a boat, a drone and… a lot of time. A strong wind created a beautiful storm in the field. Perfect weather conditions showed me “the eye of the tiger” or “deer eye” through the couple in the kayak. A wonderful combination: beautiful lovers, fantastic nature, strong wind, and this perspective.

Krzysztof Krawczyk Report31pointsPOST

Levi Baker20 hours ago

Strange. A boat yet no water3ReplyView more comments#17 

Wildlife Category Highly Commended: Homecoming

Wildlife Category Highly Commended: Homecoming

A buffalo herd is passing a lake before moving to its shelter where the herd will retreat to rest.

Mehmet Aslan Report31pointsPOST

That Guy23 hours ago

Love the rainbow.The dust kicked up just makes it more surreal3ReplyView more comments#18 

People Category Runner-Up: 2,000,001

People Category Runner-Up: 2,000,001

Two million Hongkongers took to the streets on 16 June 2019, calling on the government to withdraw the controversial extradition bill. The night before the historic march that nearly one-third of the population took part in, protestor Leung Ling Kit ended his life after hanging a banner of the people’s demands in the city centre.

Tugo Cheng Report30pointsPOST

Blarrg14 hours ago

Hey, I think I know that guy in the yellow shoes!3ReplyView more comments#19 

Nature Category Highly Commended: Crater Row

Nature Category Highly Commended: Crater Row

A spectacular crater row in Iceland’s vast interior. The intense red on the rims is caused by the scoria being colored by the oxidation of the iron minerals in the lava, in contrast with the surrounding basalt. A white four-wheel-drive vehicle can be seen driving along the road beneath the craters.

James Rushforth Report28pointsPOST

Among Us22 hours ago

WHOA ICELAND GETS GOOD STUFF4ReplyView more comments#20 

Sports Category Winner: On The Sea

Sports Category Winner: On The Sea

An aerial view of swimmers, where the sea becomes the place to take refuge, between the blue carpet and the white foam of the waves.

Roberto Corinaldesi Report28pointsPOST

MELONLOOOORD10 hours ago

Kinda looks like a shot from land where they’re falling and drowning in a wave3ReplyView more comments#21 

Wedding Category Highly Commended: Pebble / Wave

Wedding Category Highly Commended: Pebble / Wave

After the ceremony, the couple headed to the beach and decided to go in for a dip. We were lucky to find the perfect waves which only touched the bottom of the dress.

Dominic Lemoine Report27pointsPOST

More!1 day ago

Clever1Reply#22 

Wildlife Category Runner-Up: Munk’s Mobula Rays Schooling

Wildlife Category Runner-Up: Munk's Mobula Rays Schooling

Though from a boat, it was hard to appreciate just how enormous this shoal was, the drone revealed a mass of thousands of Munk’s Mobula rays (also called Munk’s pygmy devil rays) all swimming in the same circular direction.

Mark Carwardine Report27pointsPOST

Stannous Flouride12 hours ago

I recently read about this. They congregate near subterranean mounts because the upwelling currents there attract large amounts of the plankton they feed on.1ReplyView more comments#23 

“Life Under COVID-19” Runner-Up: Heart Of Warsaw

"Life Under COVID-19" Runner-Up: Heart Of Warsaw

The deserted oldest part of Warsaw which, before the pandemic, used to be filled with sun umbrellas of nearby restaurants and crowds of people.

Rafal Ganowski Report25pointsPOST#24 

Nature Category Highly Commended: The Island

Nature Category Highly Commended: The Island

Pawel Zygmunt Report25pointsPOST

Tanja Joensen2 hours ago

My home The Faroe Islands0ReplyView more comments#25 

People Category Highly Commended: Carpet Field

People Category Highly Commended: Carpet Field

Hundreds of handwoven carpets are placed in the fields in order to draw out different colors with the burning effect of the sun’s rays. A pair of workers lies down on the carpets after finishing their work to relieve the tiredness of the day.

Mehmet Aslan Report23pointsPOST#26 

Wedding Category Highly Commended: Framed

Wedding Category Highly Commended: Framed

This is one of my favorite pictures. It was a perfect match. The great couple, the VW Beetle, the frame. So, it was easy to create a great composition.

Tobias Froehner Report22pointsPOST#27 

People Category Highly Commended: Women Sorting Dry Red Chillies

People Category Highly Commended: Women Sorting Dry Red Chillies

Women collecting red chilies under the sun for more than 10 hours a day for little pay, employed in one of the many factories that specialize in drying chilies.

Md Tanveer Hassan Rohan Report20pointsPOST

Lori Harris22 hours ago

That must be so painful for their eyes. Ouch!8ReplyView more comments#28 

Abstract Category Runner-Up: Largest Congregation

Abstract Category Runner-Up: Largest Congregation

More than 600,000 devotees participated in South Asia’s largest Eid-ul-Fitr congregation. The prayers began at 8:30 am with devotees coming from different parts of the region. Eid-ul-Fitr is a Muslim festival of happiness celebrated all over the world.

Azim Khan Ronnie Report18pointsPOST

Jeremy17 hours ago

imagine having to go to the bathroom !4ReplyView More Replies…View more comments#29 

Sports Category Highly Commended: Waterfall

Sports Category Highly Commended: Waterfall

Surfers try to challenge the waves. It is difficult enough to ride them, not to mention to tame them and be able to take off, as well as break them and then caress them.

Davide Lopresti Report18pointsPOST#30 

Sports Category Runner-Up: Ball Up

Sports Category Runner-Up: Ball Up

The physical motions of the tennis player against the clean abstract lineage of the court created a harmonious effect to the eye.

Brad Walls Report18pointsPOST

Note: this post originally had 43 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

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