The Winners Of The First Annual Aerial Photography Awards Have Been Revealed, And The Photos Are Simply Brilliant (23 Pics)

The Aerial Photography Awards has announced its winners and best picks of 2020. The Aerial Photography Awards (or simply APA) were attended by photographers from 65 countries, of which Belgium stood out the most (residents of this country were winners in 10 categories), Russia (9 winners), and Great Britain (8 winners). The Jury awarded 106 photos in 23 different categories. The entrants were invited to submit their best images captured using drones, helicopters, kites, balloons, or airplanes, in the hope of taking a share of the US$10,000 prize pool.

The Jury includes Jeffrey Milstein, who has been exhibited in many museums; Daniel Beltrá, a winner of a few photography awards himself; Dirk Dallas, a pioneer in the drone movement; Alex MacLean, author/co-author of thirteen books; Benjamin Grant, creator of the popular Instagram feed Daily Overview; Peter Essick, who’s one of the most influential nature photographers in the world; Florian Ledoux, whose work is recognized by international conservation organizations; Hulia Boz, Aussie photographer who has recently held an exhibition in New York; Abstract Aerial Art, two brothers who dedicated themselves to aerial photography; Noura Al Murr Al Neyadi, who started photography at the age of 11; Costas Spathis, a Greek aerial photographer; and, last but not least, Elena Buenrostro, pilot, trainer and leader of the Women Who Drone movement.

The title “Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020″ was awarded to photographer Sebastien Nagy (Belgium, photo), thanks to several awarded photos in different categories and a high average score. Residing in Brussels, the photographer began aerial photography on the rooftops of his city. His thoughts after receiving this award: “To be honest, I had never participated in a contest before, but I had heard about this one in a very positive way, so I took part in the game. I didn’t think I would win anything and it was mostly for fun. So I was very surprised when I heard the good news. It was a bit hard to believe at first as it was the Grand Prix, but I did feel real joy and pride. To be named first in a contest where the theme is what we love most, our passion, is incredible and very satisfying! This award made me want to test myself in other things and, why not, to be able to judge others in my turn one day.”

The Founder of the Aerial Photography Awards, Christophe Martin, said: “For a first edition, the quality and diversity of the awarded photos demonstrates the evolution of aerial photography and the standards it has reached today. Aerial photographers prove their ability to amaze us. New visual writings are being built.

Thanks to the participants and to the Jury, the 22 categories create a panorama of the most exciting aerial photography currently being made. This is a unique source of inspiration for photographers, drone pilots, content creators who seek new perspectives.”

Enjoy the view!

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#1 First Place In Landscape Category: Skyggnisvatn

The highlands of Iceland.

Location: Iceland

Image credits: Sebastian Müller

#2 First Place In Patterns Category: Umbrella Crossing

The crossing of umbrellas brings colors on a gray, rainy canvas.

Location: Japan

Image credits: Daniel Bonte

#3 First Place In Abandoned Places Category: The Wreck

The wreck of a British WW1 minesweeper that ran aground the French coast. Buried under the sand for many years, this wreck has only been visible in recent years due to the rapid decline of the coastal line caused by marine erosion.

Location: France

Image credits: Reginald Van de Velde

#4 First Place In World In Lockdown Category: We Are In It Together

One of the ways to show your support in difficult times. It is a residential apartment near my home. The residents hang the Vietnam national flags in support of those who are fighting against coronavirus in the front lines.

Location: Vietnam

Image credits: Prabu Mohan

#5 First Place In Cityscapes Category: Spanish Rainbow

Location: Spain

Image credits: Sebastien Nagy

#6 First Place In Architecture Category: Abstract Greece

Location: Greece

Image credits: Sebastien Nagy

#7 First Place In Waterscapes Category: Arctic Paradise

This image was taken off the coast of Qeqertarsuaq at -25° Celsius. One of the most beautiful yet abstract places I’ve ever seen.

Location: Greenland

Image credits: Kyle Vollaers

#8 First Place In Abstract Category: Tatacoa Desert

A top-down view of the rock formations of the Tatacoa desert at sunset.

Location: Colombia

Image credits: Johan Vandenhecke

#9 First Place In Constructions Category: The Frame

Location: Lebanon

Image credits: Bachir Moukarzel

#10 First Place In Trees & Forests Category: Forest Path

A herd of sheep uses a forest road to return home.

Location: Turkey

Image credits: Mehmet Aslan

#11 First Place In Wildlife Category: Flying Flamingos

Location: Kenya

Image credits: Hua Shang

#12 First Place In Travel Category: Shanghigh

Location: China

Image credits: Yiran Ding

#13 First Place In Daily Life Category: The Lady Of The Sea

A fishing boat is dropping a net and, accidentally, the waves pull the edges of the net into a lady on the blue sea. An accident of creation.

Location: Vietnam

Image credits: Duy Sinh

#14 First Place In Transportation Category: Fairway Of The Gulf Of Finland

Location: Finland

Image credits: Alexander Sukharev

#15 First Place In Other Category: On The Edge

A child reaches for a plastic bag that has fallen into the Amstel River.

Location: Netherlands

Image credits: Ryan Koopmans

#16 First Place In Hotels Category: Chromata

Location: Greece

Image credits: Sebastien Nagy

#17 First Place In Digitally Enhanced Category: Airplanes

These aerial images are all constructed from many different photos that I took flying by helicopter. All images presented here are taken after 2015, but it is impossible to determine just one date of shooting since I sometimes use hundreds of photos.

Location: Brazil

Image credits: Casio Vasconcellos

#18 First Place In Sports Category: Ball-Up

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

Location: Australia

Image credits: Brad Walls

#19 First Place In World Culture Category: Eid Congregation

South Asia’s largest Eid-ul-Fitr Congregation was held in Gor-e-Shahid Boro Math, Dinajpur, Bangladesh. According to the organizers’ claim, over 600,000 devotees participated in this Eid 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.

Location: Bangladesh

Image credits: Azim Khan Ronnie

#20 First Place In Documentary Category: Fire Attack

Firefighters from the Jersey Airport Rescue & Firefighting Service work as a team to attack a simulated aircraft fire. These live fire scenarios are designed to ensure the crews are fully skilled and ready should a real incident occur!

Location: Jersey, UK

Image credits: Marc Le Cornu

#21 First Place In Industrial Category: Energy Storage

Location: Germany

Image credits: Joel Jachum

#22 First Place In Accommodations Category: Colors Of Dubai

Real estate shooting for accommodations in the Burj Khalifa.

Location: UAE

Image credits: Kevin Krautgartner

#23 First Place In Environment Category: Flood Water Has Damaged Crops

In Bogura, Bangladesh, flood water has damaged crops worth around Tk83 crore (£8 million) in the current season. The amount of damage in Sariakandi Upazila is around Tk68 crore (£6.4 million), while the combined amount of damage is Tk15 crore (£1.4 million) in Sonatala and Dhunat. The district agricultural extension officials and other agriculture officials provided the information after discussion with local farmers who were affected by the flood. In this season, at least 50,000 people have been waterlogged in Sariakandi Upazila alone. According to the Upazila agriculture office, 7,535 hectares of land have been submerged in Sariakandi.

Location: Bangladesh

Image credits: Azim Khan Ronnie



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