These are the stunning winners of the Drone Photo Award 2021.


The drone is, in many ways, the equivalent of unlocking “God Mode”. This year’s 2021 Drone Photo Awards winners certainly back the theory up with some stunning aerial shots.

The 7th edition of this drone photography award, held in conjunction with the popular Siena International Photo Award in Italy, received around 14,000 entries from over 100 countries around the world.

Not all of these photos were taken with a consumer drone like the DJI Air 2S. The competition is also open to more advanced aerial platforms such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, balloons, airships and even rockets.

It describes the variety and overall quality of the photographs. However, many, including the “Photos of the Year” winner, “Pink-footed Goose in Winter” (below), were only possible with a drone like the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

We’ve rounded up all the winners in the following awesome categories: On the DronePhotoAwards2021 site, you can see all of the winning works in each of the nine main categories, including video.

This year’s photo

(Image credit: Terje Kolaas / Siena Prize)
  • “Short-billed goose in winter” by Terje Kolaas

Norwegian photographer Terje Kolaas has been observing birds since the age of 12 and uses all his experience in this photo of a goose roosting in central Norway in the spring en route to a breeding area in the Svalbard Islands in the ‘Arctic. ..

Apparently the geese arrive early every year (probably due to climate change). That is, the fields they feed on tend to be covered with snow when they arrive. Fortunately, the geese take the same route, so you can wait in the air with your drone and take such a great shot.


Moscow monastery

(Image credit: Sergei Poletaev / Siena Prize)
  • “Metaphorical statement on cities and winter” by Sergei Poletaev

Russian aerial and architectural photography Sergey-Poletaev tends to use professional-level drones like the DJI Inspire series. This allows it to capture such difficult shots in a high dynamic range.

This winning shot in the “City” category shows a 500-year-old monastery in the Moscow region, with a large power station in the background. According to Sergei Poletaev, the steam from the cooling towers is particularly dense due to the recent severe frosts.

Wild animals

Green turtle returning to the water on the beach

(Image credit: Qasim Al Farsi / Siena Prize)
  • “Back to the adventure”, Kasim Al Falsi

This beautifully composed photo by Omani photographer Kasim al-Farsi shows a green turtle laying eggs in its nest and then returning to the sea to scuttle itself.

Taken on the Omani coast between Raw Arginz and the Rashad turtle reserve. Kasim Alfarsi also carries out landscape, architectural and travel photography projects.


Rainbow barrel wave surfer

(Image credit: Phil De Glanville / Siena Prize)
  • “Gold at the end of the rainbow” by Phil de Granville

Australian photographer Phil De Glanville is also a graphic designer and you can see his influence in his incredible wave photographs. It also contains a significant amount of rainbows.

Surfer Ollie Henry shows off a monster wave breaking off the southwest coast of Australia. It is all the more impressive that Philde Glanville only had her first drone a few years ago.


Fishing in the mangrove forest

(Image credit: Trung Pham Huy / Siena Prize)
  • “Fishing in the mangrove forest”, Trung Pham Huy

Vietnamese snapper Trung Pham Huy started taking photos in late 2016. After that, he mainly focused on landscape photography and photography of daily life in Vietnam. It has already won the Skypixel and Sony World Photo Awards, and the shot has won the “People” category of the Drone Photo Awards.

At first glance, it may look like a neuron in the human brain, but it actually shows fishermen starting to fish in a mangrove forest in Tamzan Lagoon, Hue. Mangroves shed all their leaves and turn white in winter, so they look like brains from above.


In an erupting volcano

(Image credit: Martin Sanchez / Siena Prize)
  • “Extragalactic” by Martin Sanchez

What’s better than a photo of an erupting volcano? One shot inside An erupting volcano managed by American photographer Martin Sanchez in Iceland.

Martin Sanchez said he only discovered the drone photo at the end of 2015 and “at first I really didn’t know what to do with it.” However, after initially focusing on learning to fly and broadcasting live from the sky, I started taking photos from a top down perspective. It allowed me to take such a beautiful photo.


Overhead shot of a small river filled with poison

(Image credit: Gheorghe Popa / Siena Prize)
  • “The poisoned river” by Gheorghe Popa

Romanian photographer Gheorghe Popa is also a pharmacist by trade. This depth of knowledge allows him to immerse himself in long-term projects such as “The Beauty of Poison”, which tells the story of natural disasters in the “Apseni Mountains”. Abstract way.

The colors in the aerial shots are stunning, but the patterns are actually created by nature, combined with chemical waste from the copper and gold mining process.


The bridge and the groom at the end of the summer night

(Image credit: Matteo Originale / Siena Prize)
  • “Versol’Infinito Insieme a Te” by Matteo Originale

Wedding photography has really made the game exciting in recent years. Under local bridges and church trees, there aren’t enough stage shots to satisfy today’s honeymooners.

Instead, an aerial drone shot at sunset against the backdrop of incredible clouds is the order of the day, and Italian photographer Matteo Originale is thrilled with this winning photo in Marina di Pisa. Obligatory.

These are the stunning winners of the Drone Photo Award 2021.

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