Dronestagram’s First Drone Photo Contest Shows the Awesome Potential of the Genre


Drone photography is still new enough that we haven’t really seen the true potential of this new media unlocked — yet.

While the FAA and others bicker about privacy and regulation, some photographers are out there exploring the boundaries of this new technology… and all of them seem to have shown up for the first Drone Photography Competition put together by Dronestagram with help from Nat Geo France, GoPro and a few others.

The overall winner (which you can see above) was taken by user Capungaero in Bali with his GoPro Hero 2, and you can instantly tell why it won. It’s the kind of photograph that you couldn’t imagine being taken any other way — a wildlife photograph that feels totally unprecedented in its intimacy.


The rest of the winners — which were broken down into a top three juried competition and a top three popularity contest — don’t quite have this same feel, although that takes nothing away from their composition and beauty.

Above you see the photograph that captured the #2 spot, a spontaneous portrait opportunity that happened at a park when the kids there all became interested in user Jericsaniel‘s drone.

While below is the photo that took third place in the juried competition: a gorgeous sunset shot captured by user Drone-cs while hovering over the French town of Annecy.


To see these images in full resolution, or find out more about this competition and the awards the winners took home, head over to the Dronestagram website by clicking here. And then bookmark it because we can only imagine the heights this new style of photography will rise to (yep… that’s an intended pun) as the technology becomes more and more capable.

(via NPR)

Image credits: Photographs by Dronestagram users Capungaero, Jericsaniel and Drone-cs.

  • Jr Miller

    I wouldn’t be promoting that first picture from the guy in Bali. In many parts of North America it’s a crime to be harrassing certain wildlife in this fashion. Don’t give idiots any ideas that could be costly and restrict use of RC craft.

  • docholliday666

    Somebody go tell NASA to enter some shots from the ISS (see previous article) in this! That’s the ultimate drone!

  • docholliday666

    Too late, the restrictions are coming because the idiots are harassing helicopters, flight paths, and women in highrise apartment buildings (or so they think they’re being harrassed).

  • Chang He

    Yeah, harassing wildlife in a National Park is a great way to sell a controversial idea. Maybe the next frontier in photography will be documentary photographers showing quadcopter pilots drenched in the blood of endangered species as they clean off their weapons from the last attack.

  • Banan Tarr

    Stopped reading at the word “Dronestagram”. lol

  • Alan Klughammer

    interesting shots, but not really new…
    (first search result from google)

  • riva ave

    Why are we celebrating the harassment of this bird? I’m not impressed, rather, I’m alarmed by this new technology. We’re all being conditioned to “like” drones as they take over our skies. I’d rather have a peaceful sky unperturbed by drones.

  • bob cooley

    This should read, “Dronestagram’s First Drone Photo Contest Shows the Awesome Potential of killing wildlife with your new toy…”

  • Jacob Rosenfeld

    That’s not a drone idiot.

  • Vlad Dusil

    Sheesh, who peed in your wheat thins?

  • Guest

    Are you kidding? The media is having a ratings blast by trying to highlight (and exaggerate) every possible negative drone story.

  • Michael R Ecu


  • Michael R Ecu

    I fly a quadcopter so you obviously have no clue what you are talking about. Quads fly much slower than nearly all birds. Some birds are curious and will fly over and under to investigate. The quadcopters – which are relatively slow and make noise 0 don’t have the ability – even with expert flyers – to approach a bird to take this picture. The bird obviously flew over to check it out and the photographer was lucky to get the awesome picture.

  • Chang He

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with hyperbole. :-)

  • Kynikos

    No shots of liquidating a wedding in Kashmir? Bogus.

  • SeoulFood

    The Hyperbole is the football game played a week after the Superbole!

  • Jordan Butters

    These ‘drones’ are not drones, but that doesn’t stop everyone calling them drones.

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    Allison recently got a nice 6 month old Jaguar by working from a macbook.this website C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Jason Yuen

    Because birds are perfectly aware that 4 spinning blades at 5000 rpm are hazardous to their well being. Even a lot of humans aren’t smart enough to figure that out. You might as well say animals don’t get hit by cars because they have humans steering the car away from them. They are curious though.

  • Cisveo

    Fantastic shots ! Thanks for this sharing !

  • Mike

    Yeah, I died a little inside.

  • docholliday666

    Really? It’s a remote controlled object flying above the earth. It has propulsion, a transceiver, batteries, and imaging capture.

    Oh, wait, I guess it’s not in the same sense as these; these are ‘toys’. They’re actually serious up there and they aren’t being flown around by a bunch of amateurs disregarding everything.

    If the ISS doesn’t meet your qualifications to be a drone, I guess these don’t either. Idiot.

  • Jacob Rosenfeld

    A drone is unmanned

  • Michael R Ecu

    WADR, you have zero idea what you are talking about. I’ve flown hundreds of hours and occasionally seagulls will fly by to check on the quad. Quads fly much slower and much more sluggishly than birds. Every day windmills kill thousands of birds, dams kill hundreds of thousands of fish, cars and trucks kill deer, raccoons, squirrels, and finally planes and jets regularly file stories of hitting flocks of birds (because in those instances the planes fly much faster than birds). Quadcopters have probably killed zero birds in the world.

  • Lewis

    I agree. Smaller, but curious birds check my quadcopter on every flight. And yes, some of us are flying with no respect for any thing or person. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if FAA comes up with a set of impossible rules.

  • bob cooley

    Yes, because you know how much experience I have with UAVs, both recreationally and commercially. You know about the number of hours I have logged flying actual (manned) aircraft. You know my every thought, because you fly a quadcopter.

    Your reply is a full off logical fallacy, and if I may commit one myself, quite immature. You’ve already replied to someone else with an almost identical reply, so why repeat yourself here?

  • docholliday666

    Not really, somebody’s gotta be at the remote control.

  • yvonnerchandler

    My Uncle
    Joshua just got an almost new white Kia Rio Hatchback only from working
    part-time off a home computer. try this C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • riva ave

    As they should. Just because humans can invent something doesn’t mean it should be used on a wide scale with negative outcomes. Fly your drone in an airplane hangar.

  • riva ave

    Hey, I have an idea, let’s fly drones over the heads of preschoolers in the playground and take photos! That’s basically the equivalent of taking photos of wildlife. If you don’t believe in harming and harassing preschoolers with drones, let’s not harass wildlife.

  • cynthiawallen

    until I saw the paycheck which said $8694 , I didn’t believe that my
    sister was like trully erning money part time on there computar. . there
    friends cousin had bean doing this for only thirteen months and resantly
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  • Lewis

    Hmm? No jet planes, cell phones, & other inventions that cause negative outcomes. Anyway, my GPS doesn’t work in an airplane hanger.

  • ajfudge

    hehe. He doesn’t realize that all the animal-killers he listed are all man-made. And while the drone is developed to be harmless (like all those animal-killers), it will interrupt nature. It’s humanity’s price for aiming too high.