Photo of Shark Swimming in a ‘Heart’ of Salmon Wins 2020 Drone Awards

The prestigious Siena Awards Festival has officially unveiled the winners of the 2020 Drone Photo Awards, and while there is the occasional “stereotypical” drone shot sprinkled in, this year’s crop of winners include some truly stunning shots and fresh perspectives on the world from above.

The best example of a stunning shot from this year’s awards is, in fact, the grand prize winner.

The title of Drone Photographer of the Year 2020 went to Australian photographer Jim Picôt for his photo “Love Heart of Nature,” which looks almost too incredible to be true. What you’re looking at is a school of salmon in Australia, forming the shape of a heart just as a shark swam through their midst:

Photo © Jim Picôt | 2020 Drone Awards

Picôt beat out fellow drone photographers from 126 countries who all submitted photos to one of 8 single image categories: Abstract, Life During Covid-19, Nature, People, Sports, Urban Architecture, Wedding and Animals. All of the winning images will be exhibited at the Siena Awards Festival’s “Above Us Only Sky” exhibition from October 24th to November 29th at the “Accademia dei Fisiocritici” in Siena, one of the oldest Italian science museums.

Scroll down to see all of the category winners from this year’s awards. And if you want to see all of the runners up and commended photos in each category, head over to the Siena Drone Photo Awards website.

Urban Category

Photo by Tomasz Kowalski | 2020 Drone Awards

Title: Alien Structure on Earth

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

Wildlife Category

Photo © Dmitrii Viliunov | 2020 Drone Awards

Title: Where Herons Live

Description: 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.

Sport Category

Photo © Roberto Corinaldesi | 2020 Drone Awards

Title: On the Sea

Description: 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.

People Category

Photo © Alessandra Meniconzi | 2020 Drone Awards

Title: Frozen Land

Description: 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.

Nature Category

Photo © Joseph Cheires | 2020 Drone Awards

Title: Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists

Description: 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.

Abstract Category

Photo © Paul Hoelen | 2020 Drone Awards

Title: Phoenix Rising

Description: 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…

Wedding Category

Photo © Mohamed Azmeel | 2020 Drone Awards

Title: Tropical Bride

Description: I used the flowers and the leaves leftover from the decoration of a wedding, to make something creative.

Life Under COVID-19 Category

Photo © Tomer Appelbaum | 2020 Drone Awards

Title: Black Flag

Description: 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.

Video Category

Photographer: Bachir Moukarzel

Title: Showreel 2019

Description: This is my showreel for year 2019: an exciting journey with my drone all over Dubai, from city shots to sport, Dubai from my prospective.

Image credits: All photos credited individually, used courtesy of the Siena Drone Photo Awards 2020.