The Results Are In! Check Out This International Award-Winning Aerial Content
Credit: Wix Stock Library
If you follow aerial photographers on social media, you’re probably used to seeing amazing content in your feed. Drones offer a different perspective and another layer of creative opportunity. Some photographers and videographers take that creativity and skill to the next level and have been rightfully rewarded for it. There are a number of competitions looking to find and exhibit the best of the best in this area. Some of these videos and images have even won out over thousands of submissions from around the world! Read on to see just a portion of celebrated work that was captured from the sky.
This photo depicts a subject that would be outrageously difficult to capture without drones: uninterrupted wildlife. ZekeDrone’s Hungry Hippos gives us something different by making a “bloat” of hippos in Tanzania the subject of their work. The photo features the muddy forms of hippos of various sizes crowded around each other with parts of their light grey bodies peeking out from the dark mud. This image has a number of accolades including placing 1st in the 2018 SkyPixel Aerial Photo & Video Contest and the 2018 Chromatic International Awards. ZekeDrone has been recognized in a number of contests in the past few years and has been featured on websites, in magazines, and in exhibitions.
Polish photographer Jacek Deneka’s piece ‘A Shoal of Colorful Fish’ earned the title of Photo of the Year in the 2019 Drone Awards. His work drew a parallel between a cluster of cross-country skiers rushing down a slope and a large group of rushing down a river. Their colorful jackets stand out in stark contrast against the white of the snow.
The lighting and the colors in this shot are amazing. The shape of the mountains makes your eyes glide across the image. The photographer gives this photo character by playing with the foreground and background. We see Mount Bromo, an active volcano, standing proudly in focus while the other peak is in more of a silhouette with details peeking through the shade and fog. This image was a grand prize winner in the SkyPixel 5th Anniversary Aerial Photo & Video Contest.
Alex Chacon’s video earned the distinction of being the 1st Classified winner for the Video category in the 2019 Drone Awards. The video depicts the pilot traveling only with his motorbike and drone, documenting this 60-day journey across various landscapes. The video is full of beautifully composed shots and gorgeous scenery. Chacón is no stranger to recognition for his videos. A number of his videos have gone viral, garnering millions of views on YouTube. He also helms a travel blog called The Modern Motorcycle Diaries where he documents his adventures.
In this Grand Prize-winning video, we see a skier’s small figure juxtaposed against the massive form of a snow-capped mountain. The shots of the mountain are beautiful, and the camerawork is interesting. The drone’s camera slowly follows the skier down the slopes until he zips out of frame. With no music, the viewer is easily immersed in the environment. Sam Favret is the skier featured in the video, and this film has been recognized in other international contests, including the New York Cinematography Awards, Berlin Flash Film Festival, and Skypixel's 5th Anniversary Aerial Photo & Video Contest.
Moukarzel's Showreel 2019 invites us to experience Dubai. With a series of smoothly captured clips of landscapes, wildlife, cityscapes, people, and more. Highlights of this video are the scenes emphasizing the shadows of their subjects such as camels walking through the sand and construction workers passing along buckets. This video also earned the distinction of being the 1st Classified winner for the Video category in the 2020 Drone Awards. Bachir Moukarzel in aerial photography and videos and has received several awards for his urban and wildlife work.
These photos and videos were just the tip of the iceberg in the realm of award-winning, internationally recognized aerial content. Despite the circumstances, some drone competitions and exhibitions are still in full swing, and taking into account are changing the world by including categories related to the pandemic or changing when and how they exhibit work. If you’re interested in seeing more, be on the lookout for international, national, or even local contests accepting work captured by a drone. Take a chance and submit some of your own work. You may be a future award-winning drone pilot!
I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron