For the third year in a row, the international Dronestagram contest awarded the world’s most outstanding drone photos, selected from thousands of entries, submitted from everywhere in the world by talented professional photographers and amateur drone photo enthusiasts. The competition was judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts, including National Geographic Deputy Director Patrick Witty. These are the nine aerials they picked.

Nature / Wildlife

Kalbyris forest, Denmark
(first prize, by Michael B. Rasmussen)

“This was the very first dedicated photo trip I planned with my Phantom 3, after three months of owning it and only having the chance to fly it seven times due to the terrible weather we have in Denmark during the winter months. I had been spending hours on Google maps, in satellite mode, trying to locate interesting patterns and places.”
– Michael B. Rasmussen 

Swarm of sheep
(second prize, by Szabolcs Ignacz)

Piton de la fournaise, Volcano
(third prize, by Jonathan Payet)

Sports / Adventure

Moab Rock Climbing
(first prize, by Max Seigal)

“I spent the day filming a couple friends of mine who were trying to put up a first ascent on some epic offwidth climbing routes in the desert. We hiked for miles looking for the perfect line, and then spotting this amazing crack that was about 400 feet off the ground. Using the drone, I was able to capture images that would have never been possible before!”
– Max Seigal

Complejo Acuático Norte de Santander
(second prize, by Los Manes del Drone)

Chugach Mountain Range, Alaska
(third prize, by High Angle Shot)

Travel

Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Umbria, Italy
(first prize, by Francesco Cattuto)

“After a lovely lunch at my parents’ home in Umbria, me and my girlfriend decided to go for a walk in Assisi. It was a foggy day, nonetheless I decided to go up in the sky to see more from above.”
– Francesco Cattuto

Cable Beach
(second prize, by Todd Kennedy)

Summer camp of Gran Canaria
(third prize, by Karolis Janulis)