The first ever Aerial Photography Awards has crowned the inaugural winners in 22 categories, with the $10,000 grand prize and overall Aerial Photographer of the Year title going to Belgian photographer Sebastien Nagy.
Among the highlight images of the contest – taken from drones, helicopters, kites, balloons and airplanes – were stunning aerial shots featuring the world's largest picture frame in Dubai, tennis legend Rafael Nadal, abstract cityscapes and many more fascinating subjects.
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The contest received thousands of entries from 65 countries, from which a total of 106 photographs were awarded in the 22 categories, with 11 photographers names in the 6 'master' categories.
Having photos awarded in three categories, Nagy took home the Aerial Photographer of the Year crown along with the $10,000 prize. "To be honest, I had never participated in a contest before, but I had heard about this one in a very positive way, so I took part in the game," he said.
"I didn't think I would win anything and it was mostly for fun. So I was very surprised when I heard the good news. It was a bit hard to believe at first as it was the Grand-Prix, but I did feel a real joy and pride.
"To be named first in a contest where the theme is what we love most, our passion, is incredible and very satisfying! This award made me want to test myself in other things and why not, to be able to judge others in my turn one day.”
Below are some of the highlights from among the top photographs. To learn more about the competition and see all the winning images, visit the Aerial Photography Awards website (opens in new tab).
'Abstract Greece' by Sebastien Nagy
'Ball up' by Brad Walls
"The physical motions of a tennis player against the clean abstract lineage of the court created a harmonious effect to the eye."
Daily Life Category
'The Lady of Sea' by Duy Sinh
"A fishing boat is dropping a net and accidentally the waves pull the edges of the net into a lady on the blue sea. An accident of creation."
'Flying flamingos' by Hua Shang
"The photos were taken in Lake Natron and Lake Mecca in Kenya. When I was in the helicopter with the door removed, whether it was flying very low over the lake at a high speed, or flying straight down when there was only a seat belt between 60 degrees and 2,000 meters down, I felt that this was a straight aerial shot.
"I used a Nikon D850 (opens in new tab) for aerial photography. The lens was 70-200mm, and most of the focal segments were above 100mm. The main focal segment was 130-200mm to track and photograph the part of the pattern of flamingos floating salt over the lake.
"Of course I also use a short focal length of 70mm, but only if the flamingos are flying very high and close to the helicopter; On the other hand, the large amount of small salt-floating patterns in Lake Mecca made me use the local composition in the medium telephoto shoot. In this way, the flamingos still have clear details when magnified to 100%."
'Surrounded' by Suirong Huang
"This is a shot of one of the most iconic towers (International Financial Centre) in Hong Kong with height of 415m. I captured this shot during the low altitude sea of clouds season which only happens once a year. I chose this angle to emphasize the Architectural characteristic of this tower to make it look like an angry claw punching through the soft clouds."
Daily Life Category
'Harvesting grass' by Khanh Phan
"The field of grass under the wind looks like waves. Grass is more than one meter high. This is a land area of about ten hectares with abundant fauna. Snakes, frogs, frogs and fish live in the surrounding puddles. This grass was cut to feed cattle such as buffaloes and cows. Sometimes they use grass as fertilizer and moisturize the ornamental plants. People also raise ducks in the pasture."
'Fairway of the Gulf of Finland' by Alexander Sukharev
'Umbrella crossing' by Daniel Bonte
'Energy storage' by Joel Jochum
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