International Drone Photography Contest Draws Some Of The Most Stunning Aerial Shots Of The Year

When they’re not falling on unassuming parade-goers or the White House lawn, drones can take some strikingly good photographs.

More than 5,000 people — professional and amateur alike — submitted images captured by their flying photo contraptions for the second International Drone Photography Contest. Organized by Dronestagram and sponsored by the likes of National Geographic and Kodak, the competition features stunning shots overlooking Brazil, French Polynesia, Bulgaria and more.

Dronestagram just announced the winners in three categories: places, nature and “dronies,” or selfies made with drones. There was also a “most liked” category that was based on online voting. The photos reflect the changing landscape of photography and film, as drones have become far more common.

“This is the way buildings were designed to be seen,” drone photographer Amos Chapple told BBC News last year. “This is their best side.”

Take a look below, and if you’re inclined to get a drone of your own, make sure to use best practices so you don’t accidentally fly yourself into anything. Oft-maligned drones are also banned in quite a few places, so it might be better to stick with the old DSLR in some locales.

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