Lonely Planet Writer

See the winning images from the third annual International Drone Photography Contest

As drone photography becomes more popular with travellers around the world, the prize-winning images in an international competition are a good reminder why so many people are eager to take a look at the world from above.

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2nd Prize Winner category Travel, Cable Beach in Western Australia. Image by Todd Kennedy

Dronestagram – a social network dedicated to aerial photography – announced the winners of the third annual International Drone Photography Contest, which was organised in partnership with National Geographic.

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3rd Prize Winner category Nature and Wildlife, Piton de la fournaise volcano. Image by Jonathan Payet

The competition saw more than 6000 entries in the categories of Nature/Wildlife, Sports/Adventure and Travel. The images were judged on their creativity, quality, and respect of the theme.

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1st Prize Winner category Travel, a pitcure of the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi, Italy. Image by fcatutto

The top prize in the travel category was claimed by Francisco Cattuto, who captured an image of the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi, Italy. He said in an interview with Dronestagram that the image was taken on a foggy day, but he decided to send his drone up to see the view. After the drone left the clouds, Cattuto was able to get a spectacular shot of the Unesco World Heritage site. Cattuto said there are many places he would like to go in the future – along with his drone – like Australia’s cliffs, Africa’s plains, the mountains in South America and architecture in Europe.

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2nd Prize Winner category Nature/Wildlife. Image by Szabolcs Ignacz

The first prize winner in the nature category was Michael Bernholdt, who took an image of a forest in Denmark with a Phantom 3 drone. He told Dronestagram that he had been spending time on Google Maps in satellite mode looking for interest patterns and then sought out the locations. After winning with an image of Denmark, he said he has been considering a trip to Norway soon to photograph the mountains.

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1st Prize Winner category Sport-Adventure. Image by Maxseigal

In the sports and adventure category, the top spot was claimed by Max Seigal, who captured an amazing photo of a rock climber in action. He would like to head to Iceland to get some shots of the beautiful country.

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3rd Prize Winner category Travel, Summer camp, Amadores, Gran Canaria, Spain. Image by Karolis Janulis

Drones have become a hugely popular piece of travel gear, with more and more people documenting their trips with the flying gadgets. But, as different countries have different laws on drone usage, travellers with drones must keep up-to-date on local regulations.