The creative possibilities for photographers expands as technology innovates. With the rapid proliferation of drone technology, capturing stunning, cinematic footage has never been easier. In addition, social media platforms like Instagram and SkyPixel have made story-telling and story-sharing much more animated and compelling.

SkyPixel is a global community of aerial photographers and has now become the largest and most popular online platform to share inspirations. It recently hosted one of the largest drone photography contest, 2016 SkyPixel Photo Contest, receiving over 27,000 entries from more than 140 countries around the world.

“Through this competition, we aim to show the world why aerial imaging is the next evolution of photographic art, and highlight new talents found on SkyPixel,” which was the goal stated on their website.

The 2016 SkyPixel Photo Contest has also set the precedence for the caliber expected of the participants. The contest was divided into multiple categories, in order to encourage different levels of aerial photographers as well as versatility of themes. Let us take a look at two favorites, to get a taste of the great work people are doing with drones.

The Earth” by Heng Li placed third in the (Professional) Beauty category. This photograph features what appears to be deep blue ice mounds and caves, shot in twilight, with a wheel of light created by the photographer in the middle. The photo reflects the mystique of the earth’s landscape as well as its unfathomable vastness.

Another favorite is “Overbridge” by Chenghan, that was the (Amateur) Beauty first prize winner. The picture shows morning fog filling the air above a dam underneath a bridge. The unique perspective gives the impression that the sky is in fact below the bridge, and not the other way around.

In these two photographs itself we see how modern aerial imaging has unlocked immeasurable potential in photography. Here’s a glimpse of the other winning submissions from the contest: http://dji.droneinner.com/2016-skypixel-photo.

On March 2nd, SkyPixel announced a new campaign, this time its first region-specific aerial photo contest called Australia from Above. The contest is open to drone photographers from across the globe, as long as the photo is captured in Australia. The two main sponsors of the competition are DJI and Tourism Australia – a reflection of the standard the SkyPixel Contest will be holding its participants to.  For those who want to share their creative inspiration with the rest of the world, you can check out https://www.skypixel.com/events/australia.

Currently, the SkyPixel platform is like a Getty Images for aerial photos with social engagement features like Instagram. Like any other social networks, it would be interesting to keep an eye out on how this aerial community develops over time. The results from the Australia from Above Photo Contest (to be announced in May) will surely stun everyone as well, bringing to the world an entirely new experience of landscapes, wildlife and culture from the land down under.
The earth
The Earth” by Heng Li, SkyPixel
overbridge
Overbridge” by Chenghan, SkyPixel

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