Snorkeling With Sharks
Snorkelers swim with sharks near Moorea Island in French Polynesia. This photo won first place in the competition’s nature category.
The contest was judged by National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography Ken Geiger, National Geographic France Editor in Chief Jean-Pierre Vrignaud, and Dronestagram CEO and founder Eric Dupin. They looked through over 5,000 entries, watching for “creativity, photographic quality and respect of the theme.” (See last year’s winners.)
“Drone images can be made where no other image can,” says Geiger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer. He adds that drones are opening photography to the masses in the same way digital technology did.
“Drone photography is a new kind of visual language,” Dupin says. “It’s a new way of seeing the world.”
The competition’s categories include nature, places, and “dronies,” selfies from an aerial view. “It’s like the ultimate selfie-stick,” Geiger says. This year’s “dronie” winner featured a Where’s Wally gathering in Cyprus where dozens of red-and-white striped Wallies reached up to the hovering drone above them.