The best drone photos of 2020

The best drone photos of 2020 are official, thanks to the newly-announced winners of the SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest.

SkyPixel, which is a photo and video aerial community affiliated with drone maker DJI, announced the winners of its annual photo contest. Perhaps it was an abundance of people sitting at home ready to upload their art, or the fact that drone photography is the perfect socially-distant activity, but this year’s SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest. attracted more than 26,000 submissions from across 136 countries.

With a huge talent photo of photos to choose from, it’s fair to say these are the best drone photos of 2020 (and videos!). SkyPixel named winners of First, Second and Third Prizes categories such as vlog, travel, sports, nature, architecture and portrait, encompassing photos and videos. We’ll let you watch the videos on SkyPixel’s site, but here are the photo winners shared here.

And with that, here’s the official list of SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest winners:

The 2020 SkyPixel Grand Prize

Video Winner: Ellis Van Jason

Ellis Van Jason’s winning video is a series of breathtaking, high-speed FPV sequences shot on the island of Madeira. It’s proof that FPV footage isn’t just documentation of a wild race, but an indication that FPV drone footage can be cinematic too. Watch that winning video here.

“A year ago, I asked myself what kind of pilot do I want to be,” said Van Jonson. “Race drone pilot or Freestyle Pilot? Neither of the two was an option, and it took me some time to find my place. I ended up in the cinematic mid-long-range area and I kind of like it out here.” 

Perhaps coincidentally, DJI just released its own, branded FPV drone earlier this year. DJI FPV, a drone designed for racing, can fly at nearly 90 mph and costs $1,299.

best drone photos of 2020 SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest grand prize

Photo Winner: Karim Iliya

Iliya’s grand prize-winning photo shows a humaback whale near Tahiti, taken on a Mavic 2 Pro.

First prize photos of the SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest

best drone photos of 2020 SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest first prize

远眺三怙主雪山

best drone photos of 2020 SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest number 9 superdog

“Number 9” by Superdog

“KingSize” by GTDRONE Grzegorz Tatar

best drone photos of 2020 SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest ilanna emily

“Colour Series – Bulls Eye” by Ilanna Emily

best drone photos of 2020 SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest joao galamba

“Where the muddy river meets the ocean” by Joao Galamba

Second prize photos of the SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest

best drone photos of 2020 SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest prithvi B

“Double Trouble” by Prithvi B

“Crossline” by Andrii Chuiashenko

“Winter Soldiers” by Rafid007 (part of a series)

“dead sea kayak exploration” by Ido meirovich

“Live With The Environment” by amdadhossain

Third prize photos of the SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest

“巴丹吉林沙漠”

“环”

best drone photos of 2020 SkyPixel 2020 Aerial Storytelling Contest Andrei Pugach

“Walking among the lotuses” by Andrei Pugach

“Freshhhhh!!!” by Luca Cornago

“Astroturf” by mehmetaslan

The SkyPixel 2020 contest was based on submissions made between Dec. 18, 2020 and Feb. 18, 2021. There was no fee to enter, and submissions could have been taken on any aerial medium — not necessarily just a DJI drone (even though SkyPixel is closely affiliated with DJI).

The best drone photos of 2020 were judged by a panel consisting of award-winning directors, photographers and influencers, including documentary photographer Toby Strong and Swiss photographer, filmmaker and cinematographer Chris Schmid.

Which photo is your favorite? Leave a comment below!

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