At this point, drone photos aren’t exactly a rarity. But truly breathtaking drone photos are. That’s exactly why drone photo contests are such a pleasure. And now, we have what might be the best drone photo of 2023.
SkyPixel in March announced the winners of the 8th Annual Photo & Video Contest. The winners were selected across more than 65,000 submissions, which is a 120% increase from the previous year.
And across all the submissions, this was deemed the best drone photo of 2023:
The photo is titled “Floral Dress” and was created by Vietnamese artist Khánh Phan. It’s a bird’s-eye portrait showing two women wading in a pond as they collect a harvest of water lilies, whose white and magenta blooms create a floating floral dress.
“A near-perfect color scheme with lovely waves of flowers moving across the frame, this beautiful image is so well-composed and balanced, it brings a sense of beauty and calmness,” said judge Anne Farrar.
Phan said her work of art shares the time-honored tradition of her ancestors, who worked as water lily pickers.
“I believe these women are most beautiful when working because labor creates value and happiness,” Khan said, “They also let me express my mission to create what is hard to imagine, and I am truly grateful to them.”
Other great drone photos of 2023
While Phan took the overall grand prize in the SkyPixel 8th Annual Photo & Video Contest, there were plenty of other deserving images. SkyPixel also released the results of the other 10 winners. They are:
Best drone portraits of 2023:
Best aerial architecture image of 2023:
Best drone sports image of 2023:
Best drone images of nature in 2023:
The grand prize winner, Phan, will receive a prize pack worth more than $15,000. The bulk of the value of the prize package lies within the Hasselblad 907X Anniversary Edition Medium Format Camera Kit, which can sometimes retail at $15,100. DJI has developed a close relationship with Hasselblad, particularly after it acquired a minority stake in the beloved camera company in 2017. In 2021, DJI launched the DJI Mavic 3 drone, which was revolutionary for its dual-camera system featuring Hasselblad.
The other 10 winners will receive the DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo including the upgraded DJI RC Pro, which is a higher-performance remote controller with an ultra-bright 1080p screen and 15 km transmission range.
SkyPixel is an online drone photo and video community affiliated with DJI. This year’s contest also brought with it a fresh theme, titled “The Story Behind.” The judges for this year’s contest included Academy Award-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda and National Geographic’s Anne Farrar. There was also Phil Pastuhov, most famous for his work as Director of Cinematography for The Lord of the Rings.
The 8th Annual SkyPixel Photo & Video Contest winners were selected through a submission period which opened in November 2022 and ran through January 30, 2023. All entries had to have been shot on a drone (though it didn’t necessarily have to be a DJI drone).
Curious what the competition was like last year? Check out the winners from the 7th edition of the contest, which were named in 2022.