Photography has seen quite an influx of aerial photography in the last few years. This is almost entirely due to the recent introduction of a new photography tool that many professional photographers who've been in the business for years are now using in their repertoire. In fact, it's a tool that has lured countless numbers of new photographers who've been drawn into the hobby simply due to the novelty of this "toy." This tool is, of course, the drone, an incredible machine. If you don't know what a drone is, it's essentially a small, compact helicopter used for aerial photography and cinematography. It has a few other uses, but its capabilities and main design are primarily best for aerial shots. The general design of most drones involves a camera at the center of it (usually wide angle) and 3-8 arms that go out from the center with propellers on them. They're lightweight and portable, even more so now than when they were first designed. The majority run on electricity and have absolutely incredible range, especially with recent advances in engineering. Needless to say, there's been an incredible amount of new footage and an incredible number of amazing shots due to these devices. Many photographers are using them to the full and showing us things from entirely new perspectives, whether something we're super familiar with or something never discovered before. The drone is a pretty incredible machine and a hugely useful tool for photographers and cinematographers alike. This article is going to take a look at 23 stunning images captured by drones.
23 Old-World European Coastal Views
This is a beautiful picture looking down on the Mediterranean Sea and the coastal town of Dubrovnik, which is situated on the coast of the European country of Croatia. While all Dubrovnik is right off the Med, the oldest part of the city is located here on an outcropping of land that juts out into the sea. It's a fantastic place to have a city for any number of reasons. As you can see, the port is right there with a large number of sailboats docked. I can genuinely say, if I could choose where to sail, I'd choose this place over any other.
22 Waterborne Plane, Airborne Camera
While this may look like a tropical island that's somewhere in the Caribbean and surrounded by aquamarine, pristine waters, this picture was actually taken in Canada, where there's a sunken plane in a place called "Morrison Quarry." With some of the clearest water around, it's no wonder why those scuba divers are down there exploring the ruins. Sounds like a fascinating experience, and this drone captured it flawlessly. It's hard to say how deep the water is, but I'd wager that it's really deep, the depth, of course, depending on the kind of quarry that this is. But in any case, it's amazing that it's so crystal clear.
21 Heightened Composition
This is a beautiful lake in the high country of the mountains, and what a spectacularly gorgeous valley it's set in, with early morning fog just starting to clear off in the highlands. The scope of this valley is kind of hard to capture with just one camera, especially with a landscape so big that you yourself have to crane your head around to see all of it. This photographer's solution is great: to use a wide angled lens and a drone to get enough height to capture the lake and the steep valley walls in one shot.
20 Densest In The World
There's something strangely otherworldly and futuristically sci-fi about seeing a city from this high up in the air. We don't usually see big cities from this high of a perspective, because more often, we're down on the streets or, at best, at the top of one of the buildings.
Being way above is a bit of an unknown and only recently has been captured by the introduction of the drone as a form of photography.
If we're ever above a city, it's in a commercial or private plane that isn't allowed to fly this low. This picture was taken above Hong Kong.
19 Geometry In The South Of France
Agriculture has always been organized, we've known for centuries that plants tend to grow best in even rows, and it makes harvesting so much easier, which is what's pictured above: the harvest of lavender somewhere in the beautiful, rolling, purple countryside of Provence, France. While farmers have structured their fields like this for generations, this bird's eye view of them has never been so artfully captured or widely available for everyone to see. It's an extraordinary sight to see something so simple as harvest time captured in such a noble way. This is a great picture.
18 Last Light Over A Lighthouse
This is quite a spectacular photo of a jagged edge of land where the tempestuous sea crashes into granite cliffs endlessly day and night.
Taken at sunset, this drone photo offers a spectacular and unique view of this coastline that otherwise would be reserved for those who could afford to either own or hire a helicopter or a float plane.
But not anymore, as the average photographer is able to capture, from high up in the air and out at sea, the last light falling over a lighthouse on the edge of the Earth.
17 Italy, Mediterranean Coast
This is a picturesque town located once again along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, one of the most beautiful places in the world. This small village of Vernazza in Italy is truly nestled up against the water, with rolling green hills rising steeply behind the village, tightly packed together, pressed against the edge of the water, and painted all number of bright colors. Talk about a quaint, picturesque village, with busy ships coming in and out from the port, which, as you can tell, is the main artery of the town, clearly a main support for everyone living there.
16 Otherworldly Meteora
The location of this stunningly alien landscape is found in central Greece, Meteora to be exact. And you might never guess that based on the strange spires of rock and cliffs. It's not exactly what comes to mind when you think of Greece. But this is actually one of the most iconic things to see in Greece, although much lesser known than what you'll find on the Mediterranean coast. There's just as much history here, too, where you can get to see an ancient monastery, perched on these spires for centuries. It's the perfect place to take a drone.
15 It Would Make Antoni Gaudí Proud
If you've been to this city before, you can probably guess which city it is just by studying it a bit more closely than first glance. The biggest clue is the giant, nay, truly titan church sitting just below center frame.
That's the Sagrada Familia, the most ambitious, bold, and massive architectural undertaking the world has seen.
And it is yet unfinished because Antoni Gaudí died before he could see its completion. It really is an absolutely spectacular sight to behold. All I can hope is to see its completion at some point in my lifetime.
14 No, It's Not Abstract Art
This kind of perspective on a small mountainside village is an incredibly unique one, I doubt very many people would've imagined that from straight above this town would meld a patchwork geometric art piece made up of any number of colors and shapes and stairs and lines and houses. It's really beautiful, and thanks to the introduction of drones into the general photography market, these kinds of perspectives and angles and pictures are all of a sudden available to be seen and understood and appreciated. With a whole new way of being looked at, this town has never looked so fresh.
13 Camel Train On A Pristine Beach
It's not often in nature that we're able to see the geometry, symmetry, and parallelism all around us. Most times, it's on a scale that's just a little too big for us to observe easily and often. There are so much big scale symmetry and geometry in the landscapes around us. And drones are able to capture those so easily, for example, this picture. Almost all of us have walked on a beach before, but it's not often you'll see, like here on Cable Beach in Broome, Australia, the symmetry of a sandy beach, a line of camels, and the line of the ocean, lined up perfectly in this photo.
12 Basilica In The Mist
This is a truly unique capture by a drone photographer in Italy. The mountains rise in the far background, but the focus of the image is this slim peninsula of land that starts further back but keeps stretching forward and out, as the rest of the land falls away into fog and mystery until only the basilica remains. This photo was taken in the small town of Umbria, and this picture, likely taken at sunrise, is one of the most spectacular and stunningly unique, the morning fog blanketing the landscape and the town, situated highest, burning off the fog first.
11 High-Stakes Rock Climbing
Taken in Moab, Utah, this picture captures a rock climber just above the height that he's actually climbing. Now, imagine a helicopter hovering that close to this climber.
It would be so disruptive that he might fall. So, a shot like the one pictured above is a relatively new one, especially in places where there's not really anywhere to set up the camera except on the ground or on the same rock face. Thanks to photography drones, pictures like this are taken and available. The scope of the height is so apparent in this picture.
10 Flying Above Paradise
This picture, taken in French Polynesia, really is a spectacular depiction of tropical island life. It looks like this was taken after a small squall, with some dark clouds and a rainbow in the background. But the sun is shining, the beach is sandy and dry, the water is pure aquamarine, and the palm trees look perfect. All those people in the foreground need is a drink in one hand, a coconut in the other, and a beach bonfire once night falls. This is another place that I'm not ashamed to admit I'd rather be at right now.
9 Mont St. Michele, The Castle That's An Island
This is Mont St. Michele, located on the North Coast of France, and it's one of the most spectacular castles in the world because, at high tide, it's completely surrounded by the ocean; it's an island. The only thing on the island is the castle itself and absolutely nothing else.
The coolest part, though, is that at low tide, it's completely accessible by foot.
You can walk right up to it. But better hope you're not caught outside the gates when high tide comes in; you'll be swimming home! This unique island and castle are expertly captured with the use of a drone.
8 Iconic Tulips Like Never Before
The annual tulip harvest every year in the Netherlands starts with the growing of them, of course, and this drone shot of the tulip fields really highlights the almost unnatural beauty of millions of tulips all in rows, perfectly cultivated and organized by rows and even colors and all punctuated by a man-made irrigation ditch that cuts diagonally across the entire frame with two perfectly symmetrical roads on either side. The image is finished with a lone three people walking far right frame, making for an exceptional and eye-catching drone photo.
7 Seattle Sound Asleep
The skyline of Seattle at night is one of my favorites. The way it piles up on itself—with huge spires that rise seemingly straight out of the water, all a-dazzle with lights and only augmented by the port ships and docks, again amplified by the symmetrical reflection of it all in the still waters of Puget Sound—really speaks to my soul. The view of this city is similar if you drive across one of the few bridges you can take to get to downtown, but being just a little higher and further back gives this drone shot the exceptional edge.
6 Twelve-lane Highway... And A Train
There are a lot of really stunning things instantly noticeable about this city even though the website forfun.com didn't cite which city it actually is. The first thing I notice is the size of that highway, a full twelve lanes across, which is pretty insane. The next thing I notice is the gorgeous gold skyscraper right to the left of it, bottom frame. I also notice the train line just to the left of the highway and the beautiful train station middle top. This city is gorgeous, and taking a drone to just above the height of the buildings is a really great way to show it off.
5 Seven-leaf Clover?
This picture is quite fascinating to me because it's taken at night yet still extraordinarily well lit. It's featuring one of the most complex on-ramp/off-ramp highway systems I've ever seen, and there are virtually no cars driving on it. As is the case with the last photo, there's no listed location, so your guess is as good as mine as to where this is. The vast, winding circles of highway ramps are really enchanting, and driving on them would be almost as impressive as capturing their beauty from high above with a drone.
4 Sunset On The Salt Fields
The only thing more captivating than an untouched natural landscape is one where mankind has set up their harvest in a way that doesn't demolish nature but rather changes it drastically.
We've seen a few examples of that in this article alone, with the tulip fields as one.
Another good example of a natural landscape altered but not destroyed by humans would be the terraced rice fields in Vietnam, which, when captured best, involve airborne shots like this one, depicting the Salt Fields in India. And at sunset, this is really a spectacular sight.
3 Emeralds And Autumn
Talk about an idyllic place, a truly beautiful scenic place in the world. This picture was taken at the Transa Outdoorfestival in Switzerland. It makes sense that something as perfectly beautiful as this picture would be found in such a place as Switzerland, with that truly gorgeous turquoise water surrounded by perfectly changing temperate trees in the autumn, all completed with a few tiny kayakers floating on the top of the water, diminutive and insignificant compared to the incredible nature around them. This drone shot really gives a good scale. This is a great way to showcase the beauty of Switzerland.
2 Moody Blues
This picture is edited in a way that's quite moody, trendy, and Instagrammable, but there's no denying that this drone shot exposes a fascinating and unique perspective on an undeniably beautiful part of the world: Rotorua, New Zealand. From the heights this drone can achieve, we can see the dense, dark, and mysterious forest surrounding a vibrant, electric blue lake in stark contrast. It even has a really nice sandy beach on its topmost end. The clouds above add that certain amount of moodiness that makes this picture so fascinating for the social media masses.
1 The Beautiful City Of Valencia
This is what's called by those who live in Valencia the "cuidad de las artes y las ciencias," which translates as the "city of arts and sciences." If you've been there, you'll know that the name is extraordinarily accurate. Set in the river artery of the city, this center is filled with architecturally unique and impressive buildings, filled with all kinds of art, museum artifacts, scientific research and exhibits, an Imax theater, an aquarium, and so much more. It really is an oasis, a hub of all things science and art. If you have the chance to go in your lifetime, you really should. It's definitely worth the trip.
Sources: dronestagr.am, eliteaerials.com, fromwhereidrone.com