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Drone Awards 2020: The world seen from above

September 30, 2020 08:31 IST
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The winning entries in this year’s Drone Photo Awards deliver an outstanding assortment of aerial images, from the overall winning shot, catching a school of salmon forming the shape of a heart, to a special category focusing on the profound ways COVID-19 has transformed our cities.


Here we showcase a selection of the shots that will be on display in the Siena Photo Awards in Italy from October 24 to November 29.

Love Heart of Nature

In winter, a shark is inside a salmon school when, chasing the baitfish, the shape became a heart shape. Photograph: Jim Picôt

Alien Structure on Earth

Sometimes we need to change the perspective to feel the strength of the structure stronger than we've ever thought. The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur. Photograph: Tomasz Kowalski


A scene from Shanghai, China. Photograph: Attila Balogh

Where Herons Live

Many think that herons make nests in reeds or in a swamp. In fact, they nest in the tops of huge trees and with a drone it is sometimes possible to see them. Photograph: Dmitrii Viliunov


A buffalo herd is passing a lake before moving to its shelter where the herd will retreat to rest. Photograph: Mehmet Aslan

Ring of Crocodiles

This image was taken in Bangladesh. Photograph: Adnan Asif

On the Sea

An aerial view of swimmers, where the sea becomes the place to take refuge, between the blue carpet and the white foam of the waves. Photograph: Roberto Corinaldesi

Frozen Land

With temperatures of minus 30°C, winters in the Eurasian steppe can be brutal. But life doesn't stop, and local people move from one village to another with a sledge, crossing icy rivers and lakes. Photograph: Alessandra Meniconzi


Two million Hongkongers took to the streets on 16 June 2019, calling on the government to withdraw the controversial extradition bill. The night before the historic march that nearly one-third of the population took part, protestor Leung Ling Kit ended his life after hanging a banner of the people's demands in the city centre. Photograph: Tugo Cheng

Mountains of Salt

An aerial picture taken on a saltern near a small town on central Vietnam’s coast. Photograph: Igor Altuna

Women Sorting Dry Red Chillies

Women collecting red chilies under the sun for more than 10 hours a day for little pay, employed in one of the many factories that specialise in drying chilies. Photograph: Md Tanveer Hassan Rohan

Waterlilies harvesting season

Women harvest waterlilies in Vietnam. Photograph: Trung Pham Huy

Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists

At the end of the gray whale season, I was told about a gray whale that, for the last three years, used to play with the boats, pushing them gently. So we went back the year after and incredibly the gray whale appeared and this shot is the result. Photograph: Joseph Cheires

Phoenix Rising

The phoenix rising is a symbol of re-emergence from the ashes of fire. This is symbolized through the beginnings of an actual regeneration process at the industrial mining site of Lake Owens. After a destructive past and the creation of the most toxic dustbowl in America, migratory birds are returning, and life is beginning anew. Photograph: Paul Hoelen

Largest Congregation

More than 600,000 devotees participated in South Asia's largest Eid-ul-Fitr congregation. The prayers began at 8:30 am with devotees coming from different parts of the region. Eid-ul-Fitr is a Muslim festival of happiness celebrated all over the world. Photograph: Azim Khan Ronnie

Black Flag

Thousands of Israelis maintain social distancing due to Covid-19 restrictions while protesting against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rabin Square on April 19, 2020. Photograph: Tomer Appelbaum

The Lockdown

The busiest highway in Dubai, shot with no cars present during the lockdown for the disinfection of the municipality. A moment to remember. Photograph: Bachir Moukarzel

Tropical Bride

I used the flowers and the leaves leftover from the decoration of a wedding, to make something creative. Photograph: Mohamed Azmeel

Dubai Marina

“It is extraordinarily interesting to see the architectural designs of the buildings, the streets, and the pier of Dubai Marina that contrast with the ocean water.” Photograph: Carmine Chiriacò


An abstract shot of a Pink lake chemical reaction in Western Australia. Photograph: Boyan Ortse

Munk's Mobula Rays Schooling

Though from a boat it was hard to appreciate just how enormous this shoal was, the drone revealed a mass of thousands of Munk's Mobula rays (also called Munk's pygmy devil rays), all swimming in the same circular direction. Photograph: Mark Carwardine

Lovers on the Field

We were looking for some abstraction. We had a boat, a drone and.... a lot of time. A strong wind created a beautiful storm in the field. Perfect weather conditions showed me "the eye of the tiger" or "deer eye" through the couple in the kayak. A wonderful combination: beautiful lovers, fantastic nature, strong wind, and this perspective. Photograph: Krzysztof Krawczyk

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