These stunning drone photos put humanity in its place

It may be a cliché, but drone photography really offers a new perspective on the world.

The winners of the SkyPixel 2018 Aerial Photography and Video Contest (an online photo-sharing community owned by the Chinese manufacturer of drones DJI) show how. The images and videos show architecture, nature and humanity from unexpected heights and angles. The resulting images are amazing and could make you reconsider your place in the world.

Just consider them for a second. Where are you standing or sitting now? What would it be like if you could see yourself from a distance? What's around you?

The winning photo of this year in the SkyPixel contest was taken by Deryk Baumgärtner with a Mavic Pro (above). It is typically beautiful, showing the island of Le Mont-Saint-Michel in France, just off the northwest coast of the country. The island has been occupied since at least the sixth century, and has a long and rich history. It is also incredibly picturesque, with a central abbey that rises like a fairytale castle through the mist.


these stunning drone photos put humanity in its place

Nominated photo; "Summit for the team, Mont Blanc"
Photo: Mathis Dumas


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People's Choice; "Lofoten." Aerial view of a soccer field on an island in the Norwegian archipelago of Lofoten.
Photo: 圆 猪 笔

Other photos and videos that win the contest have a similar theme, showing islands of humanity wrapped by nature. Sometimes, these islands are literal, as in Le Mont-Saint-Michel, and sometimes they are metaphorical, like a shot by a team of skiers who reach the top of Mont Blanc on the border between France and Italy (above). Skiers have come a long way, but the view ahead of them shows how small they are still.

In other photos, this relationship between humanity and nature is reversed. Take the hallucinating photo of the Hong Kong port (below), where the image has been distorted so that the city's skyscrapers and apartment blocks wrap a small bubble of sky. It is not an exercise in realism, but it gives a strong impression of the density of the city.

I could go on, but it's best that you see these images. Below, we selected some of our favorites, and you can see the full selection of SkyPixel here:


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Winner – architecture category; "It's not a small island of HK"
Photo: Panvelvet


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Winner: fun category; "Flowers on the water"
Photo: Khánh Phan


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Winner – nature category, "Hungry hippos"
Photo: Martin Sanchez


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Winner – sport category; "Running through the sand dunes"
Photo: Trung Pham


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Election of the people; "Infinity Road: summer versus winter". Mount two photos of the same route in different stations.
Photo: Michal Sadowski


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People's Choice; "Red train"
Photo: Sebastianmzh

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