The Winners of the 2020 Drone Photography Awards

The 2020 Drone Photography awards specialize in photos that give you a different perspective of the world. These awards are given by the Siena Awards Festival for the best aerial drone photographs around the world.

The winner this year was Australian photographer Jim Picôt, who took home the prize for a brilliant photo of a shark swimming through a school of salmon. At just the right moment, he captured the school of salmon in the shape of a heart, making for a beautiful photo. He is just one of many winners, which we’ve compiled below.  

Overall Winner – “Love Heart of Nature” by Jim Picôt

A shark swims inside a school of salmon in the shape of a heart in New South Wales.

Urban Winner – “Alien Structure on Earth” by Tomasz Kowalski. 

“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.”

Winner, People – “Frozen Land” by Alessandra Meniconzi

“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.”

Winer, Wildlife – “Where Herons Live” by Dmitrii Viliunov

“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.”

Winer, Sport – “On the Sea” by Roberto Corinaldesi

“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.”

Winer, Wedding – “Tropical Bride” by Mohamed Azmeel

“I used the flowers and the leaves leftover from the decoration of a wedding, to make something creative.”

Winner Nature – “Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists” by Joseph Cheires

“At the end of the gray whale season, I was told about a gray whale that, for the last 3 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.”

Runner Up, Abstract “Largest Congregation” by Azim Khan Ronnie

“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.”

Runner Up, Urban – “Dubai Marina” by Carmine Chiriacò

“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.”

Runner up, series – “Continuity” by Yura Borschev

“This is a photo project for EVRAZ corporate calendar, showing all manufacturing facilities of the Group—which are located thousands of kilometers away from each other.”

Runner Up, Sport – “Ball Up” by Brad Walls

“The physical motions of the tennis player against the clean abstract lineage of the court created a harmonious effect to the eye.”

Runner Up, Life under Covid-19 – “Heart of Warsaw” by Rafal Ganowski

“The deserted oldest part of Warsaw which, before the pandemic, used to be filled with sun umbrellas of nearby restaurants and crowds of people.”

Runner Up, People – “2,000,001” by Tugo Cheng

“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 center.”

Runner Up, Nature – “Munk’s Mobula Rays Schooling” by Mark Carwardine.

“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.”

Winner, Series – “Empty seas and crowded shores” by Srikanth Mannepuri.

“This is a tale of the slowly collapsing marine life where the fastest fishes aren’t fast enough, the gentle giants not big enough, and the apex predators not strong enough to withstand the weight of human greed and over-consumption.”

Runner Up, Wedding – “Lovers on the Field” by Krzysztof Krawczyk. 

“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.”

Runner Up, Nature – “Flamingos at Lake Logipi” by Martin Harvey

“The early morning sun lights a scene of flamingos gathered at the edge of Lake Logipi, next to an interesting fan-like geological formation.”

Winner, Life Under Covid-19 – “Black Flag” by Tomer Appelbaum

“Thousands of Israelis maintain social distancing due to Covid-19 restrictions while protesting against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rabin Square on 19 April 2020.”

Winner, Abstract – “Phoenix Rising” by Paul Hoelen

“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.”

If you enjoyed this, check out the best minimalist photos of 2021.

Alan Behrens

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