tahitiflyshoot/DronestagramIn a feat of photographic excellence, amateur and professional drone nerds have proven a point they've been trying to make for years: drones can shoot.
Photographs, that is; and stunning ones at that.
Dronestagram — the first social network dedicated solely to drone snaps — announced winners of its second annual aerial photography contest in July 2015.
A panel of experts, including Ken Geiger, a National Geographic photographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, and Jean-Pierre Vrignaud, editor in chief of National Geographic France and Dronestagram, selected nine of the best photographs from more than 5,000 entries.
We refer to the photographers here by their Dronestagram handles, not their full names.
The winning images are breathtaking. Check them out:
Photographer Ricardo Matiello took this incredible snap high above the clouds in Maringá, Paraná, Brazil on a rare, foggy day by flying his drone as high as he could before it disappeared into the fog.
"Above the Mist" won two awards: first place in the category, Places and first place in the category, Popular Prizes (most liked picture). Check out Ricardo Matiello's Dronestagram profile here.
Kdilliard took this image moments after the start of the annual La Jolla Pier-To-Cove Swim in San Diego at 9 a.m. on June 20, 2015. The photographer’s fiance competed in the 1 ½ mile swim during low tide in the comfortable 70-degree water.
"La Jolla" won second place in the category, Nature. Check out Kdilliard's Dronestagram profile here.
Dronestagram user Tahitiflyshoot captured the sparkling waters near Mo'orea island in French Polynesia at the moment a group of sharks happened to swim by.
"Snorkeling with sharks" won first place in the category, Nature. Check out Tahitiflyshoot's Dronestagram profile here.
Photographer Wanaiifilms snapped the tide rolling in and surrounding the Mont Saint-Michel, an island commune in Normandy, France at around 5 a.m., just after the sun peeked through the clouds after a stormy week.
"Mont-Saint-Michel" won second place in the category, Places. Check out Wanaiifilms' Dronestagram profile here.
Marama Photo Video shot this magical photograph while drinking Hinano, the beer of Tahiti, in the warm, clear waters of an island in Tahiti. A rain shower complete with a rainbow can be seen behind the island.
Marama Photo Video/Dronestagram
"Lost island, Tahaa, French Polynesia" won third place in the category, Nature. Check out Marama Photo Video's Dronestagram profile here.
This death-defying image by Wootsor captures the moment a cliff diver risked his life for a few pesos and accolades from the crowd in Plazuela Sanchez Taboada in Mazatlan Mexico.
"Glorieto Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico" snagged third place in the category, Popular Prizes (most liked picture). Check out Wootsor's Dronestagram profile here.
IceFire took this shot above the ancient city of Plovdiv in central Bulgaria, Eastern Europe. Plovdiv is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in Europe. The giant question mark is outlined by the newly re-built musical fountains in King Simeon’s Park.
"Plovdiv by night, Bulgaria" won second place in the category, Popular Prizes (most liked picture). Check out IceFire's Dronestagram profile here.