In its first edition, the Aerial Photography Awards has made its mark by revealing the strength of its winners. Photographers around the world used drones, helicopters, kites, balloons, and airplanes to capture unique views of the planet. And, in the end, the jury selected 106 winning photos across 22 categories.
Thousands of photographers from 65 countries submitted their work for consideration, with the Abstract, Architecture, Constructions, Daily life, Landscapes, Sports, Travel, and Wildlife categories proving to be the most popular. Using a one to 20 ranking system, each photograph was scored and these scores were used not only to determine category winners, but also to select the top photographers.
Belgian photographer Sebastien Nagy took home the title of Aerial Photographer of the Year for his strong showing in the competition. Six of his aerial photographs won awards, including First Place in the Architecture, Cityscape, and Hotels category. The victory was particularly meaningful for Nagy, as it was the first time he'd participated in a photo competition.
“I didn't think I would win anything and it was mostly for fun,” says Nagy. “So I was very surprised when I heard the good news. It was a bit hard to believe at first as it was the Grand-Prix, but I did feel a real joy and pride. To be named first in a contest where the theme is what we love most, our passion, is incredible and very satisfying! This award made me want to test myself in other things and why not, to be able to judge others in my turn one day.”