Drone sales have dramatically risen over the past few years and reached record highs this holiday season. With an increasing number of drones in the sky, professional photographers and enthusiasts alike can now access perspectives that are typically seen from the seat of an airplane. Image-sharing site Dronestagram, a drone-specific social network with 600 million users, brings us some of the best aerial photography currently on the internet. They’ve proudly rounded off the year with their selections of the 20 best drone photos of 2016.
This past summer, Dronestagram teamed up with National Geographic to reveal winners of their third annual International Drone Photography Contest. Out of more than 6,000 images worldwide, incredible and awe-inspiring scenes were awarded. Many of them are included in the 2016 best drone photos, but marvelous new selections are also featured. They include: a heart-stopping selfie of photographer Brendon Dixon laying over the rushing Huia Dam in New Zealand; intricate patterns in the sand sprawling over Miedzyzdroje Plaża in Poland; and the view over the shoulder of a massive standing Buddha in Ushika, Japan.
Dronists continue to deliver unbelievably stunning shots, ensuring us that the future has definitely arrived—and that it’s worth celebrating. As the Dronestagram Team writes on their website, “On behalf of the whole team, we would like to thank you for showing the world the power of drones! …Now take a deep breath and enjoy.”