Digital Photography Review recently published their "10 most inspiring drone images of 2018," which features an excellent mix of nature and urban photographs. A couple of them are minimally edited, like this gorgeous shot of underwater life from Reed Plummer, but most use some sort of digital manipulation and post-processing to achieve out-of-this-world effects.
If photomanipulation is your thing, featured photographer/artist Fabien Barrau has some fun, quirky aerial photography over at his Instagram, like the imaginary cat island below. He spends hours on each manipulation, usually incorporating animal faces.
While there's nothing wrong with a little bit (or a lot) of Photoshop, drones also have the amazing ability to capture real life in new exciting ways. Drones (also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems) have become especially valuable as affordable and easy ways for filmmakers and photographers to capture unique footage from angles and heights that would have been impossible just a few years ago.
If you're seeking examples of this year's strongest drone photography, the galleries over at the Drone Awards are another great source of inspiration, particularly for wildlife photography.
Just look at Roie Galitz's photo of a bear surrounded by salmon. Only with a drone would a photographer be able to get that specific bird's-eye view, or work in such close proximity to dangerous wild animals. Galitz is a Greenpeace ambassador whose drone equipment includes the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ and DJI Mavic 2 Pro .
For urban and travel photography, check out photographer Henry Do's Instagram. He not only shares some amazing shots like the one of Paris below, but he also provides travel and equipment tips in his Instagram stories.
It should be noted here, however, that drone flight in France is strictly regulated as a safety issue. According to French laws, "[Drones] may not be flown over public areas of urban zones, except by authorization of the local prefect." So here's hoping Henry Do was licensed and had permission to shoot this photograph.
DP Review picked his merged day/night Barcelona as one of their top images of the year. It was shot on a DJI Mavic Pro Platinum. (Please note, Spain also has strict drone regulations, and pilots should be aware of them before flying.)
Once you become an experienced drone pilot, it's easy to throw your footage together with some quick edits and music, and get a gorgeous and emotional travel video like the one below by Romain Alexandre. He used the DJI Mavic Air to capture amazing 4K footage of the Icelandic landscape.
This article's featured image is "Lava field flow" by MilanPhoto.
Correction: An earlier draft of this article failed to note UAS laws in France.
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