Winners from the world's first Aerial Photography Awards

Photographers from across the world were invited to join the competition, but there was a catch.

Their submissions needed to be aerial images - taken using drones, helicopters, airplanes, kites and even balloons.

All in the name of the first edition of the Aerial Photography Awards and the $10,000 prize.

The competition received thousands of entries from 65 participating countries. The prestigious jury, who voted without knowing the name or country of the participants, awarded 11 photographers in the six master categories.

From the versatile list of awarded photos, a number of them stood out in the first places and received the Aerial Photo of the Year 2020 Award:

In the daily life category, The Lady of the Sea, a photo taken by Vietnamese photographer Duy Sinh, shows a fishing net thrown from a boat, which forms a woman's face.

In the documentary category, photographer Marc Le Cornu takes first place with a photo of the Jersey Airport Rescue & Firefighting Service training on a burning plane.

LEFT: A fishing boat is dropping a net and accidentally the waves pull the edges of the net into a lady on the blue sea. An accident of creation. Photo: Duy Sinh, Aerial Photography Awards 2020. RIGHT: Firefighters from the Jersey Airport Rescue & Firefighting Service work as a team to attack a simulated aircraft fire. These live fire scenarios are designed to ensure the crews are fully skilled and ready should a real incident occur! Photo: Marc Le Cornu, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

LEFT: A fishing boat is dropping a net and accidentally the waves pull the edges of the net into a lady on the blue sea. An accident of creation. Photo: Duy Sinh, Aerial Photography Awards 2020. RIGHT: Firefighters from the Jersey Airport Rescue & Firefighting Service work as a team to attack a simulated aircraft fire. These live fire scenarios are designed to ensure the crews are fully skilled and ready should a real incident occur! Photo: Marc Le Cornu, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the transportation category, the first place goes to a photo of a merchant ship navigating in the middle of the ice in the Gulf of Finland, shot by Russian photographer Alexander Sukharev.

Chinese photographer Yiran Ding and his photo of Shanghai seen through an airplane window won the travel category.

LEFT: Fairway of the Gulf of Finland. Photo: Alexander Sukharev, Aerial Photography Awards 2020
RIGHT: Photo: Yiran Ding, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

LEFT: Fairway of the Gulf of Finland. Photo: Alexander Sukharev, Aerial Photography Awards 2020 RIGHT: Photo: Yiran Ding, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

Joel Jochum's enigmatic image of an energy storage facility in Germany received the jury's best votes in the Industrial category.

Energy storage. Photo: Joel Jochum, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

Energy storage. Photo: Joel Jochum, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

Chinese photographer Hua Shang's image of a group of flamingos flying over Lake Natron in Kenya was chosen by the Jury in the Wildlife category.

Flying flamingos. Photo: Hua Shang, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

Flying flamingos. Photo: Hua Shang, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the world in lockdown category, dedicated to photos that deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the picture of the Indian photographer Prabu Mohan, depicting a building in Vietnam whose windows were all covered with the national flag as a sign of support, won first place.

The photo of a WWI ship ruin on the French coast, photographed by the Belgian photographer Reginald Van de Velde received the best votes from the jury in the abandoned places category.

LEFT: One of the ways to show your support in difficult times. It is a residential apartment near my home. The residents hang the Vietnam national flags in support of those who are fighting against the Corona virus in the front lines. Photo: Prabu Mohan, Aerial Photography Awards 2020
RIGHT: The wreck of a British WW1 minesweeper that ran aground the French coast. Buried under the sand for many years, this wreck has only been visible in recent years due to the rapid decline of the coastal line caused by marine erosion. Photo: Reginald Van de Velde, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

LEFT: One of the ways to show your support in difficult times. It is a residential apartment near my home. The residents hang the Vietnam national flags in support of those who are fighting against the Corona virus in the front lines. Photo: Prabu Mohan, Aerial Photography Awards 2020 RIGHT: The wreck of a British WW1 minesweeper that ran aground the French coast. Buried under the sand for many years, this wreck has only been visible in recent years due to the rapid decline of the coastal line caused by marine erosion. Photo: Reginald Van de Velde, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

The architecture category was won by a photo from Belgian photographer Sebastien Nagy. It portrayed an almost abstract cityscape.

The same photographer captured the colorful roofs of Gran Canaria Islands to win the cityscapes category.

Left: Abstract Greece. RIGHT: Spanish rainbow. Photos: Sebastien Nagy, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

Left: Abstract Greece. RIGHT: Spanish rainbow. Photos: Sebastien Nagy, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the Sports category, it is a refined photo of a tennis player titled Ball Up, by Australian photographer Brad Walls, which seduced the jury.

In the waterscapes category, the image of the UK based photographer Kyle Vollaers of a surrealist iceberg drifting off the coast of Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland was awarded.

LEFT: The physical motions of a tennis player against the clean abstract lineage of the court created a harmonious effect to the eye. Photo: Brad Walls, Aerial Photography Awards 2020
RIGHT: This image was taken off the coast of Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland in -25° celsius. One of the most beautiful yet abstract places I've ever seen. Photo: Kyle Vollaers, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

LEFT: The physical motions of a tennis player against the clean abstract lineage of the court created a harmonious effect to the eye. Photo: Brad Walls, Aerial Photography Awards 2020 RIGHT: This image was taken off the coast of Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland in -25° celsius. One of the most beautiful yet abstract places I've ever seen. Photo: Kyle Vollaers, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the constructions category, it's a photo of the Dubai Frame, known as "the largest photo frame in the world", photographed by the Lebanese photographer Bachir Moukarzel who is in the first place.

The Frame. Photo: Bachir Moukarzel, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

The Frame. Photo: Bachir Moukarzel, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the category trees and forests, the photograph of a herd of sheep crossing an autumn forest by Mehmet Aslan won first place.

A herd of sheep uses a forest road to return home. Photo: Mehmet Aslan, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

A herd of sheep uses a forest road to return home. Photo: Mehmet Aslan, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the environmental category, the photo of farmers in the middle of a field devastated by floodwater, taken by the Bangladeshi photographer Azim Khan Ronnie received the best votes.

In Bogura, Bangladesh flood water has damaged crops worth around Tk83 crore (£8 million) in the current season. Of this, the amount of damage in Sariakandi upazila is around Tk68 crore (£6.4 million), while the combined amount of damage is Tk15 crore ( £1.4 million) in Sonatala and Dhunat. The officials of the district agricultural extension and other agriculture officials provided the information after discussion with local farmers who were affected by the flood. In this season, at least 50,000 people have been waterlogged in Sariakandi upazila alone. According to the upazila agriculture office, 7,535 hectares of land have been submerged in Sariakandi. Photo: Azim Khan Ronnie, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In Bogura, Bangladesh flood water has damaged crops worth around Tk83 crore (£8 million) in the current season. Of this, the amount of damage in Sariakandi upazila is around Tk68 crore (£6.4 million), while the combined amount of damage is Tk15 crore ( £1.4 million) in Sonatala and Dhunat. The officials of the district agricultural extension and other agriculture officials provided the information after discussion with local farmers who were affected by the flood. In this season, at least 50,000 people have been waterlogged in Sariakandi upazila alone. According to the upazila agriculture office, 7,535 hectares of land have been submerged in Sariakandi. Photo: Azim Khan Ronnie, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

It's the series of montages made from hundreds of aerial photos by the Brazilian photographer Cassio Vasconcellos in the digitally enhanced category that caught the attention of the jury.

Photo: Cassio Vasconcellos, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

Photo: Cassio Vasconcellos, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

The poetic photo of a child trying to grab a plastic bag by Canadian photographer Ryan Koopmans won first place in the fine art - other category.

On The Edge, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. A child reaches for a plastic bag that has fallen into the Amstel River. Photo: Ryan Koopmans, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

On The Edge, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. A child reaches for a plastic bag that has fallen into the Amstel River. Photo: Ryan Koopmans, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the landscapes category, it's a landscape from another world, shot in the highlands of Iceland by the Swiss photographer Sebastian Muller, that is voted best.

In the abstract category it's a photograph of the Tatacoa desert in Colombia, shot by the photographer Johan Vandenhecke, that won.

LEFT: Skyggnisvatn. Photo: Sebastian Muller, Aerial Photography Awards 2020
RIGHT: Tatacoa desert. Photo: Johan Vandenhecke, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

LEFT: Skyggnisvatn. Photo: Sebastian Muller, Aerial Photography Awards 2020 RIGHT: Tatacoa desert. Photo: Johan Vandenhecke, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the world culture category, it is a photo of 600,000 devotees participating in the largest Eid-ul-Fitr congregation in south-east Asia. This image was taken by the Bangladeshi photographer Azim Khan Ronnie.

South Asia's largest Eid-ul-Fitr Congregation held in Gor-e-Shahid Boro Math, Dinajpur, Bangladesh. According to the organizers claim, over 600,000 devotees participated in this Eid 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. Photo: Azim Khan Ronnie, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

South Asia's largest Eid-ul-Fitr Congregation held in Gor-e-Shahid Boro Math, Dinajpur, Bangladesh. According to the organizers claim, over 600,000 devotees participated in this Eid 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. Photo: Azim Khan Ronnie, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the patterns category, a photo of multiple umbrellas crossing each other in the streets, taken by Japanese photographer Daniel Bonte won the first place.

Umbrella crossing. Photo: Daniel Bonte, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

Umbrella crossing. Photo: Daniel Bonte, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

In the accommodations category, the jury chose a minimalist and colorful photo of the apartments of the Burj Khalifa, taken by the German photographer Kevin Krautgartner.

In the hotels category, the photo of clean white lodgings, shot in a hotel located in the Greek islands by Sebastien Nagy won first place.

LEFT: Real estate shooting for accommodations in the Burj Khalifa. Photo: Kevin Krautgartner, Aerial Photography Awards 2020
RIGHT: Chromata. Photo: Sebastien Nagy, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

LEFT: Real estate shooting for accommodations in the Burj Khalifa. Photo: Kevin Krautgartner, Aerial Photography Awards 2020 RIGHT: Chromata. Photo: Sebastien Nagy, Aerial Photography Awards 2020

The title "Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020", was awarded to photographer Sebastien Nagy (Belgium, photo), thanks to several awarded photos in different categories and a high average score.

Residing in Brussels, the photographer began aerial photography when he concentrated on the rooftops of his city.

The other awarded photographers are:

Azim Khan Ronnie (Bangladesh): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020, 2nd place - Editorial

Brad Walls (Australia): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020, 2nd place - People

Cassio Vasconcellos (Brazil): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020, 2nd place - Fine art

Cédric Houmadi (France): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020, 2nd place - Real estate

Dimitar Karanikolov (Bulgaria): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020 - Fine art

Hua Shang (China): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020, 2nd place - Nature

Reginald Van de Velde (Belgium): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020 - Editorial

Sebastian Muller (Switzerland): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020 - Nature

Suirong Huang (Hong Kong): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020, 2nd place - Man-made

Thien Nguyen (Vietnam): Aerial Photographer of the Year 2020 - People

Meet the jury (top from left) Alex Maclean, Daniel Beltr, Abstract Aerial Art; (middle row) Jeffrey Milstein, Elena Buenrostro, Costas Spathis; bottom row) Hulia Boz, Florian Ledoux, Benjamin Grant.