VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


Winners of First Drone Aerial Photo Contest Announced

We are pleased to announce the winners of the first National Geographic France/Dronestagram contest for aerial photographs made with the use of drones. [Dronestagram is a website that specializes in photos and videos captured by drone hobbyists.]

More than one thousand aerial photos were submitted from all over the world, from which we have chosen these five. The world doesn’t look the same from above. Enjoy !

First prize : Flying with an Eagle, Bali Barat National Park, Indonesia

Photographer : Dendi Pratama

Second Prize : Happy Filipinos, Manila, Philippines

DCIM100GOPROPhotographer : Jericho Saniel Lunario

Third Prize : Annecy at sunset, Haute-Savoie, France

Annecy1Photographer : Dominique Reginensi

Fourth Prize : Mougins Village out of the mist, Côte d’Azur, France

village de Mougins1Photographer : Julien Demartini

Fifth Prize : Sanary-sur-mer from the bell tower, Côte d’Azur, France

SanaryPhotographer: Jeremy Ballester


  1. stefanie
    April 18, 2015, 7:34 am

    We are offering a contest for the best drone video made above historical bruges..which captures all the well known historical buildings of unesco bruges

  2. Lip Kee
    October 22, 2014, 12:45 am

    The main point of focus when I looked at the prize winning eagle was its eye – the look can be interpreted as fear, almost TERROR. I believe the eagle was concerned, very concerned by the presence of the the UFO.
    There is great potential in photography with drones but animal harassment should not be encouraged.

  3. Paulo
    September 18, 2014, 4:01 pm

    Putting eagle s life in risk. For me it is not good. Many birds attack drones. That was irresponsible, purposely get close to the eagle. Does not deserve an award. Deserves repudiation. Unscrupulous.

  4. Drone pilot
    West Bali
    August 14, 2014, 11:43 am

    To all you who are worried about the eagle…
    1. Eagles are not endangered here in West Bali.
    2. A drone operator have no chance chasing a eagle flying… It’s the bird that’s interested in the drone and the photo is either a lucky shot or someone who is very persistent and flying hundreds of hours to get that one photo (unlikely).
    The eagle is most likely just curious and want to check out what entered his or her air space.
    Those are small and not very powerful air crafts that would most likely not being able to hurt a bit bird like that. I’ve never had an accident with a bird. Birds are just too fast, careful and agile to be hit by a slow and clumsy drone.
    Someone mentioned if the drone falls down… It’s a national park… The is nothing to fall down on except trees… I know, i live 5 min from the park.

  5. Nancy ( retired pro photog)
    July 23, 2014, 8:17 pm

    Beautiful Images, however, I am very disappointed to see you reward a person who took the image of the eagle. It encourages people to use drones in a way detrimental to wildlife. Imagine a drone suddenly flying that close to an eagle! You can see the look of fear and confusion in the eagle’s eyes. Not cool.

  6. Francesc R.
    July 20, 2014, 6:13 pm

    I think it was actually a vulture, not an eagle…

  7. Barry Goyette
    California USA
    July 17, 2014, 12:54 pm

    Given the extreme wide angle of your typical gopro or drone camera, this photo was taken within 1-2 feet of the eagle. There is virtually no way to control a drone safely and reliably at that distance.

    In reality though, idiot drone operators are not the problem. National Geographic, in it’s quest for more page views has chosen a startling, and dangerous image and given it respectability. We can now expect many more such attempts by less experienced and less “lucky” pilots. Bravo! National Geographic. Bravo!

  8. ani
    July 16, 2014, 5:53 am

    Its Amazing Beautiful Eagle

  9. George
    July 14, 2014, 2:28 pm

    The eagle picture could not even be taken in the US. Illegal in all national parks.

  10. David Galbraith
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    July 14, 2014, 12:56 pm

    The use of these devices around wildlife – especially nesting or flying birds – is extremely worrying. Until it is demonstrated that this is a safe and harmless practice, and that wildlife will not be scared or stressed by their noise or appearance, or will not attack these devices and be injured – they should not be allowed anywhere near wild animals. The resulting photos may be spectacular, but as a wildlife biologist, I am concerned that they present a risk to the very animals we are trying to observe and protect. Proof of safety first, please.

  11. Ariful Haque Subin
    Dhaka, Bangladesh
    July 14, 2014, 5:07 am

    AMAZING shot of the Eagle by Dendi Pratama! Deserved the first prize 🙂

  12. denise
    Melbourne, Australia
    July 13, 2014, 11:34 pm

    Fabulous – have always loved National Geographic and especially their pictures, see a lot of potential for drones in many ways . First read about the Barrier Reef there over 50 years ago – finally got there last year …

  13. len kaufman
    July 13, 2014, 10:27 pm

    Hey len, instead of being such a pessimist why not appreciate the art for what it is and realise they aren’t harming the bird ur just fuckin nuts. take the middle road cause the extreme either way clouds ur judgement and point of view

  14. Tim
    July 13, 2014, 10:22 pm

    Taking these photos without a PILOT’s LICENCE would be ILLEGAL in Australia. How ridiculous is that?

  15. Brent Sarazin
    Kitchener, ON
    July 13, 2014, 10:01 pm

    My parents subscribed to National Geographic when I was a child. It inspired me to capture images of all that encompasses my daily life.

  16. Douglas Peebles
    United States
    July 13, 2014, 8:58 pm

    Why would National Geographic choose a clear example of animal harassment as its grand prize winner?

  17. Len Kaufman
    Hollywood, Florida
    July 13, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Addendum to above comment: If you know how wide the angle is on the POV cameras, like the GoPro, then you know how very close the drone is to the bird.

  18. Len Kaufman
    Hollywood, Florida
    July 13, 2014, 3:00 pm

    I’m quite surprised that National Geographic would award a prize to the photo with the eagle, as this is clearly a case of someone disturbing the air space of an endangered species.

  19. jairo león Jiménez t
    Barcelona spain
    July 13, 2014, 11:10 am

    Felicitarlos x vuestro concurso igualmente ha quienes tomaron esas preciosas fotos saludes

  20. mobin joseph
    July 13, 2014, 10:31 am

    Awesome photography those guys really deserve it……Congrats friends…..i like photography but i can’t get any chance to prove my talent anywhere anyway all the very best to all and @National geographic channel

  21. Dilip Joshi
    July 13, 2014, 9:39 am

    Brilliant work. Wonderful photography

  22. Bryane
    July 13, 2014, 9:11 am

    those dronestagrams were just ace..

  23. carmelita madara
    July 13, 2014, 3:13 am

    it makes one think of something ethereal

  24. carmelita madara
    July 13, 2014, 3:11 am

    beautiful aerial view – ok

  25. carmelita madara
    Camarines Sur, Philippines
    July 13, 2014, 3:09 am

    Beautiful aerial view – could be heavenscape. heavenly.

  26. alejandro calderon
    denver co
    July 12, 2014, 11:15 pm

    i love this pics

  27. Nabin Mangrati
    Darjeeling, India
    July 12, 2014, 8:49 pm

    No words, excellent

  28. Bernard Cierco
    Juabail Industrial City, KSA.
    July 12, 2014, 7:42 pm

    This new photografic discipline will open absolutelly new horizonts never explored before. Having the view of birds.

  29. eddy handita
    Grand Prairie, Texas
    July 12, 2014, 4:08 pm

    Impressive, sharp aerial photos by drone

  30. mahmudul
    July 12, 2014, 3:55 pm

    all pic so beautiful.

  31. mahmood salehi
    July 12, 2014, 3:55 pm

    relly buityfull

  32. Serhat GÜLER
    İstanbul / TÜRKİYE
    July 12, 2014, 3:18 pm

    Tek kelimeyle MUHTEŞEM

  33. Wendy Amen
    July 12, 2014, 1:30 pm

    very cool an beautiful

  34. Nikita
    July 12, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Bad Photoshop on the eagle wings

  35. aziz
    hydrebad india
    July 12, 2014, 12:41 pm

    osim pics

  36. Director Gorey Saif Ali
    July 12, 2014, 12:28 pm

    Thankyou.. Jean-Pierre Vrignaud and congratulations to all winners and participants.special congratulations to that eagle too.

  37. Valerie Daugherty
    Azle, Texas
    July 12, 2014, 12:26 pm

    Love to see more photos, keep up the good work

  38. sun deep
    July 12, 2014, 10:57 am

    you are amazing photographer …you take a really good picture…

  39. Đỗ Trọng Tân
    Hà Nội, Việt Nam
    July 12, 2014, 10:54 am

    Stunning. I love the idea of holding the Contest. Will it be organized again?

  40. Rajiv
    July 12, 2014, 10:29 am

    awesome pictures!!!…

  41. ZdravkovaV
    Cologne, Germany
    July 12, 2014, 8:12 am

    It is not first at all. There is a man in Bulgaria, Radoslav Dobrev(Радослав Добрев), he make amazing pictures since a month ago.


  42. Nita Van Els
    July 12, 2014, 8:02 am


  43. Neil
    wee place called scotland
    July 12, 2014, 7:43 am


  44. Paul Krol
    July 12, 2014, 7:36 am

    The eagle picture is pretty good and interesting. The 2nd place picture is horribly edited and what exactly is so good about this picture? And the other pictures are nice..but no creativity..just a good location to take a picture. They should have just awarded 1st place and left it at that.

  45. gerby llido
    cavite, PHILIPPINES
    July 12, 2014, 7:26 am

    we always smile to show how humble we are….

  46. Roxana Whitt
    July 12, 2014, 6:11 am

    I think it is a big mistake to promote drone photography. Up close shots of birds in flight? Really?

  47. wilson
    Abuja, Nigeria
    July 12, 2014, 4:57 am

    Awesome dimensional view from the drone! #Creative

  48. L.B.Sherma
    July 12, 2014, 4:55 am

    Exciting Photography Job!

  49. Maria
    July 12, 2014, 4:53 am


  50. Garrinel Marqueses
    saudi Arabia
    July 12, 2014, 4:49 am

    I’m happy to see you’re photo. I like very much very nice

  51. savita paranjpe
    July 12, 2014, 4:42 am

    incredible pics…. thoroughly enjoyed them…

  52. sudhir arora
    July 12, 2014, 4:24 am

    first prize winner photo is mindblowing,rest are also good.

  53. eric
    July 12, 2014, 4:16 am

    shd hv pt more of thm.niiice!

  54. dittaphon
    July 12, 2014, 4:06 am

    Great Together♡

  55. waqas
    Lahore. Pakistan
    July 12, 2014, 3:49 am

    Lovely photos, ! ! !

  56. Helena
    July 12, 2014, 3:29 am


  57. jericsaniel
    July 11, 2014, 8:38 pm

    Thanks for the article. That’s really great! That’s my photo on the cover.
    If you want to see more amazing photos and vids please follow the links.

  58. Worried about animals
    Doesn't matter
    July 11, 2014, 8:18 pm

    Imho, any contest that encourages close approach to wild animals by drones endangers both the animal and the drone and should not be promoted by Nat Geo. One slight control slip by the drone operator could kill the animal and drop the drone on something below. Your winning photo could all too easily have caused a disaster for the eagle!

  59. Patrice Wilson
    Arizona, USA
    July 11, 2014, 2:00 pm

    All of these are fantastic but my FAVORITE is the Eagle. An amazing shot that makes me wonder what the Eagle was thinking…..