Changing Planet

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

Trained journalist Jean-Pierre Vrignaud, 49, started his career in the french dailies Ouest-France (regional) and Liberation (national) before working in magazines. He was copy editor for Rebondir magazine and books (careers and jobs), deputy editor-in-chief of Max Magazine (lifestyle for men), and a contributor to Science & avenir (pop science), Quo, 60 millions de consommateurs, L’entreprise en solo, Courrier Cadres, and Paris Match. In 2004, he joined Prismamedia for Ça M’intéresse Magazine, and was in charge of the Culture sections. In 2010, he took part in the launch of the magazine Ça M’intéresse Histoire, where he now holds the post of Deputy Editor-in-Chief. In September 2013, he was also named editor-in-chief of National Geographic France.
  • Patrice Wilson

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

  • Worried about animals

    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!

  • jericsaniel

    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.

  • Helena


  • waqas

    Lovely photos, ! ! !

  • dittaphon

    Great Together♡

  • eric

    shd hv pt more of thm.niiice!

  • sudhir arora

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

  • savita paranjpe

    incredible pics…. thoroughly enjoyed them…

  • Garrinel Marqueses

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

  • Maria


  • L.B.Sherma

    Exciting Photography Job!

  • wilson

    Awesome dimensional view from the drone! #Creative

  • Roxana Whitt

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

  • gerby llido

    we always smile to show how humble we are….

  • Paul Krol

    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.

  • Neil


  • Nita Van Els


  • ZdravkovaV

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

  • Rajiv

    awesome pictures!!!…

  • Đỗ Trọng Tân

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

  • sun deep

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

  • Valerie Daugherty

    Love to see more photos, keep up the good work

  • Director Gorey Saif Ali

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

  • aziz

    osim pics

  • Nikita

    Bad Photoshop on the eagle wings

  • Wendy Amen

    very cool an beautiful

  • Serhat GÜLER

    Tek kelimeyle MUHTEŞEM

  • mahmood salehi

    relly buityfull

  • mahmudul

    all pic so beautiful.

  • eddy handita

    Impressive, sharp aerial photos by drone

  • Bernard Cierco

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

  • Nabin Mangrati

    No words, excellent

  • alejandro calderon

    i love this pics

  • carmelita madara

    Beautiful aerial view – could be heavenscape. heavenly.

  • carmelita madara

    beautiful aerial view – ok

  • carmelita madara

    it makes one think of something ethereal

  • Bryane

    those dronestagrams were just ace..

  • Dilip Joshi

    Brilliant work. Wonderful photography

  • mobin joseph

    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

  • jairo león Jiménez t

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

  • Len Kaufman

    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.

  • Len Kaufman

    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.

  • Douglas Peebles

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

  • Brent Sarazin

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

  • Tim

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

  • len kaufman

    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

  • denise

    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 …

  • Ariful Haque Subin

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

  • David Galbraith

    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.

  • George

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

  • ani

    Its Amazing Beautiful Eagle

  • Barry Goyette

    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!

  • Francesc R.

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

  • Nancy ( retired pro photog)

    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.

  • Drone pilot

    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.

  • Lip Kee

    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.

  • stefanie

    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

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media