The Winning Aerial Photos and Videos from SkyPixel’s 6th Annual Contest

BY Zacc Dukowitz
24 March 2021

Feeling bogged down? Need some inspiration in your life?

The videos and pictures in this post may be just the thing to lift your spirits. SkyPixel recently announced the winners of its 6th annual Aerial Photo & Video Contest—read the next section to learn about the contest, or scroll straight down to see the winning entries.

About SkyPixel’s Annual Contest

SkyPixel’s annual Aerial Photo & Video Contest was launched back in 2016 to celebrate SkyPixel’s two year anniversary and DJI’s ten year anniversary.

Co-organized with DJI, this year’s contest attracted more than 26,000 submissions from professional photographers, videographers, aerial enthusiasts and content creators from 136 countries.

This year’s contest marks the sixth time SkyPixel has partnered with DJI to look for the best drone photos and videos of the year, calling on content creators across the world to submit their work.

What Are the Prizes?

In years past, the contest has featured prizes from partners like Nikon and Western Digital.

This year, prizes were a lot more simple—the Grand Prize winners in the photo and video categories (respectively) walked away with $7,500 USD each. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, as well as Nominated Entries and People’s Choice winners, all received drones and drone accessories from DJI.

To see the full list of drones and gear given out by category and prize level, scroll to the bottom of this page on the SkyPixel site.

Now let’s get to those photos and videos!

Aerial Photos

Aerial photo submission requirements: Photos must be shot on a drone, and each image must be at least 3 MB with a resolution of at least 300 dpi.

Aerial photos were submitted in these four categories this year:

  • Architecture
  • Portrait
  • Nature
  • Sport
  • Environment

Aerial Videos

Aerial video submission criteria: Videos must not exceed five minutes in length. The entry must contain at least 30 seconds of aerial footage, except for the Vlog category. Vlog category entries do not need to contain aerial shots, but the equipment must be marked.

Aerial videos were submitted in these six categories this year:

  • Vlog
  • FPV
  • Travel
  • Showreel
  • Hometown
  • Sport

The Grand Prize and 1st place winners are all featured below. Visit the SkyPixel 6th Anniversary Contest page to see all the stunning work that won this year.

Grand Prize

SkyPixel Video of the Year

“Madeira” by SkyPixel contributor Ellis van Jason.

Madeira | Cinematic FPV

Note: This video was also selected for our list of top FPV videos—see all the videos in that post now.

SkyPixel Photograph of the Year

“Humpback Breach” by SkyPixel contributor Karim Iliya.


1st Place Photographs by Category

Architecture Category—1st Place Winner

“Number 9” by SkyPixel contributor superdog.


Portrait Category—1st Place Winner

“KingSize” by SkyPixel contributor GTDRONE—Grzegorz Tatar.


Nature Category—1st Place Winner

“Overlooking the Snowy Mountains of Sanyang Zhu Zhu” by SkyPixel contributor Xi Xiaoyuan (习小远的视界).


Sport Category—1st Place Winner

“Colour Series—Bulls Eye” by SkyPixel contributor Ilanna Emily.


Environment Category—1st Place Winner

“Where the Muddy River Meets the Ocean” by SkyPixel contributor Joao Galamba.


[Looking for help with aerial photography? Check out our guide, Drone Photography: A Guide to Capturing Images Like a Professional.]

1st Place Videos by Category

Vlog—1st Place Winner

“Hibernation and Recovery” by SkyPixel contributor Zhang Kangkang (是张张的康康).


FPV—1st Place Winner

“Hawaii—A Bird’s Eye View” by SkyPixel contributor Nicolas Gaillard-Groleas.


Travel—1st Place Winner

“To the End of the World—Iceland” by SkyPixel contributor Qin Mingzhe (是张张的康康).


Showreel—1st Place Winner

“Change—Story of the Planet” by SkyPixel contributor nykleys.


Hometown—1st Place Winner

“Duality” by SkyPixel contributor Elastic Studio.


Sport—1st Place Winner

“ANYWHERE ANYTIME—Gravel Bike” by SkyPixel contributor Fabian Mct.


[Want to step up your aerial videography game? Check out these 7 pro aerial drone videography tips.] 

Remember—the photos and videos featured here are only the Grand Prize and 1st place winners. Make sure to check out the 2nd and 3rd place winners, as well as the Nominated Entries and People’s Choice winners, on the SkyPixel contest results page.

Wowed by these aerial photos and videos? Have some of your own you’d like to share? Join the conversation in this thread on the UAV Coach community forum.

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