Drone Photo Awards 2020. The best photos and videos taken by drones

Animals, landscapes, protests, and empty streets shot by aerial photographers from a bird’s-eye view were awarded by the judges of the annual Drone Photo Awards 2020. This competition includes photos and videos of work made with drones, and according to the organizers, they receive tens of thousands of works each year.

The Siena International Photo Awards organizer has selected more than a dozen images as winners of the Drone Photo Awards 2020.  Until a few years ago, the competition had only a few categories, but now their number has grown to 9, and there were 2 categories for videos. The competition did not stay away from world events and devoted a whole category of photos and videos showing the impact of the pandemic coronavirus, with several memorable landscapes of empty cities.

The jury selected a picture of Australian photographer Jim Pico as the overall favorite, illustrating a shoal of salmon that miraculously formed in the shape of a heart.

The award-winning photographs will be exhibited at the collective photo exhibition “Above Us Only the Sky” which will be held in Siena, Italy in late October and early November. The winner of the “Drone Photographer of the Year 2020” competition will receive the Pangaea Crystal Ball on the night of October 25 at a special awards ceremony in Siena at the Teatro dei Rozzi Theatre.


The Heart of Nature

Author: Jim Picot

In winter, the shark hunts a flock of salmon. The shoal of fish took a bizarre form in the form of a heart.


1st place

Alien architecture on Earth

Author: Tomasz Kowalski

Sometimes we need to change the angle of view to feel the power of architecture more strongly. The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, are skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

2nd place

Dubai Marina

Author: Carmine Chiriac

It is extremely interesting to see the architectural solutions of the buildings, streets, and piers of the Dubai Marina district, contrasting with the ocean water.

Highly rated:

A drop of water on a blade of grass

Author: Milosz Kuss

An old mill in the middle of a field. This green path contrasts beautifully with the surrounding field and from the sky looks like a drop of dew on a blade of grass.

Buffalo Man

Author: Alex Cao

Breeding semi-wild water buffaloes, which after the harvest will be able to feed freely in the vast plowed fields.

Sunrise on the Top

Author: Rex Zou

At 4:30 a.m., mysteriously shrouded in clouds, this is what the second tallest building in Shanghai looks like.


1st place

Where herons live…

Author: Dmitrii Viliunov

Many people think that herons make nests in reeds or on the swamp. In fact, they nest on the tops of huge trees, and sometimes they can be seen by drone.2

2nd place

Mobula Rays Schooling

Author: Mark Carwardine

Although it was difficult to estimate how huge this stranded was, the drone showed a small group of thousands of Mbuwl Munch stingrays (also called the rays of the dwarf devil Munch) floating in one circular direction.

Highly Rated

An afternoon drink

Author: Rajarshi Banerji

With the onset of the dry season, when grass becomes scarce and water sources dry up, Indian rhinos are looking for new pastures where they can graze.

Flamingo flock heart

Author: Thomas Vijayan

The abundance of algae in the lake once attracted a huge number of flamingos, flocks lined up along the shore. In 2013, the lake experienced an alarming rise in water levels, which led to the migration of flamingos to Lake Bogoria in search of food.


Author: Mehmet Aslan

A herd of buffalo runs past the lake before moving to a safer place to rest.


1st place

On the sea

Author: Roberto Corinaldesi

An aerial view of the swimmers, at a time when the blue sea surface becomes a hiding place between the white foam waves.

2nd place

Ball up

Author: Brad Walls

The tense movements of the tennis player before the blow against the background of the clean court line create a harmonious effect for the eyes.

Highly rated:

Surfing Margaret River

Author: Shane Richardson

Margaret River, an area well known for its wineries, is also one of the most challenging surfing spots in the world.

Matty buys Wakeskate

Author: Tyrone Bradley

Weixkeiter Matti Bays makes a 360-degree jump on the vehicle with LED lighting. The strobes were launched manually at the final moment when Matti catches a board over a concrete bridge.


Author: Davide Lopresti

The surfer tries to challenge the waves. They are quite difficult to hold on to, not to mention them to tame and be able to dissect.

Aerial view of continental pool in NSW

Author: Sagi Roitfarb


1st place

Frozen Land

Author: Alessandra Meniconzi

At a temperature of minus 30 degrees Celsius, winters in the Eurasian steppes can be harsh. But life does not stop, and the locals go on a sleigh from one village to another, crossing icy rivers and lakes.

2nd place


Author: Tugo Cheng

Two million Hong Kongers took to the streets on June 16, 2019, calling on the government to revoke the controversial extradition law. The night before the historic march, which was attended by nearly a third of the population, the Ljung Lin-Kee killed himself by hanging a banner demanding the people in the city center.

Highly rated:

Mountains of salt

Author: Igor Altuna

An aerial photograph taken at a salt-and-air site near a small town on The Central Coast of Vietnam.

Cross the field

Author: Khanh Phan

The girl, her mother, and their herd of cows walking in the pasture return home after a day’s work.

Women sorting dry red chilies

Author: Md Tanveer Hassan Rohan

Women who collect red chili peppers under the sun for more than 10 hours a day for a small fee work in one of the many factories specializing in pepper drying.

Carpet field

Author: Mehmet Aslan

Hundreds of handmade carpets are spread out on the field for painting them with different colors, with the scorching effect of sunlight. A couple of workers lay down on the carpets after the work is finished to relieve daytime fatigue.


1st place

Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists

Author: Joseph Cheires

Last year, at the end of the “grey whale season”, I was told about a gray whale that has been coming for the last three years and likes to play with boats, gently pushing them. So we’re back a year later, and it’s incredible… the famous gray whale appeared and as a result, this picture was taken!

2nd place

Flamingos at Lake Logipi

Author: Martin Harvey

The early morning sun illuminates the flamingos gathered on the shores of Lake Logipi, next to an interesting geological formation resembling a fan.

Highly rated:

Lonely Road

Author: Hong Jen Chiang

Driving through Ring Route 1, angry with the magical and charming landscape, I was ready for everything that lies ahead.

The Island

Author: Pawel Zygmunt

Crater row

by James Rushforth

The ingested craters in Iceland’s vast interior. The intense red color at the edges is caused by the scale, stained with the oxidation of iron minerals in the lava, which is very contrast to the surrounding basalt. Under the craters passes a white car.


1st place

Phoenix Rising

Author: Paul Hoelen

Phoenix is a symbol of rebirth from the ashes. This symbolizes the beginning of a real regeneration process at the Lake Owens industrial site. After the devastating past and the emergence of America’s most polluted lake, migratory birds return and life begins anew.

2nd place

Largest congregation

Author: Azim Khan Ronnie

More than 600,000 people took part in The largest Eid-ul-Fitr gathering in South Asia. Eid-ul-Fitr is a Muslim holiday of happiness celebrated all over the world.

Highly rated:


Author: Boyan Ortse

An abstract image of the chemical reaction of the Pink Lake in Western Australia.

Spring zebra

Author: Lukasz Rajs

This small village in the Chenstokhova region is distinguished by large canola crops that create beautiful patterns extending to the horizon.

The fishing net

Author: Trung Pham Huy

The fishing net, during the anchovy fishing season, looks like a flower floating in the sea from the air.


1st place

Black flag

Author: Tomer Appelbaum

Thousands of Israelis maintain social distance due to Covid-19 restrictions as they protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rabin Square on April 19, 2020.

2nd place

Heart of Warsaw

Author: Rafal Ganowski

The oldest part of Warsaw, which before the pandemic was filled with crowds of people and umbrellas from nearby restaurants.

Highly rated:


Author: Levent Ates

Muslims pray Friday, maintaining a social distance and getting used to living with coronavirus.

The Lockdown

Author: Bachir Moukarzel

Dubai’s busiest motorway, taken off without cars during a blockage for disinfection of the municipality.

Grounded by Covid-19

Author: Ingrid Hendriksen

We got permission to fly over Avalon Airport to document the landing of the plane due to the Covid-19.


1st place

Tropical Bride

Author: Mohamed Azmeel

I used the flowers and leaves leftover from the wedding decoration to do something creative.

2nd place

Lovers on the field

Author: Krzysztof Krawczyk

We were looking for some abstraction. We had a boat, a drone and… a lot of time. The strong wind created a beautiful storm in the field. Unusual weather conditions and the sight of a couple in a kayak showed me a “tiger’s eye” or “deer’s eye”. A wonderful combination: beautiful lovers, fabulous nature, strong wind, and this landscape.

Highly rated:

Pebble / Wave

Author: Dominic Lemoine

After the ceremony, the couple went to the beach and decided to take a dip. We were lucky enough to find the perfect waves that only touched the hem of the dress.


Author: Tobias Froehner

It was the perfect combination. Beautiful pair, VW Beetle, frame. It was easy to create a great composition.

Wedding party

Written by: Dejan zagar

Noticing a square pattern on the ground of Curzon Hall, I asked the bride, the bride, friends of the bride, and groom to lie in a symmetrical position.


1st place

NY on pause

Author: Pablo Barrera Edward Kostakis

The city, which never sleeps, takes a nap in 2020. This is the only opportunity in life for the city to rethink, rebuild and wake up tomorrow for a bright future.

2nd place

Russia Corona Moscow Covid-19

Author: Pushkin Fly Team

Shocking video of drones from Moscow, Europe’s largest city, which was effectively shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020.

3rd place

Lockdown – Dubai

Author: Bachir Moukarzel

Dubai quarantine day and night: empty beaches, empty parks, a fountain in Dubai, empty shopping malls in Dubai, empty streets.

The full shortlist for all categories can be viewed on the official website of the Drone Photo Awards 2020.

About the author

David Evans

My name is David Evans and photography and videography is my big passion. In fact, I can consider myself as a professional photographer already. I love taking both aerial and underwater shots using drones. My passion for drones started when a bird accidentally hit one of my first drones. The camera captured the whole moment and produced one of the best videos I ever filmed. Since then, I traveled to many parts of rural North America to capture wildlife from the sky.