“Once aerial photographers started deliberately seeking out, framing and creating patterns, rather than creating work that simply serves documentary purposes,” the organizers explain, “ drones have broadened the field of aerial photography to aerial art .”
Photographers have been taking cameras into the air almost as long as cameras have existed. Early practitioners, such as Nadar, who in 1858 rose 260 feet above the Paris suburbs in a balloon, and James Wallace Black, who photographed Boston from an elevation of 2,000 feet in 1860, had to apply a chemical solution to their glass plates and then develop the pictures in a mobile darkroom in the balloon basket.
More than 4,400 entries were submitted for 2018 by professional photographers and amateur drone photo enthusiasts from 101 countries.
The Drone Awards sponsored by the Art Photo Travel Association, the nonprofit group that also organizes the Sienna International Photo Awards, is among the most important worldwide competitions for aerial photography and videos taken not only by drones but also from fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites, and parachutes.