23 award-winning aerial photos that will transport you to places around the world

  • The first annual Aerial Photography Awards celebrate stunning pictures taken from above.
  • Thousands of images were submitted from 65 countries, and a jury panel blindly selected the winning photos.
  • The winners highlight the range of daily occurrences around the world, from a tennis player spiking a ball to farmers struggling to save their crops amid a flood.
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"The Lady of the Sea" by Duy Sinh took first place in the Daily Life category.

Vietnamese photographer Duy Sinh captured a fishnet taking the shape of a woman's face.

Sinh described the profile as "an accident of creation."

Marc Le Cornu took home first place in the Documentary category for his picture of a burning plane.

Cornu snapped a shot of the Jersey Airport Rescue & Firefighting Service as they were training on the burning plane, which is designed to prepare them for actual accidents.

Alexander Sukharev's photo of a merchant ship in frozen water won the Transportation category.

The freight ship cuts through chunks of ice in the Gulf of Finland.

Joel Jochum created an optical illusion with a photo of a German energy storage facility.

Thanks to the camera angle, Jochum's picture looks like three eyeballs floating through space.

The picture took home the top prize in the Industrial category.

Hua Shang's photo of a group of flamingos flying over a lake looks otherworldly.

Shang captured a group of flamingos taking flight in China in this photo, which took home the top prize in the Wildlife category.

Sebastien Nagy's abstract shot won the Architecture category.

You might not even realize you're looking at a cityscape at the first glance of Nagy's image. 

The elevated nature of "Ball Up" by Brad Walls won the Sports category.

The unusual angle used to capture a tennis player spiking a ball makes the action look graceful. 

Walls said that the contrast of the moving athlete and geometric court created "a harmonious effect to the eye."

Kyle Vollaers' photo of an iceberg won the Waterscapes category.

Vollaers captured the iceberg, which looks like a frozen castle, floating off the coast of Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland. 

A grand shot of a washed-up ship won the Abandoned Places category.

Reginald Van de Velde documented a decaying ship from World War II off the coast of France.

According to Van de Velde, the wreckage has only become visible in recent years because of erosion that's causing the coastal line to shrink.

Sometimes a clever angle is what makes a photo stand out, as is the case with Yiran Ding's picture of Shanghai.

Ding snapped a photo of the Shanghai skyline through a plane window, and the photo earned the top spot in the Travel category. 

Sebastien Nagy's dizzying photo of Gran Canaria Island offers a different perspective of a city.

Nagy's photo is filled with color and fascinating shapes. The picture won the Cityscapes category. 

Bachir Moukarzel's photo of the Dubai Frame took home first place in the Constructions category.

The Dubai Frame is known as the largest picture frame in the world, and Moukarzel captured it surrounded by clouds. 

Sheep make their way through a forest path in Mehmet Aslan's winning photo.

Aslan documented a flock of sheep weaving their way through a forest path to venture home. Foliage frames the animals, making them the focus of the shot.

The photo took home first place in the Trees & Forests category. 

Thien Nguyen's photo of fishermen catching anchovies is filled with color.

By capturing the boat from above, Nguyen documented the expansive nets flowing out of the boat in his photo. 

The anchovies are used to make traditional fish sauce, which is why fishermen traverse the coast of the Phu Yen province of Vietnam, according to Nguyen.

The photo won second place in the Daily Life category.

Cassio Vasconcellos' photo stood out in the Digitally Enhanced category.

Vasconcellos used hundreds of aerial shots he took from the viewpoint of a helicopter to create one moving photo. 

A child reaching over the edge of a body of water was the subject of Ryan Koopmans' photo.

The boy looks tiny as he reaches for a plastic bag in Amsterdam's Amstel River.

The photo took home first place in the Fine Art – Other category.

Sebastian Muller's picture of the highlands of Iceland caught the jury's eyes.

The scale of the rocky ridges and body of water in Muller's photo is hard to grasp, as he managed to make something massive look easily accessible. 

The photo won first place in the Landscapes category.

Johan Vandenhecke's photo of the Tatacoa Desert won first place in the Abstract category.

Vandenhecke took a photo of the desert area at sunset.

Azim Khan Ronnie's dizzying photo of the world's largest Eid Congregation won first place in the World Culture category.

Over 600,000 people gather for the religious event in Bangladesh.

Daniel Bonte's picture of dozens of umbrellas won first place in the Patterns category.

Speaking about the photo, Bonte said the "crossing of umbrellas bring colors to a gray, rainy canvas."

A photo of a unique apartment building won first place in the Accommodations category.

Kevin Krautgartner took the photo, which is full of natural colors.

Azim Khan Ronnie managed to find the beauty in a moment of devastation in his winning photo for the Environmental category.

Over $10 million worth of crops were damaged in Bogura, Bangladesh, where the photo was taken.

Ronnie documented farmers struggling to retrieve their crops after the flood in this moving image.

Sebastien Nagy won first place for the Hotels category with this expansive photo.

Although they're three-dimensional, the buildings in Nagy's photo almost look flat as a result of the aerial nature of the shot. 

You can see more winning photos from the Aerial Photography Awards here.

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