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Drone Photo Awards: The most beautiful aerial images of 2021 announced!

A flock of thousands of Pink-footed geese flying over snow-covered ground, immortalized by the Norwegian photographer Terje Kolaas, is the overall winner of the Drone Photo Awards 2021. The image, titled Pink-Footed Geese Meeting the Winter, was shot in central Norway and portrays geese flying towards Svalbard, in the Arctic, with the landscape still covered with snow. The birds’ early arrival is likely linked to climate change. The photo was selected from tens of thousands of images submitted by photographers from 102 countries and, together with the first place shots classified in the eight categories of the Drone Photo Awards, will be showcased in the "Above Us Only Sky" exhibition, scheduled in Siena from October 23rd to December 5th on as part of the Siena Awards festival dedicated to the visual arts.

Terje Kolaas | Drone Photo Awards 2021 - Photographer of the Year

Winners of Drone Awards 2021

First place in the Urban category was won by the photo titled “Metaphorical Statement About City and Winter,” by Russian photographer Sergei Poletaev. The image portrays an old monastery near Moscow with a large power plant in the background. Oman photographer Qasim Al Farsi won the Wildlife category with "Back to Adventure," an aerial shot that immortalizes a green turtle ready to return to the water after laying its eggs on the coast of Oman, between Ras Al Jinz and Rashad turtle reserve. “Gold at the End of the Rainbow” by Australian photographer Phil De Glanville, which captures a striking rainbow above surfer Ollie Henry struggling with a frightening wave, is the winning image in the Sport category.

“Fishing in Mangrove Forest,” taken by Vietnamese photographer Trung Pham Huy, won in the People category. It portrays a fisherman who begins his working day in the mangrove forest of the Tam Giang lagoon, in a white winter atmosphere. In the Nature category the first place award goes to the American photographer Martin Sanchez with “Extragalactic.” The image was shot in Iceland and captures the extraordinary moments of the eruption of a volcano from above, offering an exclusive view of the interior of the crater.

The image "Poisoned River," which portrays many small channels full of poisons, shot by the Romanian photographer Gheorghe Popa won first place in the Abstractcategory. In an abstract and personal way, it describes the natural disaster produced by chemical waste generated by the mining of copper and gold in the Apuseni mountains in Transylvania. From the Tuscan coast, and in particular on the occasion of a late summer sunset in Marina di Pisa, the shot by the Italian photographer Matteo Original entitled “Towards the Infinite Together with You,” is the winner of the Wedding category. Finally, Pakistani-American photographer Adrees Latif wons the Storyboard category with “Blanketed in Fire Retardant,” a sequence of apocalyptic images depicting the city of Talent, Oregon, completely covered in red flame retardant dropped by aerial firefighting efforts in hopes of saving the town from the fire. The disaster resulted in three fatalities, caused 3,000 residents to be displaced, and destroyed nearly 3,000 structures over a 9-mile area.

Visit the gallery of all 2021 winners

Siena Awards 2021 will animate Siena and its surroundings with a rich program of exhibitions, workshops, photo tours, seminars, lectures, projections and guided tours designed to help visitors truly discover the area. This year’s special guest, traveling to Italy for his first time, is American photojournalist Steve Winter with Big Cats, an excellent retrospective of the famous National Geographic photographer’s work. The visual arts festival will also give space to the works of many other great international photographers:  the solo exhibition of Brent Stirton, an icon of photojournalism, set up in Sovicille, in addition to the collective exhibitions set up in Siena dedicated to two important international photographic awards: the exhibition Imagine all the People Sharing all the World with the most beautiful images of the "Siena International Photo Awards” and the exhibition I Wonder if You Can dedicated to artistic and creative photography showcasing the images awarded at the “Creative Photo Awards.”

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