The stunning images in new book Masters of Drone Photography by Ammonite Press
It’s definitely a very accurate book title.
Masters Of Drone Photography features shots taken by 16 professionals who truly have mastered their art.
Open the pages and you’ll be hit by stunning image after stunning image taken over an intriguing array of environments – from snow-covered fields to misty jungles and from higgledy-piggledy coastal villages to Arctic seas.
There are leaping polar bears, whales spouting rainbows and basketball players captured in full flow.
Some of the photographers waited literally months for the perfect moment to send their drones up.
Scroll down – and behold the masterclass.
Jerome Courtial journeyed through the jungle in Sri Lanka and got up early to capture this breathtaking image of an ancient palace at first light. He said it was hard to find a spot to fly his drone, as the jungle was so thick that it covered the road completely. He said it was also rather stressful flying the drone, because a group of inquisitive monkeys joined him. He said of the above image: ‘I was blessed to get a beautiful soft light, and the small cloud on the left makes it a pleasing composition’
Hawaii-based Stacy Garlington said of this serendipitous shot of a whale and its calf: ‘It was honestly quite accidental. I did not see the rainbow while I was flying the drone, only when I looked at the image on the computer afterwards. I did very little post-processing. I add a vignette to all my photos, but here I increased the clarity on the back of the whale that’s above the surface of the water, along the dorsal fin’
This image by Bachir Moukarzel won first prize in the ‘urban’ category of the Dronestagram International Drone Photography Contest of 2017. The photograph features Dubai Marina, which has been named as the ‘tallest block in the world’ as it is home to six of the ten tallest residential buildings in the world. Bachir said it took him months to capture this image as he had to wait for the clouds to clear. He said: ‘For me, the image symbolizes the evolution of Dubai, from a desert to a concrete jungle’
Jerome Courtial said he spent three ‘glorious days’ in Cinque Terre, Italy, but the weather hadn’t been kind. It was only on his last evening there, while visiting Vernazza, that the sun broke through for a few minutes. Jerome said he climbed all the way to the top of a hill and had just enough time to capture the village ‘bathing in the soft sunset light’
Francesco Cattuto took this photo of Assisi in Umbria on Christmas Day and it went on to win Dronestagram’s 2016 International Drone Photography Contest. He said when he arrived at the base of the city, ‘the fog was thick and wet’, but he decided to take a test flight anyway. He continued: ‘As the drone rose above the clouds, I could see on my iPad that the scene was absolutely amazing; the clouds surrounded the city perfectly, making it appear celestial and suspended’
Karim Iliya used a drone to take this photograph of an Indonesian fisherman drifting above the sea grass in his small canoe while checking his fishing lines. The photographer says he’s found that ‘people at work or adults playing sport pay little attention to the drone and go about their business’
Photographer David Hopley took this striking shot of a lone tree in a field near his home on a chilly afternoon. He said the cold temperatures caused his tablet to die and he lost the data link with the drone. Fortunately, he still had control of the craft via the controller, and managed to return it safely
Karim Iliya’s photograph from a drone shows sunseekers relaxing on the beaches of Barcelona. He says: ‘As you get closer to the water, the real estate is better and the density of people increases, making it increasingly difficult to find a place to sit. The beach is an interesting place, as there are plenty of colors and people are lying down’
Tugo Cheng took this shot in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, showing some people in the swimming pool and others enjoying the natural harbour. He says while many people enjoy the man-made pools, ‘some people – especially the elderly – find more freedom and pleasure’ swimming in the waters that are free of charge
Photographer Amos Chapple said of this golden shot he took in Saint Petersburg, Russia: ‘I had attempted this picture six times, but had always been foiled by clouds. The Hermitage Pavilion is a long way from the center of Saint Petersburg, so it was getting increasingly hard to commit to a 90-minute commute in the hope that I’d get a clear autumn sunrise. That morning, I remember sitting in an old bus surrounded by migrant workers, all sleeping off their night shifts, while I was chewing my nails and watching this perfect purple dawn getting brighter, hoping I wouldn’t be too late. I jumped off the bus and ran the final kilometer. It was a lesson I’ve always tried to remember on those mornings when the weather isn’t looking great: if you go, you probably won’t get the photo, but if you don’t go, you definitely won’t get the photo’
Florian Ledoux came across a polar bear crossing the melting ice while flying his drone during the summer. Commenting on the Arctic animal, he said: ‘I will always remember my first polar bear encounter. I cried during the three hours we stayed close to them! It is such an incredible animal, a combination of power and control. They walk with majesty and stand with wisdom’
Tobias Hägg took this shot at sunrise, positioning his drone over the small village of Reine in the Lofoten archipelago in northern Norway. He says during winter in the Arctic you ‘have the golden hour all day, which means you get a better chance of capturing the perfect light and rich colors on the mountains’. The photographer adds that Lofoten is famous for its clear blue waters, which ‘make it look almost as if you are in the Caribbean’
Kaya Murphy took this aerial shot in Iceland, which is home to more than 100 active and dormant volcanoes. She says some of the beaches appear to have black sand, with lava gradually ground up into fine gravel. She decided to capture this fascinating landscaping, and just as she did, a seabird flew in front of the camera
JP and Mike Andrews say that they love to find and photograph interesting and unusual shapes that have been created by familiar objects. This image shows one of the many marinas across the UK that are full of colourful canal boats. The photographers titled the image Shuffle, relating to how tricky it must be to navigate the boats in such tight spaces
Photographer Tugo Cheng says of this shot, which is titled Men Are From Mars: ‘China is never short of stunning natural landscapes, especially in the western regions such as Sichuan, Tibet, and Xinjiang. This image captures the otherworldly black stone forest landscape in Sichuan, with its dramatic terrain and Mars-like topography soaring over a piece of flatland. The unique land form was formed by thousands of years of geographic movements and weathering’
Photographer Petra Leary took this shot at a basketball court in Auckland, New Zealand. She said: ‘This court (designed by Parklife NZ) is my favorite of all the basketball courts in Auckland, so I was super-stoked to be shooting here. The court was still quite wet when we arrived, which really made the colors and markings pop, but I used a Polar Pro CP filter to enhance them further’
The images in this story were published with kind permission from Masters of Drone Photography published by Ammonite Press, which is available online and from all good bookshops for £25