It's the twenty-first century, and drones are making big waves in the world of photography. Able to capture images from breath-taking angles, drones allow us to see our beautiful planet from a new perspective. Curious about the most awe-inspiring shots these drones have captured? You won't believe some of the incredible sights and perspectives that drones can show you, like the following home with a view. . .
Home with a View
Talk about living off the grid. There's no way you could stop by the neighbor's house to ask for a cup of sugar, and I'm sure a trip to the grocery store probably takes an entire day. These breathtaking views caught by the lens of a drone are absolutely unbeatable; it would be hard for man alone to capture the remoteness of this little red house against the backdrop of mighty mountains.
But this isn't the only drone photo that captures the feeling of just how tiny humankind is next to nature. . .
The crazy thing about humanity is how quickly it comes and goes, leaving behind entire structures and tools that were once utilized everyday (like those silos pictured). This photo demonstrates the fleeting nature of humanity and how quickly Mother Earth takes back her territory, like this barn overgrown with shrubs and foliage.
However, small towns aren't the only places that fall victim to desertion. The following drone-captured image is completely haunting. . .
In the midst of a civil war, it's probably best that this photographer captured this photo with a drone as opposed to exploring the ruins of the city for a shot. More than half a million people have lost their lives as a result of the Syrian Civil War. A picture is worth a thousand words; this single image is just one of many that shows some of the devastation that war can bring.
Of course, this isn't the only haunting shot that drones have taken. . .
Aerial Views of Hong Kong (and the Pollution)
We're unsure if this beautiful cityscape of Hong Kong in China is littered by fog or smog. As a coastal city, it's possible that Hong Kong could receive some side effects from being located near the Pearl River Delta. There's also a serious air pollution problem, causing citizens to develop a variety of respiratory illnesses. Only a drone could truly capture the haunting effects of smog that lingers at the tops of skyscrapers.
But if you think the smog looks rough here, wait until you see this next shot. . .
Smog in Malaysia
Not unlike Hong Kong, Malaysia is experiencing a serious air pollution problem. In June 2019, 400 schools closed when more than 100 schoolchildren became ill from smog. CNN reported that this uptick in air pollution probably results from the illegal dumping of toxic waste. Once again, it would be hard for a human on the ground to capture the sheer enormity of this smog cover like a drone in the sky could.
Turn you brights on; you'll need it to navigate through this next site. . .
An Eerily Foggy Bridge
It's not uncommon for cities near water to experience wildly thick fog like this in the morning. For local commuters, these sights are part of the norm. But for those of us who don't live there, drone-captured images like these seem almost surreal, like the bridge is leading somewhere unknown.
So, just what does this bridge look like when it's not foggy?. . .
The Golden Gate Bridge
This angle might make those afraid of heights a little uneasy; there's no denying that this shot is eye-catching. The beauty of this national icon from such an altitude is absolutely breathtaking, and a sight you can't catch from the normal touristy spots.
Buckle up for our next slide. . .
An Iconic Intersection
Talk about perfect timing. This shot captures a commercial truck as it crosses the "X" of an intersection on a city street. This is a real once-in-a-lifetime shot that wouldn't have been possible without the aid of drones.
While this photo is fairly pretty, drones can also capture the uglier side of traffic, like our next slide shows. . .
Drones aren't just good for taking aesthetically pleasing photos of the mountains, beaches, or city — they're also great for reporting on the news. This poor tractor, trailer, and a devastated silver sedan find themselves in some trouble here.
Think land-based traffic is bad? This next image shows that you're not even safe from it on the water. . .
An Indonesian Boat Dock
And we all thought traffic in Los Angeles was bad. This drone captures the beautiful, vibrantly colored boats crammed in an Indonesian port. The city housing this port, Jakarta, finds itself rapidly sinking every year thanks to rising sea levels.
This drone took notice of these vibrantly colored boats minding their own business and captured this shot. But this image also reveals something murky below the surface.
While this dark spot looks out of place, it has nothing on this next photo. . .
An Abandoned Plane
Planes in the water? Not exactly where they belong. These crystal clear waters obstruct none of this plane, making for one unsettling image.
Think underwater planes are out of place? What about a ship on the edge of a cliff?. . .
Cruise on a Cliff?
Typically boats are supposed to go in the water, but this ship captain probably missed the memo. This beautiful beached boat is actually a hotel in South Korea, and it's rumored to enjoy the best sunrise and sunset in the entire country. This ship looks absolutely gigantic perched on the edge of this cliff, but, compared to the size of the ocean, really isn't that big in the scheme of things.
If you're looking for an aerial shot that will make you feel tiny, keep reading. . .
Humanity: A Speck of Dust in the Universe
A drone's bird's-eye-view has a particular way of making humanity look incredibly small in their surroundings. This photo is no different. Here, our kayaker looks minuscule next to the surrounding rocks and trees. And, if you look closely in the water, our seafaring friend isn't so alone. A school of fish joins them on their journey to make for a truly impressive photo!
Think this image is breathtaking? Whale, just wait for our next few picks. . .
It's hard to fathom how large some sea life really is until you find a picture like this. Blue whales are the largest animals on Earth and can grow to be 100 feet long and weigh up to 200 tons! They can live to be 80 or 90 years old, but are unfortunately considered endangered due to whaling. Luckily, the population is on the rise, so there's some hope for these massive creatures!
If Picasso Were a Whale
There's very few photos that can truly capture how magical nature can be, but this one comes pretty close. This whale makes it rain from its blowhole, creating a beautiful rainbow.
Nature can make some beautiful art, but read on to see just how powerful really is. . .
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina brutalized the Gulf Coast, particularly New Orleans. This drone captured the devastation of the flooding of residential homes: it goes on as far as the eye can see. The occasional blue swimming pools poking out amongst the dirty sea water only makes this image look more surreal.
This storm raged on the coast, but the next slide makes it clear that landlocked regions aren't safe, either.
Tornadoes can be devastating, forming rapidly and often leaving people in their paths little to no time to take shelter. This shot captures the sheer devastation that these storms can cause. Notice one home at the bottom-left corner that remains almost completely intact while the neighboring houses are absolutely destroyed.
And, what happens when people lose their homes and have no where to go? Check out the next slide for the answer.
Devastation and Dumpster Diving
This devastating shot of a boy hanging out amidst trash and debris demonstrates a terrible reality for some countries: they are used as dumping grounds for the trash of other nations.
Luckily, there are hope for some. The next shot reveals the most iconic symbol of a brand new life for those that have a way out.
A Symbol of Freedom
There are very few things more iconic and 'Murican than the Statue of Liberty. As children, we all read about immigrants arriving from Europe on boats being so relieved to finally have arrived in the U.S. at the sight of this monument, but it's unfortunate that they never got to see it with a view and angle like this.
But this isn't the only iconic place with a new view that will take your breath away. . .
The Home of Toronto Blue Jays
This drone gifted us with a bird's eye view of the Toronto Blue Jays Stadium in Canada. This gorgeous photo illustrates the unison of the crowd as they gather to cheer on their favorite sports team, clad in blue to make sea of blue baseball fanatics. A drone's overhead view of athletics make the perfect picture to hang in your basement or man cave, and the astonishing photo in the next slide is no exception. . .
Athleticism and Architecture
When we're watching the FIFA World Cup on TV, we don't typically take into consideration the beautiful architecture and careful planning that goes into making these events happen. This drone brings the beauty and design of this stadium front and center.
While this high angle is great for the bigger picture of sports, it's also great for a personalized sporty selfie.
A Selfie from the Sky
Becoming an Internet influencer is hotter than ever, so everyone's photo-taking game has to step up to stand out from the crowd. This athlete took advantage of a drone's bird's-eye-view to take this breathtaking photo to show off her six pack and b-ball skills. Someone please #sponsor her!
Think this shot is extreme? Just wait. . .
A Panda in Public
We're wondering how this drone was lucky enough to capture this interesting photo of people gathered around a panda bear in public. While this sight would normally make many people stop and stare, most of the people shown here just move about their daily commute.
If the number of people in this crowd is making you nervous, the isolation in the next shot might make it even worse.
This high angle of a haunting lighthouse perched atop a treacherous cliff has an eerie sort of feel. It's unfortunate that it appears to have been boarded up and probably has been decommissioned, but a drone accurately captured its beauty for one final shot.
And speaking of cliffs...
Cliff Climbing for Your Cardio
A picture is worth a thousand words. This photographer definitely made the right decision to send a drone to the top for this aesthetic photo as opposed to making the journey to walk to the top. There's simply no other angle that could have take your breath away like this one. . .
But this mountainside photo isn't the only treacherous view to make your stomach stir (if you're afraid of heights). . .
Drones show crazy and unusual angles from above that give the sensation of falling without the danger. Definitely not a shot you could take from street-level.
The heights of the city are undeniably beautiful, but there's subtle beauty present in other parts of the city that we often overlook, as this next image shows. . .
Beauty and functionality. We often encounter photos of nature's beauty, but this drone captured a piece of the artistry present in functional architecture. This highway showcases intricate roads that combine to make one mesmerizing center with a knotted appearance.
Human design and architecture are subtly beautiful in more fun instances, too, like this carnival in the next slide. . .
A Candid Carnival
When carnival ride designers came up with ideas for these attractions, they probably didn’t even bother to take into consideration what rides looked like when you're looking straight down at them. Luckily, their designs worked in their favor, and now we can appreciate all of their hard work from above thanks to drone photography.
Did you notice that there's not a soul in sight at this carnival? Well, the next shot is even lonelier.
An Independent Elephant
It's unusual that an elephant would travel without a herd, which is why this photo of an elephant travelling independently is a rare sight. Potential explanations could be that this particular elephant is a male older than 13 years, as male elephants typically branch off alone or with packs of bachelors after their young adult years.
Talk about a lonely road to walk. . .
A Desert (And Deserted?) Road
This iconic selfie in the breathtaking view of this long road overtaken by sand still manages to capture the photographer and object of focus. We can only hope that she took this iconic selfie for fun and has friends with her, because it doesn't look like there's any sign of humanity for miles on this crazy desert road. . .
An aerial shot of this bright blue vehicle makes you wonder - are they headed to a birthday party, or just having a good time? Also, why aren’t they driving in the middle of the road? We might never know, but the contrast between the neutral colors of the road and parallel sand really make this car POP.
But as amazing as this photo is, it doesn't quite bring the heat like our next pick. . .
An Active Volcano
Could a human stand at the edge of this steamy, volcanic crater and manage to get a shot so reflective of nature's fiery insides? Probably not. Drone photography has opened many doors in science photography and making previously inaccessible places accessible. It's hard to imagine the amount of hot air coming from this crater, but it might be enough to keep the object of our next slide afloat.
Hot Air Balloons
Imagine being able to capture a beautiful, floating moment like this without actually subjecting yourself to getting in the basket of a real hot air balloon. Thank you, drone photography, for opening up these doors for people with fear of heights everywhere.
From the city to the mountains to the beach, there's almost nothing you can't photograph with a drone. These pictures are unforgettable, and now you've got some inspiration to start your very own sky-high photography adventures.