Cape Town photographer's creativity awarded in global drone competition

Cape Town - Drones have grown in popularity over the past two years and are being used quite prolifically across SA - albeit under heavy regulation.

However the talent and creativity is coming to the fore more than ever before thanks to the innovative little contraptions - as can be seen in the annual Dronestagram contest.

The competition, judged by an elite group of organizations such as National Geographic deputy director Patrick witty, photo editor Jeff Heimsath and Emanuel Ascoli who is the editor of National Geographic France and Dronestagram - it honours international winners and talent in the drone photography sphere - with entries considered from all over the world from both amateur and professional drone photographers. 

The Drone-gram Winners 

The 4th annual international drone photography contest was held this year and local photographer, Luke Maximo Bell has been chosen as a first prize winner in the category of creativity.

The international contest consists of four categories including nature, people and urban.

Bell is no stranger to the drone photography scene and is well-known locally for his photographic talent. A local Capetonian has taken the drone photography world by storm with this winning image that was taken as he is an avid adventurer, evident from his Instagram feed. 

The competition has been running since 2014 and this is the first time a South African 'dronographer' has been chosen as a winner. This year the category of creativity was special as it has not been used in the previous years and was awarded to applicants with talented creativity in their work, according to the organisers. 

Cape Town - Luke Maximo Bell

Category: Creativity  

1. Luke Maximo Bell - Two Moo

Entitled 'Cow Mornings' - a stunning imagery of the beauty of nature. More fantastic work from Luke Maximo Bell. 

In a previous interview with Traveller24, Bell  calls Cape Town  one of the most beautiful cities on Earth.

SEE: Drone photography 101: Cape Town expert shares his secrets

"I think what makes it so unique is the fact that it's surrounded by such beautiful mountains and oceans.  Most cities in the world if they even have a coast, won't be close to any sort of mountainous region," says Bell of the Mother City.

"Because Cape Town has both, it makes it a very special and beautiful place."

Where else would you like to film and why?

"My Top 2 favourite places to film in the future would be Hawaii and Iceland. 

The reason for Hawaii is because it has some of the world's best natural beauty and it seems like such an amazing place to explore and travel to. 

Iceland is my other choice because it's basically the polar opposite in terms of climate. It's natural beautiful is also incredible." 

How did you get into shooting with drones?

"I've always loved filmmaking and technology. I'm actually surprised I didn't start using drones sooner that I did. 

I got into it when I built my own one a few years back. I saw the drone content out there and wanted to do something better."

What equipment do you use?

"For my aerial video, I use the Phantom 3 Professional and for ground video I use the Sony a6300."

Here are the runners up in the Creativity category of the Dronestagram contest.

2. Rga - Ugo Le Marin


3. Macareuxprod - Next level 

Wanting to become a talented drone photographer? READ: Drone Photography 101: Cape Town expert shares his secrets

Category : Nature

These are the Dronestagram winners from the 'Nature' category.

1. Jerome Courtial - Provence Summer trim

2. Calin Stan - Infinite road to Transylvania

3. Florian - Ice Formation

Category: People

1. Martin Sanchez - End of the line 

Got a notification this morning to check the front page of letting me know that my weird drone art photo took 1st Place in the Peoples Category of the 2017 International Drone Photography contest. ?? Feeling excited, very thankful and surprised at the same time. Thousands of entries were submitted from everywhere in the world by talented professional photographers and amateur drone photo enthusiasts. The competition was judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts including National Geographic @natgeo Deputy Director Patrick Witty and Photo editor Jeff Heimsath as well as Emanuela Ascoli, Photo editor of National Geographic France and . . Thank you for all the great support this one goes out to all the great visual drone artist out there ?? and Congratulations to all the other winners as well as everyone that participated in the contest!!! . TITLE: END OF THE LINE . . @djiglobal @fromwhereidrone @instagood @natgeo @dronestagram @visualdroneart @insidertravel @hypecourts . . . #fatalframes #artofvisuals #way2ill #heatercentral #createcommune #fromwhereidrone #createexplore #visualsoflife #theIMAGED #natgeo #thecoolhunter #dronestagram #TLPicks #ig_color #CreateAndCapture #eclectic_shotz #fubiz #art #gramslayers #thecreatorclass #visualambassadors #instagood10k #visualgang #insidertravel #watchthisinstagood #dronesdaily #dronefolio #djimavicpro #djimavic #mavicpro

A post shared by Martin Sanchez (@zekedrone) on

2. Helios1412 - Waterlilly

3. Feelingmovie - La Vijanera 


Category 3: Urban

1. Bachirm - Concrete Jungle

2. Alexeygo - Dawn on Mercury Tower


3. Luckydron - Peace

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