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Drone Photo Awards 2021 winners

Perth-based photographer, Phil De Glanville, is among the category winners of the 2021 Drone Photo Awards, hosted by the Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA).

Gold at the end of the Rainbow. Photo: Phil De Glanville

Phil won the Sports category for his aerial surf photo, Gold at the End of the Rainbow, showing WA surfer, Ollie Henry, shooting through a giant South West wave.

A photographer at heart, Phil began his career as a graphic designer for a small marketing agency. While doing mostly basic colour correction image edits, he told online travel photography magazine, Nomadict, this laid the foundation to develop his skills and a unique style.

‘I like to play with the lights and darks to create a nice mood and contrast,’ he said. ‘I often incorporate a bit of a fade/gradient to help lead the eye & simplify things. I generally try to keep my images somewhat minimal so there is a clear focus on the main subject. Then pop the ocean blues as my signature colour…’

Drone aerial photography was a major factor in launching his photography career. Since purchasing his first drone in 2017, Phil has amassed a massive 71K+ Instagram following.

The overall winner of the Drone Photo Awards is Norwegian photographer, Terje Kolaas, whose image, Pink-Footed Geese Meeting the Winter, shows geese flying from central Norway towards Svalbard in the Arctic. Terje notes the geese early departure is likely linked to climate change.

Drone Photo of the Year. Photo: Terje Kolaas.

The image was selected from ‘tens of thousands’ of submission by photographers from 102 countries.

There are eight other category winners, with the award-winning images featuring in an exhibition – Above Us Only Skyin Siena, Italy this November. Last year Australian drone photographer, Jim Picôt, won the top award. Here are the other category winning images.

Back to Adventure, Wildlife category winning image. ‘Green turtle heading back to water after laying down eggs in her peaceful nest at Oman coastline between Ras Al Jinz and Rashad turtle reserve.’ Photo: Qasim Al Farsi
Fishing in Mangrove Forest, People category winning image. ‘A fisherman starts his fishing day in the mangrove forest in the lagoon of Tam Giang in the Hue province. Mangroves lose all their leaves and turn white during the winter season’. Photo: Trung Pham Huy.
Extragalactic, Nature category winning image. ‘The intense and glorious moments during an erupting volcano with an exclusive view from the inside. Captured in Iceland’. Photo: Martin Sanchez.
Metaphorical Statement About City and Winter. Urban category winning image. Photo: Sergei Poletaev.
Poisoned River, Abstract category winning image. ‘This is a detailed photograph of one of the small rivers filled with poison. “Poisoned Beauty” is a personal project that tells the story of the natural disaster in the “Apuseni Mountains”, but in a beautifully abstract way.’ Photo: Gheorghe Popa.
Verso l’Infinito Insieme a Te, Wedding category winning image. ‘I spotted those clouds on the horizon and I decided to place the couple towards their infinity full of love’. Photo: Matteo Originale.

Click here to for more.

Photo contest criteria

Organising group: Siena Awards
Status/Objective: A for-profit contest with cheap entry to celebrate international drone photography.
Entry fee: First entry is free! Three images (including the free one) €20; and €10 each afterward.
Prizes: Top prize is €500 worth of photography equipment; category winners receive a crystal trophy.
Sponsors: No sponsors.
Judges: Seven photographers from around the world.
Number of entrants/submissions: ‘Tens of thousands’ of submissions.
Categories: Eight categories relating to drone aerial photography.
Exposure: Winning images show in an exhibition in Italy, and an online gallery with plenty of mainstream and specialist media exposure.
Transparency: It’s quite transparent.
Communication: Contact details are readily available.
Estimated Gross Revenue: Hard to estimate or calculate this one given the first entry is free.
Copyright standards: ‘All photographers retain full copyrights for their own work. Winners and Finalists grant Drone Photo Awards limited and restricted use of winning photos only to promote the photographers themselves and in connection with marketing the Drone Photo Awards competition itself. Details can be found in the Competition rules. ‘
Overall rating: The Siena Awards have successfully established this as the leading international drone aerial photo contest. While the value of the grand prize isn’t extraordinary, the media attention is quite impressive. Plus, one free entry is pretty cool!

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