National Geographic's Best Drone Photos of 2017

As drones have become better at capturing pristine, high-quality footage, more photographers have started using this aerial tool for art.

Alexey Goncharov / National Geographic

Drones are an incredible tool for all sorts of situations. Just last month, we reported on firefighters in London using a drone to monitor the damage after the Grenfell Tower inferno. Or what about that guy who used a drone help him surf? Of course, drones are also being used to create a whole new eSport in drone racing, as we've seen with the Drone Racing League and or with the Aerial Sports League. One of the coolest things about drones, though, is their ability to take photos from places recreational photographers could never reach before. 

According to Quartz, Paris-based Dronestagram and National Geographic's editors have curated some the year's best photographs taken by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their operators. Let's take a look at these beauties, shall we? Make sure to read the quotes by each photo's respective photographer, to get some context as to the process that took place before the UAV snapped these winning images.

Some of these shots are absolutely fascinating, and completely in line with the standards that National Geographic has set with its "best of the year" selections. It would be difficult to choose a winner here, but if you're curious as to what we here at The Drive Aerial think is the most visually interesting, just think about which photograph we chose as a header for the article. That's not to say the others aren't gorgeous. All photographers involved should be immensely proud of themselves for not only capturing these incredible photos, but for getting the attention of National Geographic and its editors. 

Head on over to Dronestagram for more photographs taken by unmanned aerial vehicles, and stay tuned for any further snapshots that National Geographic may be promoting in this second half of 2017. Surely, somebody out there can make it onto one of these lists. Could that be you? Get out there and capture something beautiful—maybe next time it could be you and your work that we get to write about.