Kara Murphy Dec 18, 2018

The 10 most inspiring drone images of 2018

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The 10 most inspiring drone images of 2018

Thanks to camera drones, it's easier than ever to capture stunning photos from an aerial perspective. Whether through careful planning, or clever editing to create interesting art, drones can be used to push the boundaries of creativity. Here, we present the 10 drone images that inspired us most this year.

Above: Reuben Wu

This image is part of musician and artist Reuben Wu's Lux Noctis series. Taken in the Vermillion Cliffs of Arizona at night, Wu used a drone with a powerful DIY LED light attached to it to achieve a halo effect above the peaks.

He set up a digital medium format camera positioned high up from across the pinnacles. A single drone was used so he could operate the camera and flight simultaneously.

Fabien Barrau

French photo editor and photographer, Fabien Barrau, mixes photos taken with his DJI Mavic Pro and stock images to create landscapes that oscillate between reality and fantasy.

Inspired by the phenomenon of pareidolia, he creates animal faces within the elements of the landscape. Barrau spent more than 60 hours in Photoshop to realize this image of the night owl.

Martin Sanchez

What's most remarkable about this image of a group of hippos, taken in Tanzania with a Mavic 2 Pro, is that a drone is the only possible tool that can capture these animals in such close proximity, from above, without disturbing their natural habitat.

Mole Media

Danny, an Australian-based remote pilot from Mole Media, was inspired by legendary photographer Demas Rusli who created a similar image.

He used a Mavic Pro for his take on a classic, found an intersection in Penrose State Forest, shot in RAW, and used Photoshop to individually recreate the seasons and add different layers of objects and clouds. The result, a 4 seasons in 1 day illusion.

Reed Plummer

Reed Plummer happened to capture this school of salmon in perfect circular formation, no post-processing needed. The image was captured on the coast line of Wamberal Beach in New South Wales.

Marc Le Cornu

Marc Le Cornu used a DJI Phantom 4 Pro with an ISO of 100 at 1/1000 shutter speed and f/8 aperture. He wanted to catch his local ferry in full flight for ages, so after some careful timetable planning, he flew from a rocky point close to the shipping lane and managed to race out to get in position as the ferry approached.

There was only one chance to capture the perfect top down due to the speed of the ship. When he initially edited the shot in Lightroom, he thought it resembled a starship. That sparked the idea of creating the illusion of a rocket blasting into space. The final image was created in Photoshop, adding a few stars and lens flare.

Henry Do

Using a Mavic Pro Platinum, Henry Do shot a series of images using Automatic Exposure Bracketing. This process of capturing these shots starts with a horizontal scene at a straight angle, followed by repeatedly turning the lens down slightly and shooting, repeating the process until the camera is pointing down at 90 degrees.

Do uses a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop to merge these images into a portrait, splits individual images, such as day and night in this view of Barcelona, and merges them again to create this effect.

Micah Fitch

Micah Fitch perfectly captured this image of a recent Space X launch with an Inspire 2, Zenmuse X5S, and the 25mm f/1.8 Olympus lens (50mm equivalent on the X5S's M43 sensor). He took 3 shots as quickly as possible in the 4:3 aspect ratio and stacked them vertically, overlapping about 30% from shot to shot.

The goal was to also frame the Huntington Beach Pier in the foreground to add a sense of scale. Micah combined 3 RAW files using Lightroom's panorama mode, matching the exposures up. The overall intention for this image was to edit it so it would mirror what he saw with his own eyes.

Costas Spathis

Costas Spathis created this image with a Mavic Pro. The settings he used were ISO 100, shutter 320, and a f/4 aperture. The original capture was a simple line of ships located in a calm Marina in Greece.

To create this particular illusion, Spathis used a tool called Polar Coordinates in Photoshop. Much of his work is inspired by the sea and his love of symmetry.

Kristina Makeeva

Moscow-based photographer Kristina Makeeva creates magic with her images, many where she relies heavily on Photoshop to produce surreal effects.

What makes this image particularly remarkable, besides the fact that she placed one person with a yellow raincoat in the center of a fall-color-lined street for a striking, unique composition is that she used Automatic settings on her Phantom 4 with minimal editing. This image was taken in Ontario, near Toronto, Canada.

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