A photo contest of aerial snapshots yielded stunning results

Emerald Pellot

There’s just something surreal about a snapshot from above. 

Free photography app Agora held an #Aerial2020 contest to capture the world from a different view. Photographers were asked to submit photos taken with drones or shot from above and Agora chose 50 of the most beautiful images of cityscapes, oceans and various terrains as finalists. But only one winner snagged the $1,000 prize. 

Dutch photographer Ewold Kooistra claimed the victory with a photograph entitled “A magic morning in the Netherlands.” The aerial photo shows a group of farmhouses nestled beneath a fog. Then off in the distance, a set of windmills trail behind.

To get the winning shot, Kooistra woke up at 4 a.m. to get to the scene on time. He had to wait about an hour so that the fog could envelop the windmills just right. 

“I had only 50 percent battery left on my drone and took off to find a unique angle to capture this place,” Kooistra told Agora. “When I looked on my phone to see the drone view, it was like a dream!”

Some of the other finalists include Michelle Wandering’s “Bangkok market from above.” The photo shows a grid of colorful tent booths in the market. Wandering took the photo by climbing to the top of a parking garage. 

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Bangkok’s night markets from above

A post shared by MICHÈLLE | TRAVELLER (@michelle.wandering) on Feb 19, 2020 at 4:11am PST

“A lesson to learn from this photo: if you’re in a place to do some photography, don’t just stay at the location itself,” Wandering told Agora. “Do some research beforehand and look around the area to find unique points of view.”

Abdullrahman Bin Madi’s piece “Exploration trip,” showcases a desert in Al Ain, a city in the United Arab Emirates. The image shows Madi’s truck in the distance as dozens of sand dunes swirl around it. 

“My brother and I went on an exploration trip to an unknown desert that we had found on Google Maps,” Madi told Agora. “It was a huge, empty hidden gem; a great place to relax, out of the reach of tourists.”

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