2017 Aerial Photography Year in Review:Fantastic Aerial Shots and the Trends

With the proliferation of affordable and powerful camera drones, aerial photography and videography are becoming much more popular and accessible. People are discovering just how amazing it is to explore the world from the skies and share what they see with the world online.

SkyPixel, an aerial photo and video sharing platform created by world-leading drone manufacturer DJI, allows anyone to view and share fantastic aerial shots anywhere in the world. To better understand their user base and where aerial photography and videography are headed, SkyPixel collected data about where their users are from and what they post for the year of 2017. Here’s what they found!

Based on the SkyPixel aerial photography and videography data, the 2017 SkyPixel Year in Review reveals the direction that our community is headed and the vision that our explorers share.

1. Top Shooting Location:China

Boasting splendid and diverse scenery, China has become the first choice for aerial explorers, followed by the picturesque landscapes of the United States, Australia, Italy, and Germany.

Love to Fly        Photographer: Yang Yichen         Location: China

North Curl      Photographer: Andy leclerc      Location: New Port, Rhode Island, USA

Refreshing Places to Float        Photographer: Airloft        Location: Australia

Val di Funes         Photographer: Vadim Sherbakov        Location: Italy

Neuschwanstein Castle       Photographer: Jonas Hoffmann       Location: Germany

2. Aerial Camera of Choice: Mavic Pro

When it comes to capturing the world from above, the DJI Mavic Pro ruled the sky in 2017.

When DJI introduced this foldable, powerful 4K drone, it opened a new perspective for travelers to see the world, achieving image quality as good as any DSLR camera.

Iran To Go       Photographer: Gan Die       Location: Iran

Drone: Mavic Pro

3. Favorite Subject: Sunrise & Sunset

One-third of SkyPixel users couldn’t get enough of the sun at dawn and dusk. Other common subjects included beaches, mountains, forests, and other natural landscapes.

Sunrise Over the Chapel of Tsarevets      Photographer: George Visio

Drone: Mavic Pro

Waves Like a Skirt      Photographer: Bobo

Drone: Mavic Pro

Winter Arrival       Photographer: Karolis Janulis

Drone: Phantom 4

4. Favorite Shooting Mode: Panorama

It seemed that panoramas have been attracting your interest more every day.

The combination of VR technology and drones has offered an amazing FPV experience. Many have uploaded their unique panoramas from all over the world to SkyPixel, giving the community an immersive experience from anywhere.

Panorama of Reunion Hotel      Reine in Lofoten      Photographer: Liang Xinjian

Location: Norway      Drone: Phantom 4 Pro

Panorama of Canton Tower   Photographer: 1012 Chen Jinwen 

Location: Guangzhou, China      Drone: Phantom 4 Pro

5. The Ideal Season: Summer

With SkyPixel being most active in June and July, summer gave SkyPixel more unique pictures and videos than any other time of the year. Users used the season to take trips to unusual destinations. We saw active volcanoes spewing lava in Vanuatu’s Tanna Island and followed dolphins gliding up and down the warm waters of Hawaii.

Flare from the Geocenter     Photographer: Liu Xiaoxiao      Location: Vanuatu

Drone: Inspire 1 RAW

Silk       Photographer: Anders Carlson       Location: Hawaii, USA

Drone: Phantom 4 Pro

6. Exciting Sport to Capture from Above: Hiking

Action takes on a new meaning from an aerial perspective, so it was no surprise that outdoor sports were the champion activity for 2017. Hiking took the top spot, followed by mountain biking, rock climbing, and surfing. Another activity worth noting, Parkour attracted a wider audience with bold, creative content.

Shadow Biking       Photographer: izimi1975

Drone: Mavic Pro

Climber       Photographer: Li Hang

Drone: Mavic Pro

Maria’s Charm       Photographer: Tommy Del Valle

Drone: Phantom 4

7. Most Popular Contest: SkyPixel Photo Contest

The 2017 SkyPixel Photography Contest is an annual feast for explorers, so it was no surprise that it took top honors.

Aerial photographers from 141 countries participated this year, resulting in over 40 thousand submissions!

2018 Predictions: Trends to Follow, Sights to Capture

Thinking of a new destination to pack your drone? Try Sweden, Mexico, and Indonesia sooner than later. These places are attracting more and more aerial explorers by the day.

What kind of footage might we see more of? Ever since it burst onto the scene with Spark, QuickShots have made it incredibly easy to achieve cinematic shots from above.

Last but not least, which topics are going to be in full focus in the new year? It seems that drones are transforming perspectives in more ways than one, with social issues raising awareness through an aerial lens. Be on the lookout for wildlife conservation, conflicts between man and nature, and humanitarian work to tell their stories with the help of a drone.

SkyPixel would be nothing without the users who’ve shared their images and told their stories from above. We appreciate your support, and we wish you a joyful and creative 2018!

Rippled Clouds       ​​​​Photographer: Nate Summer-Cook       Location: Sweden

Guanajuato       Photographer: Zhi Lezhe       Location: Mexico

Bird’s Eye of the Wakatobi Dive Resort     Photographer: Nadia Aly     Location: Indonesia

Strange Dream       Photographer: veftenie       Drone: Spark

Polar Bear Hunting       Photographer: Florian Ledoux

Drone: Phantom 4 Pro

Artificial Nature       Photographer: In Higher Sky

Drone: Phantom 4 Pro

Throughout 2017, over 7 million users shared beautiful moments on SkyPixel, enabling everyone in the community to see the different sceneries and seasons of the world.

Join SkyPixel today and rediscover the world from a new perspective!