The world looks even better from above, and these extraordinary shots prove why. Who needs wings when we have a wealth of drone-wielding photographers on hand to give us a bird’s-eye-view of some of the world’s most spectacular spots? From the powdery shores of Kauai to remote mountain ranges in China, follow us to dizzying heights as we present the best examples of beautiful aerial photography. Let us know in the comments which shot is your favourite.
Tree roots? Weathered bark? Were it not for the pristine sands and azure ocean lapping at the shores, you’d be forgiven for wondering exactly what this Kauai cliff face was. The earth’s undulations look almost otherworldly in this shot by Aussie photography duo, Salty Wings.
Can you find a spot to throw down your beach towel on this full-to-burst Copacabana Beach? It’s shot by Gray Malin; the man who made the aerial photography craze go stratospheric. No drones for him, mind, Malin shoots everything via helicopter.
Snapped by Chinese photographer, Hym, this is the Kamlung Mountain Range in Gansu, Northwest China. You can get a feel for their immense scale from the miniscule river snaking along the foothills of the mountains.
A logic-defying, teeny-tiny stretch of road connects Norway’s rugged Lofoten islands in this wonderful shot from Lonely Planet photographer, Stian Klo. The tranquil turquoise waters offset the unforgiving, snow-capped peaks.
Only from such dizzying heights can you fully appreciate the wonder of Germany’s Hohenzollern Castle; the winding roads, the spiky turrets, the carpet of trees that surround it. What a shot from Danish photographer, Ruben van Vreckem.
From above, Chile’s Valparaíso Port transforms from a bustling maritime hub to a graphic piece of digital art thanks to row upon row of colourful shipping containers.
Down Under from above, courtesy of Australian snapper, Joshua J Smith. This image captures the parched Anna Creek at Oodnadatta in the Australian outback.
Random Legos dropped from above or Peter Cooper Village in New York? This puzzling image of Manhattan apartment blocks looks wonderfully surreal. Shot by photographer Dirk Dallas, founder of the @fromwhereidrone Instagram account.
Vertigo sufferers, look away now. This dizzying shot of Hong Kong by LA-based Dan Marker-Moore taken with a fish eye lens gives a crazy perspective to the vibrant city. The height of the skyscrapers is incredible.
Captured by drone-aficionado Laidea, Santa Monica Pier from above resembles the insides of a complex mechanism, cogs, gears and all. The dusky pink tones make it look especially pretty.
Main image © Stian Klo. All others © photographers own/Instagram.