Cyprus Mail

Cypriot drone photo wins top global prize from 5,000 entries

By Andria Kades

Australian Cypriot Marios Demetriou drone photograph of a ‘Where’s Wally’ group during the Limassol carnival this year has been awarded first place in Dronestagram’s annual competition, which was judged by National Geographic senior staffers.

Dronestagram is an app devoted to drone photography.

The contest was judged by National Geographic Deputy Director of Photography Ken Geiger, National Geographic France Editor in Chief Jean-Pierre Vrignaud, and Dronestagram CEO and founder Eric Dupin. They looked through over 5,000 entries, watching for “creativity, photographic quality and respect of the theme.”

“Drone images can be made where no other image can,” says Geiger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer. He adds that drones are opening photography to the masses in the same way digital technology did.

“Drone photography is a new kind of visual language,” Dupin says. “It’s a new way of seeing the world.”

The competition’s categories include nature, places, and “dronies,” selfies from an aerial view. “It’s like the ultimate selfie-stick,” Geiger says.

This year’s “dronie” winner featured the gathering in Cyprus where dozens of red-and-white striped Wallies reached up to the hovering drone above them.

Although this was Demetriou’s first and only participation in this kind of competition – he himself has a background in aircraft engineering and actually built the drone that took the winning photograph – his stood out from the other 5,000  that were judged.

“I was completely surprised,” Demetriou told the Cyprus Mail on Thursday. Although he regularly posts pictures on Dronestagram this was the first time he participated in a competition. He is partnered with sports photographer Dimitris Limnatitis in Flyovermedia that specialises in aerial photography and videography.

Asked why he thinks he won, he said: “I think it was unique in that everyone was dressed as Where’s Wally and that’s popular in itself. The way it’s arranged as well, in a circular manner, they were jumping up and down – I assume that’s why they picked it. I’m surprised myself.”

Although there were stunning pictures not only in the ‘dronies’ category which are described as ‘selfies from an aerial view’ but other categories such as nature and places, felt the originality of his picture may have made him stand out.

Judges were looking for “creativity, photographic quality and respect of the theme,” according to their statement. Demetriou wins €150 offered by Picanova on a print on canvas, aluminum or Plexiglas, one Hexo+ drone and a day to meet the team.

The photograph has featured across international media including the Daily Mail, Washington Post and National Geographic:

More photos from Flyovermedia

Limassol Marina
Limassol Marina
Skouriotissa mine
Skouriotissa mine

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