Technology

The most stunning drone pictures of 2014

Earlier this year we brought you news of a new competition, backed by National Geographic, looking for the most impressive drone photography.

It was arranged in conjunction with Dronestagram - a website for drone photographers to share and discuss their favourite work.

The winner was of a beautiful eagle, soaring majestically above a national park in Indonesia.

As 2014 draws to a close, we invited the Dronestagram team to bring us up to date with the very best pictures taken over the past 12 months.

This is their selection.

Image copyright Marama Photo
Image caption Coral Garden in Tahaa's Lagoon, French Polynesia
Image copyright iflywithmylittleeye
Image caption Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia
Image copyright Davidkvision
Image caption Fatehpur Sikri, India

"The drone photography depicts a new vision of the world," says Eric Dupin, who runs Dronestagram.

"Stunning images taken from low altitude, near field - it is so different from images taken by satellite or plane or helicopter, or, on the other end, street view images.

"It is a new photographic language and a new way of discovering things and landscapes that we know, or that we thought we knew.

"No other device is able to take such pictures."

Image copyright Davidkvision
Image caption Baltoro Glacier, Karakorum, Pakistan
Image copyright Rizikianos
Image caption Kids playing in a football league in Athens, Greece, get ready for a game.

"All the pictures have their own characteristics that make them beautiful and amazing," Mr Dupin says of the collection.

"I like very much the photo with the kids playing soccer in Athens.

"It's a dronie - selfie by drone - and a new way to look at people just a few metres above."

Image copyright Kolibik-foto
Image caption Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
Image copyright Kolibik-foto
Image caption Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Image copyright donpablo
Image caption Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Next year will be crunch time for those who enjoy sending cameras up into the sky.

As the devices have become cheaper and more popular - so too have the worries about having lots of tiny machines flying around. Privacy and safety concerns are coming to a head - and many regulators around the world will start setting out stricter rules.

It could change the community, Mr Dupin says.

"I think pictures like these will continue to be taken, but maybe only by professionals and not by drone hobbyists anymore."

Image copyright Kolibik-foto
Image caption Niagara Falls, Canada
Image copyright verticalvisions
Image caption Sunset on the vineyard, Santa Ynez, California
Image copyright MO
Image caption Group of vendors from Iquitos, Peru

Mr Dupin adds: "We are very involved in showing the positive side of drones and especially drone photography and we are confident in the fact that authorities will let people express themselves with stunning pictures as long as they respect local regulations."

For now, amateur drone enthusiasts are relatively free to experiment with drones - and this selection shows off just some of their work.

Image copyright Cleferson
Image caption Praia da Bacutia em Guarapari, Espirito Santo, Brazil