However, most recreational drone operators use the devices to see the world from a different angle. The result is an array of fascinating photos, such as these. Some are striking because of their perspective. Others are interesting because of their location or simply because they exist. Here’s a look at some amazing, unforgettable photos taken from drones.
A photographer used a drone to capture this stunning photo while on a road trip through the Dolomites, a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps. The contrast between the pine forest and turquoise mountain lake is gorgeous.
This astonishing photo might make you think you are looking up at the sky from within a hole in the ground. However, this is a picture taken above “Cloud Gate,” a metal sculpture in Chicago that reflects the city’s skyline from every angle. The sculpture is known as the Bean for its shape from the ground — the view most people get of it.
If the arresting colors of this image don’t impress you, perhaps the size of this iceberg will. The photographer noted that she captured this photo with her drone while on a boat in the Arctic. The dark areas of the ice are underwater. The small objects near the bottom of the picture are boats.
In mountainous and hilly regions, agriculture is a challenge. One way that farmers have solved this problem is to create terraces on the slopes for rice paddies. This shot shows a terraced rice field from above.
If you have ever dreamed of your own private island, this shot will speak to your soul. A photographer captured this photo of an isolated getaway with a drone. The island is off the coast of Couples Tower Isle in Jamaica.
The original Luna Park was a Coney Island amusement park built in 1903 and destroyed by fire in the 1940s. In 2010, Central Amusement International rebuilt the park. This photo presents a bird’s eye view of the venue.
Landlocked Cruise Ship
This photo captured by a drone might look like a ship that was marooned following a flood. However, it is actually a hotel resort in South Korea. The Sun Cruise Resort is a cruise ship that never leaves the dock.
Have you ever wondered what the view would be like if you dove into clear blue water from atop a rocky cliff? Wonder no more. This drone photo captures a diver jumping from the rocks in Mazatlan, Mexico.
This photo of a lake of lava in a volcano was captured with a drone. The Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia is also known as Smoking Mountain, and it’s easy to see why. The lava lake has been active since at least the 1960s.
This could be a child’s racetrack buried in a sandbox. In fact, it is a highway covered by sand. The photo was taken in Dubai. Sandstorms aren’t unusual in the United Arab Emirates, but it does look like cleaning up is a major headache.
Herd Of Cows
A drone photographer captured this image of a herd of cows. The brown and white cattle look as though they are trying to get into a formation.
No treasure to be found, but this photo is still a jewel. The HMVS Cerberus was sunk as a breakwater at Black Rock in Australia, where it also became a popular attraction for scuba divers.
Drones are often used for scientific purposes, such as whale research. The results are captivating photos such as this. A mother whale swims with her baby near Sydney, Australia.
Let’s hope nobody needs to leave in a hurry. These boats in Jakarta, Indonesia, have been strategically moored, and for the photographer, the result is an artistic treasure.
Dubai Miracle Garden
No flights available here — this airplane is made of flowers. Part of Dubai’s Miracle Garden, the plane was created using more than 500,000 fresh flowers and living plants. The plant version of the A380 is full-size, but it weighs less than a fifth of the actual airplane.
Surfers And Waves
Surfers have a unique perspective on ocean waves since they’re up close with them. But this drone photo offers an opposite — but still fascinating — perspective on both the waves and the surfers. The deep blue and stark white off the coast of Bali are almost hypnotizing.
A Day At The Beach
Here’s your chance to play some beach blanket bingo. This image makes sun-and-fun look like artwork. Even the shadows of the palm trees are appealing.
The Bergstrasse is a scenic road in Germany known for the mountains, wine and castles along its route. It is known for its bends and loops, as well. This photo captures six tight switchbacks along the way.
This drone photo looks like a scene from Minecraft in real life. Actually, it is a form of coastal defense. The concrete blocks create a seawall in Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands.
Zip Line Launch
If a zip line is your idea of a good time, you will love this drone photo. It depicts the launching point of a zip line in the United Arab Emirates. The world’s longest zip line, the Jebel Jais Flight takes riders across the country’s largest mountain peak.
There is more to see in the Alps than just snow. This drone picture shows a beautiful church in Alta Badia. The village is in the Dolomites of northern Italy, and it’s popular with skiers.
A Magical Castle
This photo looks like a scene from a Disney movie, but it’s an image of a real castle in the Bavaria region of Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle did inspire Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom, though, and it’s one of the most visited castles in Germany.
Hot Air Balloons
Hot air balloons are always breathtaking. This photo lets you see one from a new perspective. A drone photographed this balloon floating with the sun on the horizon.
Plane In The Woods
Don’t worry — a drone did not photograph the remnants of a crash. This airplane is actually a house! The owner converted a 747 into a one-of-a-kind home in the woods near Portland, Oregon. Clever!
Lagoons Of Baltinache
This cerulean gem is hidden in the desert. It is a lagoon in a scenic spot in Chile. Known as the hidden lagoons of Baltinache or Seven Lagoons, they are located in the Atacama Desert.
These eye-catching cliffs are near the village of Dingli. Located near Malta’s western coast, the Dingli Cliffs are at the highest point of the Maltese Islands. Though the view while standing on the cliffs is amazing, viewing the cliffs from a drone looks spectacular as well.
Henningsvaer Idrettslag Stadion
What do you do when you are on a small island in Norway? Play soccer, of course. The stadium on this island above the Arctic Circle has no stands, but the fishing village’s 500 inhabitants don’t seem to mind.
Floating water parks are becoming increasingly popular. This aerial view shows a floating playground in the Canary Islands. The inflatable sections make you want to jump right in, don’t they?
Over the Bridge
Gephyrophobia is a fear of bridges. If you have this phobia, you might want to look away. This drone shot was taken while flying over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and it’s certainly a different view of the iconic bridge.
The Lybrook Fossil Area, also known as the Lybrook Badlands, is in Aztec, New Mexico. The canyons and mesas are a drone photographer’s dream. The eroded layers of sandstone form column-shaped formations known as hoodoos, and the rock layers are visually interesting from many angles.