While many of us have been confined to our local postcode these past 12 months, the digital world still gives us the ability to discover and marvel at the wonders of our planet. The earth's beauty and diversity is strongly embraced in the Sony World Photography National & Regional Awards, and the winning images for 2021 don't disappoint. From striking aerial shots to compelling portraits, the winners in this programme demonstrate a vast array of styles, subject matter and technique. Over the next couple of weeks we'll be celebrating that diversity through a series of image showcases which are each centered around a particular technique.
We're launching this mini series with the best aerial shots. A technique was first practiced in 1858 by the French photographer and balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon in Paris, aerial photography was largely used for military purposes through the use of hot air ballons, helicopters and planes for the bulk of the 20th century. It wasn't until around 7 years ago, when the first camera equipped drones were released onto the commercial market for the first time, that drone photography really took flight. Now one of the most popular genres in the photographic field, many photographers have used the technique to highlight environmental concerns. Take Edward Burtynsky's depictions of man's large impact on the planet as an example. So, let's leave lockdown life behind us for a few moments and enjoy some of the photographers who scaled the skies for the best views from above.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL & REGIONAL AWARDS
The National Awards programme symbolises what makes the Sony World Photography Awards unique: our pledge to support photographers of all abilities around the globe and to celebrate their achievements. Operating in 51 countries, winning a National Award can be the start of a very exciting future in photography and winners are given Sony digital imaging equipment as well as global and local exposure. Now in its ninth year, the National Awards has given worldwide exposure and opportunities to over 500 photographers. Taken from entries to the Open competition, expert judges uncover the best single images from each of the countries entered into the National & Regional Awards. The Open shortlist will be announced in March 2021.