Dronestagram, the first social network dedicated to aerial photography, has announced the winners of its third drone photography contest, organised in partnership with National Geographic. The contest allowed enthusiasts to share their aerial photos in three categories: Nature/Wildlife, Sports/Adventure and Travel. More than 6,000 images were submitted, and a panel of judges chose the winners on creativity, photographic quality and respect of the theme.

"For each photo reviewed, we always tried to keep in mind: What makes a great drone photo? said Guillaume Jarret, co-founder of Dronestagram. "A good drone photo is a picture that you immediately identify as a drone photo: it is taken at a low altitude, near the target of the picture, and you must see on the picture that it is impossible it has been taken with another device than a drone. Drones can capture images in places that are impossible to reach with another flying device."

The Nature/Wildlife category was won by Michael Bernholdt and his photo of a patch of pine trees surrounded by a snowy landscape in the Kalbyris forest in Denmark. "The Emerald is the very first series of pictures I took with my Phantom 3," said Bernholdt. "That was the very first dedicated photo trip I planned with my drone, after three months of owning it and only having the chance to fly it seven times due to the terrible weather we have in Denmark during the winter months. I had been spending hours on Google maps, in satellite mode, trying to locate interesting patterns and places. I already had a pretty good idea about what I should expect when I arrived at the location. To my luck it had snowed all day so that the pine wood really stood out."

Category Nature Wildlife, First Prize Winner: Kalbyris forest Denmark by Mbernholdt Michael Bernholdt

Max Seigal won the Sports/Adventure category for his amazing shot of a rock climber in the Moab Desert. He says: "I spent the day filming a couple friends of mine who were trying to put up a first ascent on some epic offwidth climbing routes in the desert. We hiked for miles looking for the perfect line, and then spotting this amazing crack that was about 400 feet off the ground. Using the drone, I was able to capture images that would have never been possible before."

Category Sports Adventure, First Prize Winner: Moab Rock Climbing by Maxseigal Maxseigal

First prize in the Travel category was awarded to Francesco Cattuto for his image of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Umbria emerging from the clouds. He says: "It was the day after Christmas, and my girlfriend and I, after a lovely lunch at my parents' home, decided to go for a walk. It was a foggy day, but I decided to go up in the sky to see more from above, and after the drone came out from the clouds the view was spectacular and left me completely astonished. I had time to take some shots before the sun went down and the cloud got higher, hiding everything."

Category Travel, First Prize Winner: Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Umbria, Italy by fcattuto fcattuto

IBTimes UK presents the second- and third-placed images in each category. To see more and to learn about the rules of the competition, visit Dronestagram.