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Run by SkyPixel in partnership with Tourism Australia and DJI, the Australia from Above competition attracted more than 6000 entries from Australian and international photographers.

With its raw, natural beauty — from vast arid outback landscapes to dramatic coastline cliffs, lush rainforests, and tropical mangroves — Australia is the perfect country to explore through aerial photography.In its first ever country-specific contest, SkyPixel is calling all photographers residing in or visiting Australia to submit your best aerial shots of the breathtaking land down under. Whether it’s a snapshot of the country’s diverse wildlife, landscapes or a moment capturing real Aussie spirit and culture, SkyPixel wants you to snap it and share it!

We chat to three professional drone photographers who share their two cents on this rapidly growing hobby. It’s fun, it’s dangerous, and the legality is murkier than a Bondi shore-break.

Pilots Aaron Philips and Tom Faunt have seen the world from a cockpit, but wanted a closer look.

The WA-based pair took up drone photography as a hobby to share the most stunning bird’s-eye views they could find.

That hobby quickly became a business as they built a library of captivating coastal vistas from across Australia and abroad.

Daily Mail

March 19, 2017

From a cruise ship docked in Sydney Harbour to beachgoers sunbaking on Bondi Beach: Australian pilots take spectacular bird's eye view photos of the country's most recognisable landmarks


They get the best views of everyone on a plane - and now, two pilots have joined forces to give us a glimpse into their world. 

Virgin Australia pilot Aaron Philips and Qantas counterpart Tom Faunt share both a passion for flying and a passion for capturing the awesome sights below.

After meeting through friends and discovering their common interests, the pair began an aerial photography project to document the spectacular sights they get to see every day.

Since the start of the year, The Vertical Project has been capturing stunning aerial photography and videography.

The project was created by airline pilots Aaron Philips and Tom Faunt as a way of documenting their travels.

With 18 years combined experience as airline pilots and a total of 33 years flying in the aviation industry, together the pair have spent thousands of hours honing their eye for aerial footage.

Aaron says his favourite destinations to photograph are Staniel Cay in the Bahamas and his local Bondi beach, but the most surprising location so far was Lancelin in Western Australia. “On the ground it was a horrible windy day and the beach stunk of seaweed! But from the air it was such an unexpected sight! The water colour was a magnificent cyan from above and the floating seaweed caused the most unbelievable range of tones and contrasts through the water and sand.”

Though technically two individuals, Aaron and Tom nail it collaborating together on The Vertical Project. Based between Sydney and Perth, Aaron and Tom are both drone pilots and airline pilots, so constantly find themselves in new locations. The pair love the ocean, as is evident in their photographs of beautiful beaches found in Australia and around the world. One of the biggest obstacles they face are the laws prohibiting or restricting drone use, and these regulations vary from country to country. This is why they have not yet visited Cuba: “As much as we’d love to visit and photograph Cuba, we don’t want our drones to be confiscated!”

In early 2016, The Vertical Project was created by airline pilots Aaron Philips and Tom Faunt as a way of documenting their travels, from above.

Every day, their career provides them with the unique opportunity to see Australia’s beauty from the sky which passengers don’t always get to see.

By starting The Vertical Project, Aaron and Tom have created a way to share what the world looks like to them through drone photography.

Even when he is not flying a Boeing 737 it is impossible to keep Virgin Australia Captain Aaron Philips away from the controls.

In his spare time Captain Philips flies a drone in some of the world's most beautiful locations capturing stunning images such as these. You can see more of his work at The Vertical Project

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