Shot From Above: Incredible images that point back down to Earth

'Perspective' Russ Tierney / Photocrowd.com

When Photocrowd set the challenge to its community to submit their best shots from above, the criteria was quite simple: the camera's lens needed to be pointing back down to Earth – and how they got into an elevated position and how high was entirely up to them.

With nearly a thousand photographs entered, it was a difficult competition to call. Entrants really did push the boundaries of aerial photography, with some choosing dizzying heights in which to capture their own images while others would simply use a step ladder to get the right angle.

Here is the shortlist of the very best with the winners chosen by both the community and the expert judges. Pauline Pentony was chosen as 'Crowd Winner' with her overhead shot of a ballerina while Russ Tierney was picked by the experts for a similar theme.

Speaking of the image, David Hopley said: "When I started to judge this contest I expected I would have chosen a shot that featured strong geometric patterns and shapes. This image draws me in, I cannot resist coming back to view it. The shot was taken in a derelict building and the juxtaposition between this environment and the dancer goes very well together.

"The arrangement of the debris on the floor reflects the circular motion we expect the ballerina to be making from her elegant pose. Without the background information of how the scene was lit, it appears to be nicely diffused from two sources, low down from the top left and higher up from the bottom right. The orange and brown tones all work well to complement the ballerina."

Via Creative Boom submission | Main image courtesy of Russ Tierney

'Courtyard' avikbangalee / Photocrowd.com

'Courtyard' avikbangalee / Photocrowd.com

'Eleanor Rigby' The Silver Citizen / Photocrowd.com

'Eleanor Rigby' The Silver Citizen / Photocrowd.com

'Salzburg Cross' Mick Wells / Photocrowd.com

'Salzburg Cross' Mick Wells / Photocrowd.com

'Precision sailing' DPhotography / Photocrowd.com

'Precision sailing' DPhotography / Photocrowd.com

'The Ritual of Tarpana' Debarshi M/ukherjee / Photocrowd.com

'The Ritual of Tarpana' Debarshi M/ukherjee / Photocrowd.com

'Ballerina' Pauilne Pentony / Photocrowd.com

'Ballerina' Pauilne Pentony / Photocrowd.com

'Yuanyang rice terraces' Bjorn Svensson / Photocrowd.com

'Yuanyang rice terraces' Bjorn Svensson / Photocrowd.com

'Surrounded' Verity Milligan / Photocrowd.com

'Surrounded' Verity Milligan / Photocrowd.com

'Poolside' Bjorn Svensson / Photocrowd.com

'Poolside' Bjorn Svensson / Photocrowd.com

'Sowing' Jackie / Photocrowd.com

'Sowing' Jackie / Photocrowd.com

'Alone with her shadow' Willem Kuijpers / Photocrowd.com

'Alone with her shadow' Willem Kuijpers / Photocrowd.com

'The bend in the road' Verity Milligan / Photocrowd.com

'The bend in the road' Verity Milligan / Photocrowd.com

'God is Great' Ripon Barua / Photocrowd.com

'God is Great' Ripon Barua / Photocrowd.com

'A rainy day in Antwerp' Willem Kuijpers / Photocrowd.com

'A rainy day in Antwerp' Willem Kuijpers / Photocrowd.com