WASHINGTON D.C. – Photographers around the world were shocked when The National Geographic Society announced it was awarding its esteemed photography prize to a drone. Photo contest editor Jonathan Phocus chose the winning photo out of thousands, and claimed he was unaware that the photographer, who submitted under the name Davey Drone, was actually a drone.
“We have strict guidelines for photographs,” Phocus said, “but contest rules do not state that the photographer needs to be human. We just assumed that humans were the ones interested in our publication, and not unmanned aerial vehicles.”
At least one unmanned aerial vehicle is a big fan of Nat Geo. Davey Drone has an online subscription to the magazine and eagerly awaits each new issue, mostly for the images.
Davey’s award-winning photograph is an overhead shot of wildfires in California, and it is being praised highly. “Davey is fantastic,” said photographer Sori Tungsten. “He gets shots nobody else could get.”
But not everyone is droning on about how great this flying photographer is. “I think that Drone is a hack,” said longtime photographer Walter F. Stahpp. “He always takes the same wide shot, flying overhead. He’s terrible at close-ups, and misses all the intimate details.”
Time will tell whether Davey Drone finds respect in the world of photography, or if he is dismissed as a fly-by-night fraud.