Aaron Toland | Staff Writer
Unmanned aerial vehicles, or as they are more commonly referred to as drones, have a variety of functions. Drones have been used by companies like Amazon to deliver products, by law enforcement to monitor criminal activity, and used to provide disaster management after natural disasters.
Drones can also be used for photography and videography; the ability of drones to take photos from the air allows the user to take pictures at angles they never could have taken with a regular camera.
Junior Adam Rodriguez has used the drone’s photo-taking abilities to take stunning aerial photographs.
For about a year, Rodriguez has been doing drone photography. In this short timeframe, Rodriguez has already received a national award for his photography.
“I received a National Gold medal through Scholastic Art and Writing,” Rodriguez said. “ I will receive an actual gold medal, and I will have some scholarship opportunities.”
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have 29 different art and writing categories that any student from grades 7-12 nationwide can submit work into; some of these categories are journalism, science fiction and fantasy, video game design and editorial cartoon.
Across all categories, students submitted over 360,000 works to the Scholastic Awards. After the work is submitted, panelists judge the work based on its originality, technical skill and personal voice.
Submissions can receive either local awards called keys or national awards called medals. Rodriguez received a gold medal in the photography category for his work “Inverted Vehicle”. Gold medals are given only to the most outstanding works in the nation.
The award that Rodriguez received is considered quite prestigious. He is now in the company of some of the greatest artists and literary figures of all time; Andy Warhol, Sylvia Path, Stephen King and Truman Capote are just a few notable recipients of a Scholastic Award. He is also one of a small group of CG students that has received this award; since 1979, nineteen CG students—including Rodriguez— have received this award.
Furthermore, Rodriguez is now afforded an opportunity of a lifetime: the National Ceremony for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is held at Carnegie Hall. Some celebrity guests that have spoken at the awards in recent years are Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, Michelle Obama and Whoopi G
oldberg. At the ceremony, Rodriguez will be honored and his gold medal will be bestowed upon him.
Unfortunately, Rodriguez might not be able to receive the award at Carnegie.
“I am still trying to go to New York,” Rodriguez said. “ It hasn’t been determined if I am going or not. I have the tickets for the ceremony; now I am just planning the trip and trying to get the Center Grove foundation to help pay for some of the trip.”
Even if Rodriguez is not able to go to Carnegie, his accomplishment is still outstanding. This accomplishment could not have happened if Rodriguez was not passionate about drone photography
“ I love drone photography because it is not super popular around here and you do not get to see that side of photography much. Drone photos are pretty unique around here, and I love flying the drone,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez loves flying the drone so much that he is considering making drone photography a career.
“I could definitely make drone photography a career; I have already made some money by editing pictures that I have taken with my drone and have been paid for the edited pictures,” Rodriguez said.
Drones can only fly so high in the sky before they stop functioning. Unlike the drones that he uses to take photographs, there does not appear to be a limit to how high Rodriguez can fly.
To see some of Adam’s work, follow @ar_aerial on Instagram