tional Soc rna iet te
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MEET OUR MEMBERS I always shoot Raw, then meta-tag and process with Photo Mechanic and Lightroom, with finishing touches in Photoshop. Currently my static work includes a 32-bit workflow with Merge-to-HDR out Lightroom into Photoshop, I can’t recommend this enough. I’m not tone-mapping per se, but the flexibility of the files justifies the extra work involved. ISAP’s charter is based members sharing experiences and information, a purpose I whole-heartedly support. Over the years I’ve been contacted by shooters interested in our line of work, ISAP is the first stop on my list of recommendations.
Mike Fizer I’ve spent my photography career as an aviation specialist based in Wichita, Kansas. In 1979 I was lucky to land a job assisting a hot shot named Paul Bowen, and after three years of his tutelage started my own business in 1984. As luck would have it, I landed two accounts that would allow me to survive; Flying magazine and Flight Training International. In 1988 I was offered a position with AOPA Pilot magazine and have remained there since; I’m currently Senior Photographer for AOPA Media. It’s hard to describe how fortunate I feel. AOPA’s a wonderful organization; I work with great people, do somewhat exciting things, and am provided the resources to do a decent job. What else does one need? My work over the years has not included airshow assignments, so my hat goes off to the wonderful images I’ve seen ISAP members produce over the years. My assignments are geared towards general aviation, which includes some classic and warbird stories. My advice to a photographer interested commercial or editorial photography isn’t that much different though—shoot as many aircraft as you can and bone up on Photoshop. To gain aerial experience, acquaint yourself with experienced formation pilots, learn how to brief, and safely execute, an air-to-air mission. As much fun as it is, air-to-air shoots alone do not make a story. Art directors want to see ground, interior, and portrait work in a portfolio. I will add that having some basic video experience will help with today’s multi-media appetite. Since 1996 I’ve shot with Canon gear, currently a 1DmkIV and 5DmkIII. I have the usual zooms; the 17-40mm f/4, 24-70mm IS f/4 and a 70-200mm f/2.8. Since I don’t own any big glass, I use the 1.4x tele-extender. My 180mm f/2.8 macro comes in handy for tight work, the TS-90mm f/3.5 and a couple of Zeiss primes fill out the rest my bag. Probably the next important piece of gear is a Kenlab KS-6 gyro; this substantially increases my “hit rate” for those gorgeous prop arcs. Since video is now a requirement, I’ve added an EOS C100 cinema camera to my kit, along with some basic audio gear.
MEET THE MEMBERS
ward to developing.
I am a semipro here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where one can attend quite a few decent airshows within the region. Like many ISAP members, I fell in love with airplanes early in life, manifesting itself thru countless childhood drawings and then evolving into model airplanes. This interest carried me into college where I received my degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
My effort to be more serious about this hobby led me to ISAP in 2008. Joining this organization has allowed me to meet some truly gifted photographers, create some great friendships and learn more about this craft. It is certainly very cool to see a great photograph, read the credits and realize that I have met that person! My first ISAP field trip was memorable, shooting alongside those who were names on photography books in my collection. The movie phrase “I’m not worthy” springs to mind often, but I am impressed by how the spirit of ISAP brings together photographers of all levels and makes everyone feel welcome.
While in college, I learned to shoot 35mm using my father’s vintage Kodak Retina while everyone else used 110 cameras (ugh!). After graduation, I treated myself to a used Olympus OM-1 with some Vivitar lenses and started going to airshows. Figuring out how to pan and hold focus using those old, slow lenses was a real challenge (f4.5 with a 2X, talk about dark!). As a mechanical engineer at Lockheed Martin, I was fortunate to work on Hubble Space Telescope launch processing in Florida for six months with awesome photographic access to the Space Shuttle during processing and on the launch pad. It was during that time that I really started to enjoy the joys and challenges of aerospace photography. I got distracted during the early days of digital, starting with a Nikon Coolpix 900. Armed with a newer Coolpix 4500, I finally made it to the Paris Air Show in 2003. How I wish I had a better camera at the time! 15 years of volunteering at the Hiller Aviation Museum at nearby San Carlos airport has also provided me some great access to aircraft, especially during their helicopter airshows. It was back in 2008 that I decided to get serious and bought myself two used Nikon D70’s and some secondhand F2.8 lenses. During this time, Air & Space magazine published one of my photos (their “Photos from the Attic” series) and it was a huge confidence booster. Beginning my freelancer status, I began writing airshow reviews to go along with my photos and now manage to get them published in airport publications on a semi-regular basis. Last year I was thrilled with a second place finish in the renowned Aviation Week photo contest, so I guess I am improving. I now shoot with a D300/D7000 bodies and finally have contemporary lenses to go with them. I try to get to at least six airshow events each season and have gone as far as Hawaii and Maryland to add some variety to the shoots. I have been trying to develop a style to call my own. I see many talented folks capturing beautiful ground-to-air shots, but for now I am concentrating more on the static aircraft and try to capture a fresh perspective. I’m enjoying how HDR can be employed in aviation photography, along with the associated post-processing. Air-to-air photography is a skill I look for-
MEET THE MEMBERS
Robert Turchick I’m the owner/operator of yipDog Studios located in Mesa, AZ for the last ten years. yipDog Studios is a video/photography/audio production company which has clients nation-wide. So I am a full-time professional though just starting out in the aviation community. As for my background, I am a classically-trained musician/composer and have a degree in music production and engineering as well as performance. That translated into my working at a recording studio in NY for 11 years producing music and commercial audio including audio for video. I came to Phoenix to head up an audio studio. After a few years I decided to learn video editing and was hired as a senior editor for a startup in Scottsdale, AZ. I learned video shooting as I was also responsible for the company’s marketing material. Fast forward a few years and starting yipDog to cover some independent jobs I purchased my first pro video camera. When the DSLR craze took hold of the video world with the 5D mk2 and 7D I jumped on that train. It wasn’t too long before I realized the DSLR’s and my growing lens collection could do more than video! I’d always been a shutterbug but this was the first time I’d had a really nice camera so I decided to dive in and learn. I am self-taught. Mostly from trial and error and tons of research and reading forums. I also have to mention Jay Beckman as he’s given me a great deal of advice over the couple of years I’ve known him. As for my aviation addiction, my father was in the USAF so I’ve lived all over the country and have been around aircraft all my life. I was one of those kids who knew what kind of airplane by the sound of the engines! I don’t have a pilot’s license but have made it a point to become friends with those who do. I have been flying RC planes and helicopters for over 20 years and have been a member of the NY state show team and was an instructor for many years. I use Canon’s 1Dx, 5D mk3, 70D and C100. For ground to air I use Canon’s 500mm f4 II and 300mm f4 II. For air to air and static I use a 24-70 f2.8 II and 70-200 f2.8 II most often. I only shoot raw as it gives me the most flexibility in post. I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop with NIK and Red Giant plugins. I was using Aperture until I discovered Lightroom was better suited to the control I wanted over each image. I have used Apple computers for almost 30 years. AZAP (Arizona Aviation Photographers) was one of the first groups I joined which led to finding and joining ISAP. I learn best by seeing what others are doing as well as reading forums. ISAP has some of the best aviation photographers in the world so I decided to join and see what I
could learn. I am also a member of the Photographers Adventure Club which covers all areas of photography. I try to offer what I’ve learned to anyone willing to listen. I am a gear nut and constantly research tech and techniques. I am a believer in “the rules” but feel that progress can’t be made unless you try to break them. That said, when it comes to aviation photography, the number one concern is safety. Whether on the ground or in the air, it’s really the only thing that matters. Advice to photographers in general would also include words on professionalism. Whether paid or not, being professional in attitude is ultra important. When things go right it’s easy. When they go south...attitude and honesty is everything. My other areas of interest photography-wise include storms/lightning, macro of bugs, and birds.
Meet the members
Two pieces of advice I would give to new aviation photographers are: 1. Pay attention to your shutter speed when photographing propeller aircraft so you don’t freeze the propeller. Set your shutter speed to 1/125 sec or slower. 2. Always pay attention to what is in the background of your shot.
Nikon D300, 70-200 mm & TC-17EII 1.7x, 300 mm, 1/1250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200
I consider myself an advanced amateur photographer with no formal photography training. I am based in Madison, Wisconsin. I have always had an interest in aviation. I got my first SLR when I was in middle school. One of the first photos I remember taking with that camera is of a C-130 doing a flyover of the Memorial Day parade in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It wasn’t until 2009, when I started attending air shows, that I got hooked on aviation photography. I use Nikon equipment. My main camera body is a D300 and my backup body is a D80. For static shots I use the D300 with the 18-200 mm f3.5-5.6 VR lens. For action shots I use the D300 with the 70-200 f2.8 VR lens with a TC-17EII 1.7x teleconverter. I shoot in RAW. Shooting in RAW gives me full control of the outcome of the final photo. For photo processing I use a combination of Lightroom, Nik Collection by Google and Photoshop CC. I use Lightroom for pre-processing; setting white balance, exposure, highlights, shadows, black point, white point, and lens correction. I use the Nik Collection to do the creative processing and finally Photoshop to make any final tweaks.
Nikon D300, 18-200 mm VR, 120 mm, 1/50 sec, f/25, ISO 200
I joined ISAP in 2011 to learn more about aviation photography. I first read about ISAP on Moose Peterson’s blog. I am also a member the EAA. I do try to help others learn about photography. I have a blog jeffgregerphotogrpahy.com/blog where I post advice and photo processing tips. I am also active in the aviation photography community on Google+.
Nikon D300, 70-200 mm & TC-17EII 1.7x, 340 mm, 1/80 sec, f/32, ISO 200
Nikon D300, 70-200 mm & TC-17EII 1.7x, 340 mm, 1/125 sec, f/18, ISO 200
Nikon D300, 70-200 mm & TC-17EII 1.7x, 340 mm, 1/125 sec, f/22, ISO 200
Nikon D300, 18-200 mm VR, 18 mm, 1/250 sec, f/22, ISO 200
Nikon D300, 18-200 mm VR, 27 mm, 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 200
Nikon D300, 70-200 mm & TC-17EII 1.7x, 340 mm, 1/500 sec, f/4.8, iso 200
Nikon D300, 18-200 mm VR, 18 mm, 1/2500 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200
Nikon D300, 18-200 mm VR, 40 mm, 1/1250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200
Meet the members
decided to join and start learning some new stuff. I’m also a member of a few local spotting communities. There’s Photoavia.NET - an aviation photography community, RoSpotters - the first Romanian spotting community and Transilvania Spotters - the first local spotting community in Transilvania dedicated to picturing the activity of the 71st Airbase of the Romanian Airforce. Since we’re such a small community we’re always learning from one-another. I’m always on the lookout for photography tutorials and portfolios that we can learn from. We’re always happy to see new members come in that are interested in aviation and aviation photography. Any new member that is interested in photography gets full use of our experience. We teach them basic photography principles and the technique for taking aviation shots.
My name is Liviu Dnistran and I’ve been doing aviation photography for about three years. It all started when I found out there is a spotters community in my city, Cluj Napoca - Romania. It all started innocently enough just photographing commercial airliners and discussing all sorts of aviation stuff with the fellow spotters. It started to get more serious when we started doing prints and showing them in the Cluj Napoca’s Airport terminal. We’ve had two sets of expo’s and we are talking of doing another one. I’ve also had the privilege of shooting the MiG-21 Lancer fighter jets of the Romanian Airforce at the 71st Air Base near Cluj Napoca. I consider myself an advanced amateur since I’ve been doing this only in my spare time and until now there hasn’t been any money whatsoever, let alone profit, from this. It’s just an expensive hobby that allowed me to get to know other aviation enthusiasts, airline pilots, military pilots and made me start taking classes for a pilot’s license. I haven’t taken any photograph classes and learnt only from fellow spotters or from aviation photographers. At the moment I own a Nikon D40, Nikon D90 and D600 camera. I’ve started with the Nikon D40 with the Nikon 18-55mm kit lens and the Nikon 55-200mm f4.5-5.6 VR lens. I then went on to the D90 and added the Nikon 50mm f1.8 and the Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR lens. Last year I got the D600 and since then that is the most used body with the 70-300mm lens. When it comes to RAW vs JPEG I like to shoot JPEG most of the time if the light is good enough and the subject is simple enough. When the shooting conditions get more complex I go for RAW since it leaves a lot more room for later on when editing. When I started doing photography, Lightroom was just coming in and I started editing using Photoshop. I keep using Photoshop to this day because it just feels simpler. I have a workflow set-up when working with Photoshop and it’s just easier and quicker for me to edit a photo this way. I joined ISAP about 6 months ago after looking into it. I’ve first heard of it on Scott Kelby’s “The Grid”. I saw that many great aviation photographers have chosen to be a part of this association and I
Nikon D600, Nikon 70-300 f4.5:5.6 @ 195mm, F8, ISO 400, 1/800s, Aperture Priority
Nikon D600, Nikon 70-300 f4.5:5.6 @ 250mm, ISO 100, F18, 1/125s, Shutter priority
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, ISO 200, F9, 1/250s, Aperture Priority
Nikon D600, Nikon 70-200 f2.8 @160mm, f5.6, ISO 640, 1/1250s, Aperture Priority
Nikon D600, Nikon 70-300 f4.5:5.6 @ 70mm, ISO 1600, F6.3, 15s, Manual
Nikon D600, Nikon 50mm f1.8 @ 50mm, ISO 400, F8, 30s, Aperture Priority
Nikon D600, Nikon 70-300 f4.5:5.6 @ 240mm, ISO 640, F8, 1/125s, Aperture priority
Nikon D600, Nikon 70-300 f4.5:5.6 @ 300mm, F7.1, ISO 640, 1/1250s, Aperture Priority
Meet the members
chance to use a fixed 400mm or 500mm. Fantastic glass and the results are always spectacular, provided I don’t goon it up in the process. A D7000 with the 28-300mm has been my standard, go-to kit for shooting airshows. If I have the opportunity to get airborne, I’ll swap out the 28-300mm for an 18-200 lens, generally speaking.
I currently reside in the Denver metro area in the beautiful state of Colorado. Aviation and photography are my two biggest passions in life, and I’m blessed that I was able to start combining the two in 2007. It’s been an amazing journey thus far, and it’s great how each time I take my camera out, I continue to grow and learn as a photographer. I have taken a grand total of one photography course in my life, and that was back in high school my senior year. Since then, I’ve been
RAW, or in my case, NEF. Always, always, always. If, as the Bible says, love covers a multitude of sins, RAW covers a multitude of settings errors! If you really want to maximize the impact desired with a given image, the absolutely best choice is RAW. It gives you the most available data, and while I’m not a huge fan of over-manipulating that data, it really allows you to get the most out of each image, depending on what the requirement is. I use both, actually. Lightroom is fantastic for my work flow, but sometimes if an imagine needs a little extra care and tweaking, then I’ll export it into PSE and finish it up there. I don’t have a lot of the plug-ins that others are using, but I plan on adding to my repertoire soon. I have used Nikon’s Capture NX software and like it, but I am much more well-versed with PSE and LR.
rather bold in accosting some of the world’s finest aviation photographers and asking ridiculous amounts of questions and seeking their counsel when I run into something I’ve not encountered or thought to learn before. I did recently attend a lighting seminar by Joe McNally, which I highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t gone yet. I absolutely love sharing my passion for photography with others looking to get into it. I think the biggest tip I would give anyone is about patience. The difference between a good shot and a great one is timing and opportunity. Aviation is definitely a very, very challenging subject to try to capture in photography, and being patient is key. Knowing your gear is key. Most importantly, don’t forget to put the camera down from time to time to enjoy the event. I am a Nikon shooter, and my best results have been either with a D300, D7000, and most recently, a D7100 camera body. I generally shoot an 18-200mm or 28-300mm lens, but always jump at the
I am so blessed by the people in this community that have taken me under their wing and been generous with their time and imparting wisdom. Glenn Bloore, above all, has been a tremendous inspiration to me. He is an excellent teacher, and has become a great friend. He has helped me so much over the past few years, and simply stated, I would not know what I do about shooting airplanes if it weren’t for him. I must also set apart Larry Reid, Jr., who has allocated many an hour to inspire me, teach me, and occasionally hook me up some great toys to play with!
Others that inspire me with the legendary quality of their work are Paul Bowen and Tyson Rininger, both of whom I’ve had the pleasure of shooting with and, most importantly, learning from. Françoise Guile has always amazed me with her eye and artistry. I always come away from looking at her images shaking my head in bewildered awe. I’ve also had the pleasure of shooting with José Ramos on many occasions and we’ve developed a very good friendship. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him take a bad photo, so there is definitely a level of greatness there that I aspire to. I’ve shot a few times with Paul Filmer and Kevin Jackson; they’re tremendous photographers and very, very helpful. Jason Hyatt, Jonathan Derden, Kevin Whitehead, Ralph Duenas, and Gary Wetzel produce some of the most spectacular images I’ve ever seen, and I’m grateful for the chance to shoot with them, too. I am so blessed to be counted amongst these folks, and grateful for every opportunity that I get to shoot with them.
adventures with their non-flying family or friends. If I am able to capture an image or produce a body of work that pays them the honor and respect they deserve for putting on the uniform and making the sacrifices they do in the name of freedom, then my job is done. There is nothing like knowing a professional aviator and warrior has something to share with his or her family…and that I was able to bless him or her with that photo or story or whatever it may be. Best. Feeling. Ever. Cover shots are great. Bylines are great. Getting a story and photos published is a tremendous honor for me, and I am humbled every time a work of mine shows up in print or online. But at the end of the day, I do what I do for the men and women who took an oath to defend America and the freedoms we hold near and dear. No one can tell their story better than they can, and my job is not to scoop or spin anything, to expose anyone’s secrets, or compromise our nation’s capabilities. I am simply an instrument to help them get their story out there, and each one is worth telling. I love what I do, I am passionate about what I do, and I am so blessed to have the opportunities that have come along. Nellis Air Force Base. I have practically lived there over the past couple of years, embedded with the USAF Weapons School, covering Red Flag and Green Flag exercises, conducting interviews and doing research for stories, as well as attending the annual Aviation Nation open house and air show there. There is ALWAYS something going on at Nellis, and is the crown jewel of Air Combat Command. Despite the sign at the gate being taken down, it is still and will always be The Home of the Fighter Pilot, and it’s a privilege to be able to spend time there amongst our nation’s finest warfighters. I use Mpix almost exclusively. They are FAST, and the quality of their work is beyond compare. I had an image damaged in transit, and a replacement image arrived literally within a day of the original, free of charge. Their customer service is tremendous.
The whole reason that I started taking photographs in the aviation arena is because of one man that I met in 2006. At the time, Colonel Thom “T-Mac” McCarthy was the Vice Commander of the 57th Wing at Nellis AFB. He is a USAF Weapons School graduate, Top Gun exchange instructor, WIC instructor, and spent twentyseven years flying the F-15C. He’s an absolute LEGEND in the Eagle community. The number of photographs of him taken actually flying an airplane during his career is four. That really struck me, and I thought it might be really awesome to find a way to bless these men and women who fly and fight for a living, but don’t have much tangibly to show for it; that is, being able to share their
I am very fortunate in that a good amount of my work has appeared in print media, as well as online. I have been published in Air International, PilotMag, and a couple of other magazines. I’ve been awarded Photo of the Month on Fence Check more than once, as well as “Hot Shots” on Airshow Buzz when it was still in existence. Like I said before, all of that is great, and I am humbled to be included in such amazing company; however, it means more to me to see my work in offices and hallways at the Weapons School or in the squadron bar somewhere. I am most humbled to be a part of that legacy—the one of professionals whose names are remembered throughout history for what they accomplished in their careers. I am a member of Nikon Professional Services and was a long-time member of Fence Check.
Meet the members
Brian R. Veprek I started as an amateur approximately 37 years ago and currently am a freelance photographer. Over the years I took a few courses to advance my skills. I have loved airplanes since I was a young boy and as an adult have enjoyed going to air shows in and around New Jersey. After a stint with Leica, my current equipment is all Nikon. When I went to digital, Leica was just too expenses â€“ so I decided to trade in all of my Leica equipment for Nikon. I currently use a D3 with a backup camera of D300. I have a wide arrangement of Nikon lenses. The lens that I prefer to use for aerial photos is the 200-400mm and also the Nikonâ€™s new 80-400mm. For static shots I use a 14-24mm, 28-70mm and 70-200mm. I prefer shooting in JPG as I want to get the photo as I see it and not to have a lot of correcting in Photoshop. I think that Photoshop is easy to use and does what I need it to do. I joined ISAP eight years ago to further pursue my love for aviation and to travel to different places with people that have the same interest in aviation. When I go on vacation tours with my wife, I am known as the guy to help all other vacationers solve problems with their cameras and give them advice to help them take better photos.
Meet the members
In the air I mostly use the EF 24-70 f2.8 II when shooting from a crampy cockpit. This lens preforms fantastic when shooting thru a glass canopy. Way better than the first generation of this lens for this work, or the famous EF 24-135. I also always bring a fisheye lens on my flights. Not just for selfies but also when hooking up on a tanker for aerial refuelling or to shoot over the shoulder of my front seat companion. When shooting from a open ramp or helicopter I bring my EF 70-200 f2,8 IS II as my main piece of glass. Latest addition to my lens collection is the EF 200-400. Haven’t really tried it but it looks and feels very promising! Another thing is the Kenyon Labs gyro. I got one, the KS-6, and I do like it, but…Man that thing can be heavy! It’s also tries to battles with me every once in a when we (the Gyro and I) disagree over angle of banks or directions I suddenly decide to shoot in. Not sure on continuing our relationship.
I’m a freelance professional Aviation photographer from the Netherlands. I’d like to call my work professional but I must admit that most of my work takes place behind my iMac rather than in the air or on a tarmac. Planning trips and getting permission to visit or ultimately fly is very time consuming, since most of our (aviation photographers) requests to armed forces and companies aren’t the ordinary simple ones. Tight MoD budgets all over the world aren’t helping as well. I began shooting aviation in the late 1980’s as a tail spotter and started to become real serious about it in 2003 when I got my first digital camera, the Canon EOS 10D. While working in my garden I decided to focus myself more and to become a professional, at least in how I approach my work as a photographer. I have spent, and I still spent, a lot of time evaluating pictures from others. That is how I learn my tricks. Getting the opportunity to execute myself helps as well. The more I do, the more creative I get. I have studied Photography for a year but I figured out that the online trainings from Kelbyone.com work better from me. I’m a huge fan of our fellow InSAP photographer and KelbyOne instructor, Moose “Hey Folks!” Peterson. Its not just techniques and gear that gets me in those online classes, It’s the passion for light and photography that totally rocks me when I watch those video’s.
In post I download my RAW images to Photoshop Lightroom. This is where I do my image selection; post processing and my keyword based archiving. I also use Photoshop and sometimes Color Efex Pro from Nik Software. I’m not really big on those plug in’s, but if I have to, I go Color Efex Pro. I see a lot of images that are ruined by software, rather than improved. I think people should critique them self a bit more. This also counts for a lot of photographers who aren’t able to narrow their selection from a shoot. The classic phrase, “Less is more” really counts here when it comes to selecting images. It happens that I only share less than 30 images of a flight in which I shoot close to 500 of sometimes even 1000 images. Sharing knowledge is important to me. This is the reason I joined ISAP. I’m also happy to share my knowledge. I have done some workshops on my photography and my first exposition is coming up as well. Proud of that! Members, lets get in contact! If there is any question that I can answer for you, let me know! Sent me a message via firstname.lastname@example.org or sent me a message via facebook.com/bluelifeaviation. I look forward hearing from you!
I have also learned a lot from friends and fellow aviation photographers, Jamie Hunter and Richard Cooper. I’m really happy that they thought me some of their techniques, especially in the field of setting up formations in flight. I’m really thankful for that. But in the field you’re on your own and you have to perform. I’m happy that I have totally lost the “bug fever” and I’m 100% on the job when it has to be done. One of the things that are also really important to me is my own physical health. I do train a lot, up to 4 times a week, to stay fit. I want to be prepared for what ever comes up. I shoot Canon, EOS1DX. Love it. The high ISO values are just awesome and very valuable for me.
Never a dull moment when airborne. Shot spontaneously in between a sequence of pre briefed photo setups. EOS1D mkIV EF24-105 @ 32mm. 1/640, f13. ISO100
I love the high ISO performance of the EOS1DX. This was shot with a 24-70mm f2,8 II lens @ 65mm. 1/320 at f2.8, ISO 2500
A roaring Orange Lion, the Netherlands Air Force demo F-16. EOS1D mkIV EF 24-105 @ 50mm. 1/800, f13. ISO100
A pair of Finish AF Hornets. Shot from the ramp of a Skyvan. EOS1Ds mkIV EF 24-105 @ 70mm. 1/1000, f11. ISO200
Down Low in the Arizona Mountains. Canon 1DmkIV, EF 24-105 @ 40mm. Exposure: 1/500 at f4.0, ISO100 Fly me to the moon. Gear: EOS1DX, EF 24-70 f2.8 II @ 59mm. 1/640, f5.0, ISO 500
Ultimate selfie overhead Tucson, AZ. EOS 1DmkIV EF 8-15mm fisheye @ 8mm. Exposure: 1/800 at f4,5, ISO125
Meet the members
In 1981, I joined the Rockwell International in Downey, California, just as the Space Shuttle program began launching missions into orbit. Within Rockwell, I worked in both Space Systems and North American Aircraft Operations as a communications manager. During this time I was able to continue my own photography pursuits, and even assist Rockwell with several projects. In December 1996, The Boeing Company purchased the Aerospace and Defense businesses of Rockwell. The defense and space segments of Boeing were extensive and fascinating, greatly expanding my aerospace experience. As a communications director I worked with just about all of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, DARPA and NASA programs that Boeing held contracts with. This included aircraft, satellites, missiles and rocket boosters. Working in Phantom Works group, we handled unmanned aircraft/spacecraft such as the X-36 TFARA, X-45 UCAV, X-51A WaveRider, X-40 SMV, X-37, X-48B BWB, X-53 AAW, ScanEagle, Phantom Eye and the Phantom Ray. Of particular interest was the Bird of Prey low-observable aircraft, in which we held the rollout in St. Louis in October 2002. It was the only rollout I handled for communications, in which the aircraft had completed its classified flight test program, and was sanitized and retired prior to its unveiling.
Erik Simonsen In the skies over Miami, it was that unique sound of the Convair B-36 that hooked me on aviation as a youngster. Just south of Miami where I grew up, was Homestead AFB, a SAC base at the time that provided an array of airplanes to track. This included Boeing B-47s and B-52s actually conducting air-to-air refueling right over the city. I was quickly borrowing binoculars, sketching airplanes and building models. Additionally, during the 1950s-1960s there were all types of rockets being launched from Cape Canaveral, readily visible over the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, I didn’t own a decent camera until after high school. However, the critical mental imagery was there, and I learned later that passion was more important than equipment for the beginner. It was during my first years at college that I finally obtained a 35mm SLR camera. I started out photographing commercial airliners at Miami International, and military types at local air shows. During college I studied commercial art and astronomy, and never actually took a class in photography. My career after college actually began as a planetarium director – always keeping photography as a side-vocation. During the early 1970s, I began to perfect photomanipulation with color, and multiple exposure special effects. I had very good access to the ramps at Miami International, and sold many photos to the various airlines that operated there. Nighttime exposures of aircraft during raining nights became a specialty. Gradually, my multiple exposure work became striking enough to land many magazine covers, and annual report work for major companies. During the late 1970s, I signed a freelance photographer’s contract with Boeing to create imagery of their new 757/767 airliners, which had not flown yet. I worked with scale models to simulate them in flight for the Boeing advertising program. I also started working with stock photo agencies, which is the best way to operate if you are working full-time at another job. They take a percentage of the royalties, but handle all of the time-consuming footwork.
My early career developing visual effects for planetariums has greatly influenced my photography lighting style. With the transition from film to digital, PhotoShop has opened up many new ‘windows’ of creativity. I’ve teamed with Sharon, my wife and also an ISAP member, to further cultivate PhotoShop techniques. It’s almost like a producer and director working together. My most recent book, “Project Terminated” utilized many new tools to illustrate conceptual historic aircraft/spacecraft in a ‘What Might Have Been’ scenario. My residence is in Chino Hills, California, and the area offers an array of military, commercial and warbird subjects. Having retired from Boeing two years ago, I find I now have additional time for writing and photography. I shoot RAW to obtain the best resolution as possible. Even though you might have an immediate purpose for the image, you never know what it might be used for in the future, and you need its full resolution potential. My current cameras consist of two Nikon D200s and a Nikon D3. Lenses consist of a Nikon 20mm; Nikon ED 28-70mm; Nikon ED 80-200mm; Nikon ED 200-400m and a Nikon ED 600mm. I’ve found the Wimberley Gimbal Head with a Gitzo (G1548) tripod works well with large telephoto lenses to capture fast moving aircraft – it shifts to horizontal and vertical very quickly. Recently, I’ve added a Meade 10” Cassegrain reflector telescope for astrophotography, and tracking satellites and rocket launches. My computer is a Mac Pro with PhotoShop CS6. I just recently switched from a Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 ED, to a PowerSlide 5000 35mm slide scanner – which is excellent. The CoolScan was good, but Nikon no longer supports its product. My storage files contain 40-years of 35mm slide shoots, and the majority look great after scanning and a PhotoShop cleanup. As far as advice to beginning photographers, be persistent and don’t give up after a few rejections from editors – that happens to everyone. Additionally, during a photo shoot, no matter how cold, wet or hot it is, or how tired you are, if something is still happening, keep shooting the subject for as long as possible. I guarantee that in several days, or perhaps weeks later, you’ll be going through your work, and you’ll wish you had taken that opportunity and kept shooting.
The other bit of guidance would be to quickly develop your own unique style, and begin writing about aviation. Creative writing is a valuable skill to have in addition to your photography. Today, with the proliferation of all types of quality cameras, the photography world today is extremely competitive. Editors don’t want to receive a selection of images and quip, “I’ve seen that before”. Your work not only has to be top quality, but also distinctive and stand out from the group. If it’s air-to-air or static aircraft – Think differently! Perspective, angles, lighting and color mix. How many magazine covers have you seen that, except for the aircraft type, look just like the previous month, and so on. Think, that you can do it better.
USMC/NAA SNJ-5 Texan
Boeing 747-200F with star trails
USMC/Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey
Hughes H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose)
Antonov An-225 Mriya with Soviet Space Shuttle Buran
UH-1 Huey firefighting helicopter
Northrop F-20 Tigershark
USAF/Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor
Conceptual USAF/Northrop RB-49A reconnaissance variant of the flying wing
Royal Air Force Red Arrows
Meet the members
trusty Nikon and started shooting aircraft again. I met a Dallas based photographer that introduced me to ISAP so I joined in 2011. I attended Oshkosh for the first time and have since gone twice. I attended two ISAP seminars and met some good folks and great photographers and have learned much from them. I have to say, I am in awe of the amazing work I see in the ISAP member portfolios. I also set up some easy air-toair shoots, using tips from the ISAP folks, and have since been able to shoot several A2A sessions. So, aviation photography became the silver lining to my unemployment cloud. Back to pictures of flying machines…the majority of my imagery is of static aircraft. I concentrate on the design and beauty of the aircraft and create most of my giclee prints in black and white on heavy, archival watercolor paper. I like removing the aspect of color from the images so that the viewer focuses more on the elegance of the subject matter. My clients are FBO’s, aviation related companies and private collections.
Gary Daniels My story is not too exciting. I was not a military pilot. I don’t have my PPL. My career has not been in aviation. I just love airplanes. It’s that simple! Why I feel drawn to lurk around local small airfields and bother the pilots, I suspect, has its roots in the fact that I was a boy in the 60’s. And, like any boy, I was attracted to the latest technology. In the 60’s, that meant jets. To add to that, my grandfather was a WWII vet. He and all his WWII buddies were in the prime of their lives, just 20 years removed from the war. Whenever they gathered, the cigarettes would light up, alcohol would flow and the stories of their time as young American heroes would fascinate me. It was those stories that sparked my love of WWII aviation. By the time I was ten, I could name practically any aircraft from any angle. The controlled airspace above my bunk bed was crowded with models in a perpetual holding pattern, hanging by string, some even trailing smoke made from painted cotton balls. I would lie in bed each night and stare up at them wondering what it would be like to fly the real thing as I drifted off. The love of the flying machine has stayed with me all these years. Along the way I became a designer and photographer, always looking to the sky when I heard the sound of powered flight. As a designer, I appreciate the perfect design and critical engineering the laws of physics and aerodynamics demand of a machine created for flight. As a photographer, I look for the elegance of an aircraft’s beauty and commit it to imagery. The graceful joining of a wing faring to a fuselage, capturing the power of a four blade prop ready to chew through the air, the morning light glistening off of a dewcovered canopy. In October of 2009, my successful marketing career of 29 years augured in. I became a victim of the Great Recession. Little did I know it would be the better part of four years before I found employment again. But, there was a bright side to this life-changing event. I needed something to take my mind off of things so I picked up my
My equipment is prosumer DX Nikon gear, D7100, etc. I shoot everything in RAW. The power of the RAW format has truly revolutionized photography. I process in Photoshop and I plan to migrate to Lightroom. My goal is to upgrade to FX equipment, pro-level lenses and shoot more A2A if the opportunity arises, and experiment more with video. And, I’ll keep learning from the members in ISAP and try not to be too envious of the awesome talent in this organization.
Meet the members
f/10, 1/200, 28mm, ISO 100
Matt Booty I live in Redmond, a suburb just outside Seattle, and work at Microsoft as a general manager in the Xbox group. I’ve worked in video games my whole career, and I have engineering degrees from Purdue University and was formerly the CEO of Midway Games in Chicago. While I do have many years of professional experience with computer graphics and software such as Photoshop and 3D Studio Max, I am squarely in the “amateur” camp when it comes to aviation photography. I’ve been interested in airplanes and aviation history ever since I saw the Thunderbirds at Grissom AFB as a kid in the 1970s, and since moving to the Seattle area a few years ago, I’ve been lucky to get involved with the incredible range of aviation and warbird activities in the Pacific Northwest. I have a Canon 7D and a 5D Mk II, and usually shoot with the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM on the 7D and the Canon EF 24105mm f/4 L IS USM on the 5D.
f/13, 1/200, 310mm, ISO 200
I shoot RAW, primarily because I think that it’s better to start with a 16-bit per pixel file for processing and editing. I work in Photoshop, mostly because I’ve been using it since the early 1990s, although I definitely appreciate the workflow and organizational tools that Lightroom offers. I joined ISAP in 2013 after hearing from Lyle Jansma that the annual symposium would be held in Seattle. The symposium was a fantastic experience and a great chance to meet really talented and interesting people. Do you try to help others learn about photography? What advice or tip would you share with a photographer new to aviation? I believe that real “gurus” and “experts” are those who are willing to share and teach, and while I’m a long way from being either of those, I’m always happy to share what I know and help people get started. A piece of advice I might offer would be to not shy away from taking the same picture over and over while trying different techniques and settings. The beauty of digital is that experimenting is cheap!
f/18, 1/200, 37mm, ISO 100
f/10, 30 sec., 24mm, ISO 200
f/10, 1/320, 28mm, ISO 200
f/22, 1/125, 88mm, ISO 250
f/16, 1/125, 67mm, ISO 200
Meet the members
Although I’ve gained knowledge and experience over the years I’m still learning something new every day. And helping others gives a great Satisfaction. To the new aviation photographer I would recommend master your gear fast and blind, practice a strong and steady hand, both will benefit in the cockpit of a fast moving jet and on the ground with a long range lens.
Nir-Ben-Yosef Located in Israel, I’m a part time professional, have a day job as an IT professional. Photography and aviation photography started as a hobby more than 10 years ago. Over the years the quantity and type of projects I did evolved this hobby to significant part of my occupation and Livelihood. Part from a few darkroom (film) and Photoshop courses, I’m an autodidact and gained all my knowledge and experience from experimenting on the go…and consulting with colleagues. For me a big metal bird flying is magic! The power, elegancy, man & machine, nature power/weather combined… this is usually what I see and show in my work. I’m a Canon. My current gear is EOS 1D MKIV, 5D MKI, EF lenses 16-35L f/2.8, 24-70L f/2.8, 70-200L f/2.8, 100-400L IS f/4.5-5.6. My most used lenses are the 24-70L f/2.8 for air2air and 100-400L IS f/4.5-5.6 for air shows. I shoot RAW in most cases as it holds more data and expands the possibilities of salvaging a good photo in bad conditions. I will shoot JPG only in specific terms like predefined and controlled environment and light and in an emergency of low card space. Depending on the type of work and environment were the photos were taken I will usually combine Canon DPP, Lightroom and Photoshop. ISAP was introduced to me by an IAF/Lockheed Martin Colleague as a professional network for aviation photography after a joint project, I than joined ISAP in 2007. There are some photography associations and groups where I post some of my work, most of them are social networks like Facebook and Flickr, but for me ISAP is more than just sharing work, it’s also knowledge…
Meet the members
f/2.8G II, AF-S 85mm f/1.4G, and TC 1.7x. Much of my recent air-toground and air-to-air imagery was shot with the D800 + 24-70 f/2.8, mounted on a Kenyon Labs KS 4x4, dual-axis gyro stabilizer: with that rig and some care I can get tack sharp, 36MP RAW images shot from the open door of an airplane at shutter speeds down to 1/20sec. I always shoot RAW unless there’s a compelling reason not to… and I rarely find a reason that’s compelling enough. For me, the multiple benefits of working with RAW images in post far outweigh any considerations of storage space, compute horsepower or extra editing time. Look at it this way: why let the camera decide for you which eight bits are the important ones, out of the twelve or fourteen bits of data the sensor captures at each pixel site? When you’re working with subjects that are a) in motion and b) unlikely ever to grace your field of view again in exactly the same way, why not store everything the sensor records and sort it out later in the calm comfort of your editing room? It just makes sense. I spend about 80% of my editing time in Lightroom 5, and the other 20% in Photoshop CC, Photomatix Pro and Silver Efex Pro 2. I prefer not to take an image into Photoshop unless I see a need for masking and layers.
Steve Zimmermann I’m a self-taught photographer (aren’t we all, really?), in the sense that I have no formal training, academic or otherwise. But I started young: my grandmother handed me a Brownie box camera when I was about seven years old. My father, who shot with a Hasselblad that I still own, gave me a Miranda 35mm SLR and taught me darkroom techniques when I was in high school. The other early experience that informs my photography, more than any other single thing, was growing up in and around airplanes: my parents were both pilots. In fact, my mother was pregnant with me when she learned to fly. The perspective shift that occurs when I leave the ground behind is fundamental to how I make visual sense of the world around me. I grew up in the northeast—Pennsylvania, mostly—but have lived in Colorado since 1975, attracted to the mountains and the high desert climate: both, not coincidentally, were important to my development both as a pilot and a photographer. After a career in high tech I retired in 2005 and started a small photography business. I have a shooting studio in the basement of my home, complete with an ‘infinity wall’; my professional work includes a variety of things, but my first love is aviation: images of flying machines, and images I shoot while flying; the latter are often semi-abstract landscapes. My camera bag these days displays a split personality, with both Canon and Nikon gear: I bought my first Canon DSLR, a 5D, in late 2005, and over the years assembled a collection of Canon bodies and lenses, culminating in the 1DX and a 5Dll backup (I’m a big believer in FF bodies). The lenses I go to most often are the indispensable EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM, the unmatched EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II, and the quirky but lovable TS-E 17mm f/4, which as a wide-angle, manual focus, tilt/shift lens makes a really engaging choice as a walking-around lens for city/travel photography. For air shows I generally borrow or rent a long lens—the 500 f/4 IS or, more recently, the 200-400 f/4L IS + TC—though I have been known to make do with my 300 f/4L IS plus the TC 1.4x on a crop-frame 1D4. Oh, yes: the split personality thing? At ISAP XI in Virginia Beach I had the chance to handle a Nikon D800 and fell in love with the images it produces. So my bags now include the D800 and a small collection of really wonderful Nikkor glass: AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G, AF-S 70-200
I attended Oshkosh in 2010 and on the flight line there I met a number of ISAP members, including Larry Grace. Almost the first words out of Larry’s mouth were “Have you heard of ISAP?” and after a little research I joined the organization. I’ve been to every annual ISAP conference since; you owe it to yourself to get to the next one, especially if you haven’t been to one before. In no particular order, I’m an engineer and a photographer and a pilot and a teacher. I love to help people learn to use their equipment better. Enthusiast/pro camera gear is dauntingly complex; many people buy more camera than they’re comfortable with, so they stick with the P mode (I’ve heard it said, “‘P’ stands for ‘Pro’, right?”) and are too intimidated to learn the few basics that will give their photography a boost to the next level. If someone has a desire to be a better photographer, often all it takes is my spending an hour or two with them to help them understand the control they have over the process of making an image. Then they’re off and running: experience really is the best teacher. Another thing you can do is to offer to judge/critique the images that members submit for your local photography club’s monthly meeting; that is, once you’ve earned the respect of the membership.
EOS 5Dmk3, EF 300 f/4L; ISO 100, f/11, 1/30s
EOS 5Dmk2, EF 24-105 f/4L; ISO 250, f/9, 1/1000s
Nikon D800, 24-70 f/2.8; ISO 1600, f/4.5, 1/2500s
Nikon D800, 24-70 f/2.8, KS-4x4; ISO 1250, f/2.8, 1/20s
Nikon D800, 24-70 f/2.8, KS-4x4; ISO 50, f/9, 1/80s
Meet the members
José Ramos Currently based in the Sunshine State, I’ve been calling the central Florida area my home for the last 24 years, but mostly Lakeland, home of the Sun n’ Fun Fly-in & Expo. I’ve been working as a pro now for many years focusing on mostly military subjects and providing my work to magazines such as PilotMag, The Hook, Air Forces Monthly and others as well as the military itself. Its been an extremely rewarding journey so far and the pace has picked up over the last couple of years. I became obsessed with aviation photography in the mid 80’s, like many of my peers, due to the film Top Gun. The cinematography was just so different in how to portrayed aviation. It was truly revolutionary. Of course, the look of the film was inspired by the photowork of Cdr. “Heater” Heatley, a traditionally trained photojournalist himself. George Hall and Katsuhiko Tokunaga were other big inspirations in my formative years. I began studying photography my senior year at Farragut High School in Knoxville, TN and continued taking courses at the University of Tennessee and at Seminole Community College in Orlando, FL. Today I still look to other photographers for inspiration such as Frank Crebas, Lyle Jasma, Jim Koepnick and am proud to say I’ve worked with some of the best out there such Scott Wolfe, Bill Forntey, Douglas Glover and Scott Kelby. I always have been and will forever be a Nikon user. I’ve always loved the brand and have been honored to work with them over the years at various functions, even been asked to speak for them at the COMFOT Expo in Mexico City about my aviation work. Even though I’ve shot with almost everything in their line up, I am primarily a DX format user for a variety of reasons. Primarily I am a one man band and I have to be as self contained as possible. This is a must when working with the military. Having an entourage or company or sherpas is not an option. The DX format cameras as smaller and lighter than their big brother FX format. The lenses are equally smaller and lighter, allowing me to carry a versatile range of focal lengths and other equipment in a more compact package. For lenses I use everything from the 10.5mm fisheye to the
longer 400-500mm ranges but mostly stay with the 200-300mm though I am excited about the new 80-400mm this year. RAW, or in Nikon language, NEF, is the way to go. It is a more versatile format for serious photographers, especially if you plan to do any major printing in either large format or publication. It allows the photographer to go deeper into the file to bring the most out of it. The best out of it. To that end, the heavier part of my workflow falls not on Lightroom or Photoshop, but Nikon’s own Capture NX2. Though a bit dated now, it is still the best application out there for working with Nikon NEF files since it was built from the ground up for that purpose. All the other programs act as a happy medium, stripping images of all in-camera settings the photographer may have set up, rendering a RAW file as a raw image. To me this defeats the purpose of trying to get as much “right” in the camera. Capture NX also originated many of innovations we now see as standard in other programs such as control points. Vincent Versace, one of my close friends and mentors, calls Capture NX2 the jackhammer and Photoshop the emory board. I think its a perfect analogy. Along the way, in my professional career, I began hearing about ISAP from a number of sources, mainly friends and coworkers at Nikon. Unfortunately, I was still very prejudice about some of my fellow aviation photographers. We’ve all heard the horror stories of that “other guy” who did this or did that. Larry Grace approached me and more than just courted me into joining, I was pretty much pressganged! Its hard to say no when you’ve been asked to speak at the annual symposium. All I have to say is I’m very happy Larry convinced me to join the organization. Through ISAP I have met many new photographers and have had the opportunity to collaborate and work with some very talented people. One of the big things that has come out it has been my friendship and working relationship with Doug Glover, Tony Granata and Matt Genuardi, best known as 3G Aviation Media. We’re getting ready to do our second workshop together this January. Lyle Jasma of Cockpit 360 fame is another ISAP member I have a budding partnership with. Beyond the business side of things, ISAP has been great for being able to reach out to like-minded peers and pick their brain or run a scenario past them and get feedback on a even level and the friendships I’ve forged via ISAP are some of the most rewarding. One of the great things about this business is the reward of being able to pass on what you’ve learned. It doesn’t matter if its at an airshow or a workshop, to see the look of interest and appreciation in a person’s face as you share your knowledge is a powerful thing. In my early years I got the chance to pick the brains of some of the greats; George Hall, Heater Heatley, and Katsuhiko Tokunaga. I would just cold call George and Heater sometimes and explain who I was and what I was up to. They could have just hung up on me and I wouldn’t have blamed them if they did. But they didn’t. George and I became very good friends via phone calls, letters and later emails and he even used my work in his stock agency. So how in good conscience can I keep to myself what others have passed onto me? I can’t. When I am asked about making a career in aviation photography I usually joke with people to find another line of work. Its hard. Very hard. I don’t have to tell you that. But I usually follow it up with something about playing the long game. Those interested in the quick buck usually don’t last. Aviation photography is about passion and that’s a life long journey.
Meet the members
Derrick Waiters is a native of Dallas, Texas and lives in Lancaster, Texas, a suburb of Dallas with his wife of 10 years Roxanne. Together we have 3 daughters, we refer to our children as Bonus daughters over step children. Our oldest is married with 3 children, the middle daughter is a Flight Attendant with a major airline, and our youngest is a college student trying to find her way, LOL. I’m employed by Full Color Lab, in Dallas, TX. As a Customer Service Representative and work with photographers locally and across the country. My wife and I also operate Waiters Photography, specializing in Weddings, Portraits and Senior photography. My interest in photography began in Jr. High School. In High School I was in a 3 year program studying both Still Photography and Motion Picture Production. After graduating from high school I did my first wedding 6 weeks later. My photographic education has been thru continue education programs, and workshops etc., as part of the Dallas PPA and Texas PPA. My love of aviation began as a kid, I would watch the old TV show 12 O’clock High or any movie with flying. I was such a nerd I stayed up to watch all of the Apollo programs including the Moon landings. I would build model airplane and paint them non traditional colors. In August of this year I met Jay Miller. The Dallas PPA has a workshop called Little Red School House and the theme was Planes, Dames and Classic Cars, featuring the Pin Up Style photography. Full Color Lab was one of the sponsors of the workshop and I was there to show some of our products including Metal Prints. I watched Jay’s program on Aviation Photography and some of the how to’s. Seeing Jay’s images, I could not help but think how these and other aviation photos would look on Metal Prints. But seeing the images also took me back to the little boy who loved aircraft and I knew I had to know more about Aviation Photography and I knew I wanted to do some of this photography myself. After his program Jay was kind enough to share more of his insight and stories including his experience with one of my favorite aircraft the SR-71. During the workshop we photographed static vintage aircraft that were on display. When I got back to Dallas I looked up the ISAP website and reviewed the member’s portfolio and was even more impressed and ah stuck. I found about some local Airshows that were coming up in my area, including
one in Lancaster put on by the local CAF Lancaster chapter. I contacted Kevin Hong with ISAP and went to my first Airshow event. I use Nikon equipment including D200. D7000 and D70s (yes I still love my D70 for portrait work with flash as it sync at 1/500) I also have lens, 18-200,28-105,70-300 and 70-210. We are lucky in that other lens that have been suggested to me to use I can rent locally and they are very affordable. Just starting my journey I am focusing on the static display and will grow from there. Post production is Lightroom and Topaz plug ins. One of my goals and that of Full Color Lab as well is to see more aviation images on metal prints and other products. I honestly believe that the aviation photographers can sell and market their work to current and future customers in some new and exciting ways. I am a strong believer in continuing education and I take advantage of as many opportunities that I can, from magazines, to local workshops, etc. Also as a Customer Service Representative with Full Color Lab, I have had the opportunity to give programs to Professional photographers, semi pro, camera clubs, as well as speaking to college and high school groups. Lastly what advice would I give other aspiring aviation photographers? Study some of the best in the industry, that’s what I am planning on doing. Also have fun doing the photography and finally I have learned the hard way, travel light and wear the right shoes. www.waitersphotography.com
Meet the members
I was born in Sheffield, England and I consider myself as an advanced amateur photographer. My interest in aviation stems from my childhood visits of the British air shows that included the, “Battle of Britain days,” International Air Tattoo at RAF Greenham Common and the Farnborough air show. I didn’t start doing aviation photography till I came to the United States in 1977. I currently work at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. I use Nikon equipment. I use my Nikon D300 and 80-400 F4.5 -5.56 VR lens when photographing air shows. I prefer shooting JPG, as most of the time I set my release mode to Continuous High Mode. I don’t want to miss vapor trails coming off the aircraft, or miss, “The once in a lifetime shot.” I use Adobe Photoshop, for image processing as it’s easy to learn. I joined ISnAP on October 11th, 2013. I wanted to join a Professional Aviation Photography Society, as I like to network and learn from the Pros. In doing so, I think I will be able to offer better advice to other photographer new to aviation photography. I found out about ISnAP by doing a search on the internet. I currently don’t belong to any other professional photography associations or groups. When I ask for advice from professional photographers at the airshow, I will take notes and help others who come up to me at airshows for advice.
MEET OUR MEMBER I absolutely try to help others. Paul Bowen, whom I’ve been privileged to know and work around, has been a huge influence for me. Not only in his work, but how he shares and makes room for others. And it’s absolutely the right way to be: there is enough room for all of us in this profession. Advice for photographers new to aviation is both easy and hard...There are certain aspects of our craft that are easy: show up at an airshow and shoot photos! You don’t have to be in the photo pit, or have a press pass to make great images. Your photographs are stories, emotions, ideas, and records of what happened. Don’t let your gear, what gear you think you should have, or your perceived status as a photographer get in the way of that.
I’m a professional airline pilot in real life, but my flying passion centers on air racing and flying warbirds. I’ve raced at Reno as a pilot three times, and as a crew member of various racers in the unlimited class. These flying interests have been a natural mix with my photography passion – something that started when I was very young. Since I get paid for my photography, I guess that makes me a professional. I never did study photography like others; I picked it up along the way back when I was a kid. I’ve just kept at it, from taking my film to Kodak for processing, through learning how to develop and print in a darkroom, all the way to the digital tools we all use today. I currently reside in Phoenix, Arizona. I used Nikon for a long time, but I switched to Canon when the EOS5D came out. I also just got a new EOS-1Dx, which is really amazing. It’s going to change my game, for sure. Like 99% of other air to air photographers, I like the 24-105 USM L lens with IS. Now that I have opportunities to shoot out of something more roomy than a T-6, I picked up the 70-200 f2 IS USM lens. I also have some speedlites, PocketWizards, the usual stuff. I was editor of Warbird Digest magazine for a long time, and (I) we never had any problem with shooting and using .jpgs. I felt I was forced to shoot that way with the EOS-5D, and with the 5D Mk II I now have, simply because the write speed on the camera was so slow. Writing a RAW file just takes forever, and it limits your shooting. Now that I have the -1Dx, I’ve shot everything in RAW, and I hope to enjoy the wider limits of that format and seeing what, if anything, I’ve been missing. On the software side, I’ve always used some version of Photoshop. I was an early adopter of Lightroom when it came out. It’s array of tools and interface allowed me to find a better voice when it came to making my images look the way I envisioned them. I’ve also just started using PhotoZoom for enlarging, and have been looking at a few other plug-ins to up my game. I feel like my personal craft has been pushed off to the side for a long time, so it’s kind of a renaissance for me. I’m glad to be outside my comfort zone and learning again. I was a member before, but when photography got mixed down a few levels, I let it lapse. Now that I’ve re-upped, I see all the great work of the membership – what an inspiration! I’m not a member of any other organizations such as ISAP, but if somebody has a camera, I have something in common with them.
There are other aspects that you just don’t jump in to, such as air to air. That is a whole discipline unto itself, and one that I’m about to address in my own way. It’s not so much you can’t shoot photos in that environment, but there is just so much going on that it’s not easy to do. And you have to be safe the first time, the last time, and every time in between. It’s terribly unforgiving for photographers to try if you’re not working with the right people, or trained by the right people. But my overall advice? Keep the finger down on the shutter release. Make mistakes. Use them as learning tools. Do something nobody else is doing. And don’t forget to have some fun along the way!
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Surfing the internet, I came across ISAP and kind of liked the idea behind it. I specially like the “Code of Ethics”, something I often miss in todays mass production digital photography, much of it being published in forums and sites of questionable quality and integrity. I also like the idea about ISAP being a community where each member counts and is appreciated. I am also member of an aviation group in Berne where high quality aviation photography and interaction has a top priority. We often have public lectures and presentations on various aviation topics, and I have done quite a few myself.
Adrian Romang I am a swiss helicopter pilot and mechanic living close to Thun in the Bernese Oberland / Switzerland, in the same village I grew some 40 years ago. I have, however, travelled the world quite a bit and have actually spent 10 years in Africa, together with my wife and three sons. We lived in Cameroon and Madagascar, where I was working for Helimission, a christian non profit organization based in Switzerland. All our helicopters are operated in Africa and Asia for humanitarian purposes. Upon returning to Switzerland in 2005, I took on the position of Technical Manager for Helimission, and as such, still travel a lot all over the world. Needless to say that my cameras are always part of the travel gear. I’m hooked to aviation since the age of 10, when I was invited for a ride in an Aerospatiale SA315 Lama helicopter, doing aerial work in the swiss mountains. As a result, rotorcrafts are my favourite flying machines, although many other aircraft are equally fascinating to me. I’m particularly interested in C-130’s, followed by military jets such as the F-4, F-16 and all Sukhoi fighter, to name a few. African Aviation has a high priority too. My background is slides, which I have been shooting since almost 30 years now and still do every now and then. Since some years however, I also shoot digital. I’m using Nikon equipment, a D300 with an 80-400mm lens for moving targets plus the more simple D90 combined with an 18-105mm for static shots. The slides are shot with an F100 and two lenses of 24-105 and 70-300mm. I’m thinking about switching to Canon though, not an easy decision in any case so I’m still eager to receive advise and feedbacks from fellow photographers. I shoot both RAW and JPG, simply to have uncompressed data available if need be. I’m also a freelance journalist and sometimes RAW data comes handy. I have to admit that I’m not very good at editing and optimizing pictures, mainly since I have no time to “play” around on the PC. If my pictures are published in printed or online media, I let the corresponding editors do the editing. I do use Nikon’s Capture NX-D software if needed but I still have to learn a lot. I look forward to hear from others. In any case, coming from the “slide” age I still aim at doing it right from the beginning, as much as possible.
Yes, I often discuss techniques and settings with my fellow photographers. My advice to newcomers: Listen to guys who have been around in the business but also play around yourself with new ideas, with light and shadows, etc. Also, paying attention to the background is very important in my opinion. Use one body per lens (if you can afford it) so that you do not have to switch and separate lenses and bodies. I found that very helpful to avoid dust on the sensors.
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I am located in a suburb of Kansas City called Lenexa. I would consider myself an advanced amateur with hopes of being a professional someday. I do not have any formal training in photography. I have learned from online tutorials, books, as well as local photographers. My desire to get into aviation photography stems from my childhood. I grew up in Wichita, KS, and have been around aircraft for a long time. At one point I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. Life took a different turn, and I ended up in I.T. We, my wife and I, got a dSLR 5 years ago for our wedding. This allowed me to explore something Iâ€™ve always wanted to do, Photography. Once I figured out that I could combine aviation and photography, I was in love. Seeing beautiful aircraft, and seeing peopleâ€™s reaction to my photography is amazing. When I am at an airfield my heart pounds, and my knees become weak, and I want to portray that in my photographs. I am a Canon guy. I use a Canon 6D. I mainly shoot with a 24-105mm F/4 or a 100-400 F/4-F5.6.
I shoot RAW because I like to adjust the photograph to be as perfect as I can make it. My preferred application is Lightroom, due to the cost as I was starting out and I am more familiar with it than Photoshop. I joined ISAP in September 2014 after doing an internet search for aviation photographers. I figured it was the best way to network with other photographers, build relationships, and to advance my skill in photography. I am currently not a member of any other groups. I am always learning about photography. One of the best ways to re-enforce what you learn is by teaching. I have taught other people what I have learned and encouraged them. I am still fairly new to the world of aviation photography, so I am still learning the tips and tricks. The one tip I have is to get involved. Not just in using your camera at an airshow, but get involved in local groups. This will help your photography, but also build long lasting relationships. Photography is about people, not just about aircraft.
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I’m currently working at NAS Patuxent River, MD but I call Fort Worth, TX home as I am back there on a regular basis. I am a full time professional photographer working for Lockheed Martin on the F-35 flight test program. My desire to photograph aviation traces back to my teens when I was very interested in aviation and photography became a way of documenting what I saw. My passion for photography grew and I eventually decided to study photography formally and I attended the University of Texas at Arlington and received a BA in Communication (Photojournalism track) in 2000. I’m a tried and true Nikon shooter but I shot with a Canon system for about 5 years when I worked at Edwards AFB. I believe that both systems are great but since I learned on a Nikon system, it has always been what I am most comfortable with. My favorite long lens combo is the Nikon D4 and the Nikkor 200-400/F4 super zoom lens. I shoot all imagery in RAW and process from Adobe Bridge to Adobe Photoshop through Adobe Camera Raw. I like to have the most complete capture possible to work with in post so I have my cameras to set capture RAW imagery at the maximum bit depth and in uncompressed files. I joined ISAP in 2001 before the very first ISAP symposium in Fort Worth, TX. I don’t currently belong to any other photography groups but the community of aerial photographers we have at Fort Worth, Pax River and Edwards are closely associated and we frequently exchange ideas and communicate between the sites. I love having the ability to impart knowledge I have learned over the years to others that are up and coming in the field. I am a believer in continuous learning and improvement so I would advise to always seek out guidance and critique from those around you no matter how experienced you might become.
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Charles Burin Iâ€™m Chuck Burin from Apple Valley, MN. I guess you would say that I am an advanced amateur. I retired in 2003 after 40 years of Federal service including 11 years as a USMC pilot and 29 years with the US Department of Labor/OSHA. I had some photography training in the Marines as well OSHA. The training was job related and included air to ground, accident investigation techniques and inspection documentation. I took my first aircraft photos with my fatherâ€™s AGFA 126 camera in 1954 at an open house at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport Air Force Reserve base which just happened to be a mile behind our house. I moved on to using a newer 35 mm camera while attending the University of Kansas from 1958-63. I took aircraft photos, mostly from the ground, on several NROTC trips each year. I was away from aviation between 1974 and 1992 and took very few photos or video during that time. In 1992 I attended a CAF show in St. Paul, MN and did mostly video for a few years before getting back into the photo game. Over the years I have used a number of different cameras including Minolta SRT-101, Topcon RE Super, a series of various 35 mm cameras and on into the digital age with a Panasonic and finally on to Canon. I currently use a Canon T3i with the standard lens plus the 75 to 300mm zoom and a 55 to 250mm IS zoom. For ground to air I prefer the 300. I am looking at moving up to the next level of camera equipment sometime in the next year. I use both RAW and/or jpg depending on what I am shooting at the time. I have Photo Shop Elements 12 and Light Room 5.6 on my pc but use Elements the majority of the time for post processing. I need to learn more and experiment with LR before making any commitment to using it on a regular basis. I have known the current president of ISAP for many years as well as past president thru a museum I work with in Fort Worth, Texas. I met a number of members at Oshkosh in 2010 and joined ISAP in 2012. I am always in the learning mode and try to assist others to the extent I can whenever I am involved in taking aviation photographs.
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Canon EOS-1D Mk.IV, EF24-105 f/4L IS USM, 1/640 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100
Cristian Schrik I started with aviation photography around 1995 when I got a Canon 500N camera for my birthday from my parents. When the digital revolution did his entrance I bought a second hand Canon 20D digital camera. Although I had “basic” knowledge of photography, I wanted to get to learn more and more. By reading various magazines, online articles and viewing tutorials, my interest in (aviation) photography started to grow. In 2012 I started a two year education in photography where I graduated as best of my class in July 2014. I learned many aspects and types of photography which in most cases during my study I relayed into aviation photography. During portrait photography classes I photographed a fight pilot for example.
Canon EOS-1D Mk.IV, EF100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, 1/1000 sec, f/8, ISO 250
The experiences and knowledge I have gained over the years performing Air-to-Air photography makes me a professional. To create such type of images need a lot of dedication, passion, an eye for detail, experience, time and effort. I think into detail before making a photo-brief so that everything is well planned to get the best results out of expensive flight time with flight safety being priority number one. With the help of two model planes that are on my desk, I visualize a shot that I want to capture and put this in my photo-brief. Afterwards I perform a de-brief to exclude mistakes and to learn how I could do better the next time. Also do I still examine images from other photographers on how they created the images. This also give me a good learning curve.
I see myself as a professional aviation photographer. I will explain why I see my work as professional. Before 2010, I was shooting “basic” aviation images during base visits, air shows and exercises around the globe as a tail spotter. You know, the standard images were the entire aircraft needs to fill the image frame, preferably with serial number readable. Images were directly from the side or obliquely from the front with no photographic aspects in mind. Air-to-Air photography was only a (wet)dream of mine, until I got the change to try it out myself in July 2010 during the Fighter Weapon Instructor Training (FWIT) at Leeuwarden Air Base. From the ramp of a Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules that participated as slow mover, I shot my first Air-to-Air images of a Dutch, Belgian and Norwegian F-16. Since than... I have a passion for Air-toAIr photography. It just gives such a thrill!
For shooting I always rely on my Canon equipment. I use a 1D Mark IV body, EF 17-40 f/4L USM, EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM and a EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM. For shooting helicopters I use my 70-200 and for others I use the 24-105. Shooting .RAW format images give so much more advantages to get the maximum out of your image. The ability to control light and color in almost every way is just phenomenal. It may take time, but in the end the results can be just as you want.
It is not an average day question to fly a military fighter jet, transport/ tanker or helicopter. And with all the Defense budget cuts around the globe, it does not make it easier at all. After many setbacks I got the opportunity to perform an Air-to-Air photo-shoot with the Norwegian Air Force flying school at Bardufoss Air Base, flying the MFI-15 Safari, during the creating of an article about the flight school and their aircraft.
The reason I joined ISAP was purely for sharing knowledge and to share tips & tricks on aviation photography. I have been in contact with ISAP members sharing knowledge that I later tried myself to see if it would work for me to. Sharing knowledge is important to me as a learning curve in photography. That is why I came up with the idea for a ISAP Symposium European edition. Together with fellow member Mike Green I am trying to find out the possibilities. There are many ISAP members that are from Europe and are not in the opportunity to attend the ISAP Symposium in the United States.
I started to examine Air-to-Air images from aviation photographers on how they took the shot. What were the aircraft positions, sun position etc. My first photo-briefing looked really cool, but had big mistakes while briefing with the pilots. During that briefing I learned one very important one. Think as an aviator by keeping photographic aspects in mind to get results. For me this was a huge learning curve and eye opener. From here I started to learn more and more about Air-to-Air photography and the way it is performed. Great help came from my buddy and fellow aviation photographer Frank Crébas, who kindly shared his knowledge with me who I am still thankful for that.
My .RAW images are being processed in Adobe Lightroom where I do my selection and most editing. Afterwards I continue to edit my images in Adobe Photoshop CC where I make some final adjustments. I love working with Niksoftware plugin filters, especially Color Efex Pro that can give just that extra little touch to an image.
If you want to connect, send me an E-mail at Cristian@aimhigh.nl or by social media on Facebook.com/Aimhighaviation or @CristianSchrik. Looking forward hearing from you. www.aimhigh.nl
Canon EOS-1D Mk.IV, EF24-105 f/4L IS USM, 1/400 sec, f/11, ISO 100
Canon EOS-1D Mk.III, EF100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, 1/80 sec, f/10, ISO 100
Canon EOS-1D Mk.IV, EF24-105 f/4L IS USM, 1/320 sec, f/10, ISO 100
Canon EOS-1D Mk.IV, EF70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/100 sec, f/18, ISO 100
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Damien Guarnieri I am the Photo Coordinator for the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company at the Marietta, Georgia plant location. I’ve been with LM for 7 years as a photographer/photo coordinator. Prior to that, I was the Chief Photographer for the Marietta Daily Journal Newspaper for 10 years. I’ve been a professional photographer for 20 years, beginning my career while getting my BA in Journalism at The Ohio State University. After I graduated OSU, I moved to Savannah, Georgia and studied photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Since I was a child, I always loved anything that had to do with space or airplanes. When I was growing up in Ohio, my dad had a farm that we would tend on the weekend and C-130s from the local airbase in Youngstown would do really low fly-bys and I loved seeing them fly so close. When I moved to Marietta, the paper I shot for is literally across the street from Lockheed Martin, and when I found out there was an opening for a photographer at the plant, I jumped at the opportunity and was lucky enough to get hired. I really love having the opportunity to photograph all the cool planes we have here at the plant. It is really fascinating to see the planes being built from the ground up, and to be able to photograph that process from beginning to delivery flight is just a real treat. I’ve always been a Canon shooter. Currently I shoot with a Canon EOS 5D MkIII. I use my long lenses to shoot action in the air, but I carry around my whole kit including wide angle lenses because there are just as many interesting things to shoot on the ground are there are in the air. I always shoot RAW because you can get all the information in the digital image. The only time I shoot JPG is with my phone’s camera. I also process my images in Photoshop. I don’t have any familiarity with any other program. I found out about and joined ISAP through work at Lockheed Martin. I am also a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. I used to teach intro to photography as a side gig back in the film days, and I am more than happy to talk to aspiring photographers about my job and the business. As for advice for photographers new to aviation: be safe and be aware of your surroundings when you are around aircraft; don’t be afraid to try different angles; don’t worry about having the latest and greatest gear because it is more important to have a creative eye than a camera with all the bells and whistles; if you are going to freelance, make sure you take lots of business classes.
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Erich Linder My name is Erich Linder, and I am from Cleveland, Ohio. I consider myself an advanced amateur photographer, although I am beginning to step into the semi-pro category as I do more sports photography, primarily equestrian events. I have not done formal photographic training. I am mostly self taught, with a large amount of help learning from several online forums. I do have a degree in computer graphics and visual effects, and I find a lot of the concepts such as visualizing angles and lighting help a great deal with my photography. Having used quite a few different computer programs also helps me pick up using new software fairly easily. Aviation and spaceflight has always interested me, starting as far back as watching the Apollo missions while I was growing up. As soon as I was able to, I started flying myself. My first solo was in a sailplane, then I moved to fixed wing airplanes, and then into helicopters. I’ve also dabbled in aerobatics and warbird formation flying. In that respect, flying is like photography; the more I did it the more expensive the equipment became! I was always interested in photography, starting with a Minolta Maxxum film camera, but I didn’t really become serious about it until I bought my first digital camera, a Nikon D80. I’ve been a Nikon shooter ever since. I recently upgraded most of my equipment, so I am currently using a D4s and D810. At air shows my main lens is a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 prime either by itself or with a 1.4x, 1.7x, or 2.0x teleconverter. For sports I find the versatility of my 200-400mm f/4 lens can’t be beat, but for air shows and aviation I find it not quite sharp enough, not to mention too heavy. I always shoot RAW+JPG, each to a separate card for redundancy, in as high a bit depth and highest quality as available. I’d rather take a slight hit in frame rate and buffer depth and have the better quality for processing. The JPG also gives me a reference when processing the RAW files, as there are times I like the Nikon processing better than I can get with Adobe Camera Raw. I was an Apple Aperture user, but have moved to Lightroom and Photoshop, along with the Google Nik plugins.
I learned about ISAP when I discovered the Mustang Air to Air thread on the Fredmiranda.com forum. There are a lot of great aviation photographers there, and as I grew to know some of them online I learned more about ISAP. I joined not only to learn from others, but to meet photographers with similar interests. I’m still learning a lot, and hope to be able to pass on what I’ve gained to others. Photography can at times be a solitary endeavor, but it becomes so much richer when shared with others. That is the main tip I give someone just starting out. Airplanes are cool, but it’s the people behind the controls, the people who maintain them, and the people who dedicate their lives to them that truly bring them to life.
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Matthew Savage I am an advanced amateur photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. I am slowly plucking up the courage to jump into the deep end and start making a career out of photography. In addition to aviation photography I like to shoot glamour and landscapes. I have always enjoyed the art of Photography, a gift from my father. I used his darkroom to process my B/W work from when I was 12 and love the look of it. I have not completed any formal photography training or schooling. I tend to prefer to get out and learn in the field and learn by doing it. I am a member of our local camera club in Frankston. My first camera was a fully-manual Praktica 35mm SLR; the best way to learn the art of photography. I had a hiatus of several years from photography in my 20’s but the bug was always there. I entered the Digital world around 3 years ago with the purchase of a Nikon D200 DLSR and a couple of kit lenses. I still have this camera as a backup, now shooting with a D7100. I primarily shoot with a Sigma 50-500mm with OS or a Tamron 17-50 f2.8. I love the flexibility of the Sigma lens and it rarely leaves my D7100. I have always loved aviation. Ever since I was a toddler I would look to the skies whenever an aeroplane flew over. I went on to do my PPL in my early 20’s but have not done much flying since then. My main aviation love is for antiques and warbirds. I am fortunate enough to live very close to Tyabb airport, which has a very active population of these types. Among them are several Harvards, CAC Mustang, and a rare Merlin-powered P-40F Kittyhawk. My family connection to aviation is my Great-Uncle Sir Hughie Edwards. He flew for the RAF during the war and rose through the ranks to become an Air Commodore (1-Star equivalent). He flew Blenheims and Mosquitoes mostly during the war, and was the CO of 105 Squadron RAF. He was also awarded the Victoria Cross. I always shoot in RAW so I have much greater flexibility when processing my images. I do the majority of my work in Lightroom, with more complex work being done in Photoshop. I love the ease at which processing can be done within Lightroom, and the seamless integration it has with other software. I also use onOne Software and Nik Software for additional editing work. I joined ISAP 2 years ago as I was looking to find a group of like-minded people from whom I can learn. I love the work that created by fellow members and try to emulate this in mine. There is a great diversity of people and skills within the group and they are willing to share their knowledge and experience. My only wish was to be on the other side of “the pond” & be closer to the great events organized by ISAP.
I am happy to pass on advise to others who will listen. I also know that photography, like most things, is a subject where you will never stop learning about it. My advice to somebody new to aviation photography would be to get a thorough understanding of your gear and the basics, and practice, practice and practice!!
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Milan Ovecka I was born and grew up in Slovakia (then part of Czechoslovakia). I’m a scientist by education with a degree in molecular biology. After spending about 5 years in the US my job brought me to Cambridge, England where I have been living last 8 years. I am an advanced amateur with no formal photography training. My interest in photography started in my teenage years. At that time it was mainly some landscape and family black and white film photography. Although I have always been interested in aviation in general, and WWII millitary aviation history especially, I have not started with aviation photography until one day about six years ago. This special day I finally took my family to a day trip just few kilometers south of Cambridge to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. It was just a normal quiet weekend day at the museum (no airshow) and as I was standing there and watching the usual sightseeing flights taking off and landing suddenly a small dot showed up low on the east horizon and slowly grew bigger and bigger. As she approached I could recognise the familiar shape of B-17. It was “Sally B”, the only airworthy Flying Fortress in Europe. When I squinted my eyes I could almost imagine how it would look when the B-17s where returning home from the bombing raids over continental Europe. She landed just in front of my eyes and taxied to it’s parking position. This was followed shortly by a practice display by one of the Duxford based Spitfires. I couldn’t believe my eyes (and ears for that matter too), it was very emotional moment for me. Not just one but two of my childhood dreams suddenly became reality. I knew what I wanted to do with my camera from that moment on. My aviation photography interests have expanded since then to all military aviation (including cold war era and modern jets). Since then I try to attend all the Duxford air shows every year and also the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England. Although my first camera was a Russian made SMENA-8M I got as child, I have been Canon shooter since I bought my first “real” film camera with interchangeable lenses, and didn’t have reason to change that when I switched to digital. I currently use Canon EOS 7D .The lens of choice for me for ground to air shots on airshows is Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM L lens. Main advantages for me are the relative small size and weight as well as excellent image quality. Both the camera and the lens are “weather sealed” which is always a plus when visiting an airshow here in England. My other lenses include 17-40mm f/4 L and the EF 50mm f/1.8 II, both from Canon as well as the excellent Zeiss 50mm f1.4 T* Planar. I shoot RAW because the of the increased flexibility I have when postpocessing my pictures. Aperture used to be (and still mostly is) my main software when it comes to organizing and selecting my images. For processing I am in the process of switching to Lightroom but I’m also experimenting with Capture One Pro from Phase One (currently being part of beta testing program for their upcoming version 8.0). Although
I’m currently more proficient with Lightroom, I like the ability to customize the user interface and the excellent image rendering results coming from the Capture One. I have not made the final decision as to which software to fully adopt. I have joined the ISAP in summer of 2012 after coming across of some of the excellent and for me very inspirational work of it’s members on social media sites. I simply want to learn from the best! Currently I do not belong to any other professional association. I mainly share tips and tricks I have learned in with other aspiring aviation photographers mainly informally online or in person with people I meet. An advice for anyone starting with aviation, especially airshow, photography at an amateur level would be: don’t get discouraged with the lack of long lenses, shoot with what you have, be creative with static and taxing airplanes, experiment a lot with different settings and learn to know your camera well.
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Scott Leggo I am an Australian wilderness, landscape and aviation photographer and recognise I’m probably a little different from the norm in regards to this combination of genres I shoot. I’d characterise myself as someone who has had a love of aviation from a young age yet am also driven by a love of travel and the adventure of exploring great locations and sharing the beauty of nature with others. My work is a mix between the ‘retail’ side of the business where I sell prints and calendars etc, and then assignments for commercial clients. The commercial side is the largest aspect of the business. For me, it’s necessary to have both aspects of the business as they are mutually beneficial. I win commercial assignments and corporate clients because they have seen my calendar or my prints. That gives them confidence to engage me as they already understand the style of work and how this could support their promotion, advertising or marketing efforts. This commercial work then in turn allows for opportunities to capture images for my print collection and so forth. Thus from a business perspective it’s a symbiotic relationship as one supports the other and so on. I’m very selective about my commercial or assignment work. I sometimes get approached for more ‘general’ commercial photography needs, but I certainly don’t do headshots. I stick to what I’m good at and what I like (why I took up photography in the first place). For me it is important that people understand I don’t try to be all things to everyone. There’s a lot of generalists out there and while there’s nothing wrong with that approach I’ve chosen to be more of a specialist and increasingly my commercial clients recognise and appreciate that, and engage me accordingly. Ultimately they have a higher degree of trust in what I will produce for them as they want that extra ‘wow’ factor over and above what a more generalist could potentially provide. My clients usually engage me because they’ve seen my work and want similar landscape or aviation photos of their business, whether that be a restored warbird, private aircraft, winery, golf course or multi billion property development turning farm land into new residential developments. In that case, if they’re spending billions of dollars, they can afford to be selective and get someone just right for their needs who is a specialist and that’s what I look to provide. I started in photography as I was in desperate need of an improved worklife balance and was looking for an ‘excuse’ to get out and about and get back to doing things I enjoyed rather than having my life dominated by work. Growing up I used to love the time I spent outdoors and over the years grew to love travel, but I had reached a point where much of what I enjoyed doing had disappeared from my life as I had been taken over by work. Over a number years a lot had fallen out of my life in terms what I actually enjoyed, replaced by work that increasingly offered little reward other than long hours and hectic travel. In 2006 I decided that landscape and aviation photography would be a great opportunity for me to focus on reintroducing to my life the outdoor adventure activities and interest in
aviation I enjoyed as well as travel on my terms not that of my employer. Ultimately I thought, wouldn’t it be awesome if I could travel around to spectacular locations and photograph them and come back with great images that would look great on people’s walls. That was the genesis of the idea, and I guess why in many ways I’m not traditional in how I came to photography with no formal training or ‘art’ background and why I’ve never been interested in shooting weddings or portraits etc. As time has gone on, another aspect that has continued to draw me to photography is the business aspects. As someone who has previously worked in Government and Defence, I now thoroughly enjoy the freedom and flexibility of effectively being my own boss and being unconstrained by the frustrating processes and bureaucracy that is Government decision making. I also get a lot of satisfaction from the challenges that are inherent in trying to grow a business along the path to achieving the vision I have set for myself. There were however gasps of horror from many of my former colleagues over why I’d leave behind a successful career to follow a dream with no guarantees compared to the security that surrounds a Government job. Undoubtedly I’m now much more relaxed and happier than I was when I set out on this photography journey, so in that regard I think I’ve definitely made the right decision in pursuing photography and what drew me to it in the first place. On the camera front, I currently shoot with Canon’s EOS 5DMKII, with a good range of L series lenses as well as Nikon’s D800e fitted with Carl Ziess lenses. I predominantly use the longer focal lengths for much of my aviation work. Medium format is possibly next for me given what I want to be able to offer my clients going forward, but I think there’s some big changes coming between the likes of Canon and Nikon competing with the Phase One and Hasselblad’s of the world, so we’ll see how this plays out. To carry my gear I use Lowepro backpacks. I’ve used Sandisk Extreme Cards since I started and these cards have never failed and I’ve shot in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius in Northern China during winter. And last but of course not least, I use Apple products for all my computing needs. On the processing front, I use Phase One’s Capture One for my RAW processing and then Adobe Photoshop as required. I always shoot in RAW. For me it’s an easy choice to deliver the best quality images for my clients and allow the maximum possibilities in post processing. I happily acknowledge that in this digital age I fully embrace the power of technology and the digital darkroom — turning the raw captured camera data into the emotional impact that existed for me at the time of capture. Generally my digital post production is similar to what was always done in traditional darkrooms, to make my photos represent the scene as I saw it. But digital technology increasingly allows much more than that too, open-
ing up opportunities for photographers like myself to capture images that far more accurately convey what the human eye sees than film ever could. Ever improving technology is constantly pushing photography boundaries, opening up new possibilities and empowering me as a photographer to overcome many of the limitations that existed with photography in the past. For me, these new advances mean I am now able to produce photographs that far more accurately match the colours, tonality, depth of field and dynamic range that we see for real — something old cameras and film simply could not do. I am therefore thankful to technology, and what RAW capture allows. I am a firm believer in professional development and am constantly seeking to improve my photography and business skills. I see ISAP as way to further my professional development around aviation photography. The industry is quite small in Australia compared to Europe and North America, so joining ISAP provides me with access to greater professional opportunities than I can get in Australia alone. In Australia I belong to the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). Since joining that organization the value to me has been immense, despite the fact that there’s very few dedicated aviation photographers as members of the AIPP. From my association with that body I have seen the clear benefit in belonging to a professional body and my photography skills and business has benefitted enormously from being part of a leading professional photography association. Equally, for me the likes of ISAP’s membership base is testament to ISAPs ability to bring together talented people who share a love of aviation and are seeking to build their professional mastery in the field of aviation photography. This is a good advertisement for the quality and value others in the industry see in the ISAP. This is a tough question as I think there are so many critical elements. One key bit of advice is to be committed. I don’t think you can achieve the success many aviation photographers desire without a high degree of commitment. This covers many aspects, but ultimately comes down to personal drive and motivation. Just like many businesses, it’s a constant learning process so don’t give up. I’ve had lots of things not work and learnt some very hard lessons along way, such as some marketing efforts that were ineffective. I could have easily given in a few times, so I’d say to others, stick with it when things don’t go right. Sit back, assess, de-brief, ask advice, learn from others and then re attack. A strong commitment to what you want to achieve in the long run will help in this regard. When I started I leveraged everything and everyone I knew. I didn’t have a lot of business experience nor photography understanding so I really pushed myself to learn a lot in a short period of time, and of course I’m still constantly learning. I guess how I started was by seeking as much advice as I could and letting lots of people know what I was planning on doing and tried to get my work out there for people to see. A big lesson I have learnt is that if no one has seen your photos, they won’t even know you exist and so can’t buy your photos. So I think it’s important to get your work out there. I think word of mouth is often underrated for its value in this regard – it’s still the best marketing tool around. With a military background, I’ve always believed in the value in prior preparation and planning. Getting started in this business was no different and I spent (and still do) plenty of time on business planning. This was just as important to building success as learning photography and capturing images. With my background another big benefit I’ve found is that l wasn’t constrained by traditional ways of thinking about how
to market my business, who my clients could be or how a ‘traditional’ photography business should be structured. All that said it’s still been a lot of really hard work, and a lot of trial and error. I’m still learning and making mistakes, so as long that’s happening the business should continue to grow and so will my photography skills!
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I’m a producer/director & aerial photographer for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas. I just recently moved to Fort Worth from California where I was covering flight tests of the F-35 at Edwards AFB for the past 5 1/2 years. Since this is my full time job, I guess that makes me a professional but, in my mind I feel like an amateur because I’m always learning. Shooting air-to-air from fighters is a difficult task. It’s very easy to succumb to the swagger of flying in an F-16 but, I’ve experienced the “humble stumble” of trying to capture a one-time, historical event while inverted, pulling Gs, and holding back the dry heaves enough to realize this is a tough gig. It’s never lost on me how lucky I am to be one of 9 aerial photographers at Lockheed Martin. We’re all aircrew qualified in either the F-16, F-18 or both. We go through the same physical training as our pilots do. Our training includes emergency parachute, water & land survival, egress, life support equipment, altitude chamber, and the dreaded centrifuge. Since working at Lockheed Martin I’ve logged over 400 hours in an F-16, flown above 50,000 feet, pulled 9.7Gs, and have gone to 1.73 mach. I’ve photographed the first live fire from an F-35, sat on the ramp of a C-130J filming all three F-35 variants in formation, and have flown BFM (dog fighting) against an F-22 Raptor. It seems on every flight I have that one moment when I look out the glass of the canopy in disbelief and thank God for this opportunity. I don’t have any formal training. I came up through the school of hard knocks. I’ve always been artistic and had an interest in photography but never realized I could make a living with those talents until I met my wife some 24 years ago. She worked as a producer for a TV station and had a video production company on the side. I started helping out on some of her projects and was hooked immediately. I dove in to the production business and never looked back. We produced everything -- TV shows, documentaries, music videos, corporate videos, commercials – with both video and print campaigns. To me, photography is an extension of cinematography. I really don’t make a distinction between the two. I consider myself a stills and motion photographer. My father was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps so, I grew up around airplanes. As a kid, I’d go flying with my dad as much as I possibly could. I’ve always loved to fly and have been fascinated with airplanes for as long as I can remember. When I saw there was a job opening for an aerial photographer at Lockheed Martin, I jumped at the chance.
When it comes to DSLRs, I shoot with both Nikon and Canon. I prefer the Canon 5D MkIII because I shoot as much video as I do stills. I think Nikon gives a sharper image but, that’s not necessarily a good thing when shooting video. Canon cameras are much more cinematic. My favorite camera to shoot with is the RED. I’ve been flying with REDs for about four years now. They work great for flight test because I can shoot high speed video and pull a decent size still from that video. When shooting video at normal frame rates (24fps) I’m able to shoot at up to 6k which means I can pull a 19MP still from that. I no longer have to decide between video or stills. I can shoot both simultaneously without having to use a two-camera rig. Which, by the way, is much safer. Whether I’m flying with a 5D or RED, I use a Canon 24-105mm F4. To me it’s the perfect lens for the type of shooting I do. It has image stabilization which is critical for shooting video handheld in the backseat of an F-16. Plus, it gives me enough reach to get some distance between aircraft for more dynamic maneuvering. I always shoot RAW because it gives you so much more latitude in post production to work an image. That’s also one of the main reasons I love shooting on RED as well - the ability to shoot RAW video. I use both Photoshop and Lightroom for processing stills. Whenever I do a tethered ground or studio shoot I like to use CaptureOne. The images are a little sharper than when I shoot tethered using Lightroom. I can also adjust settings, review images, and remotely trigger the shutter with my smartphone or tablet using the CapturePilot app. I learned about ISAP a few years ago from my fellow photogs at Lockheed Martin. Most of them are members and for me, it was a no-brainer to join. I like hanging out with like-minded people and I learn so much from seeing other people’s work. It’s also nice to hear how other photographers handle similar situations. It has been a great source of inspiration for me as well. I enjoy talking about photography almost as much as I like shooting. I’ve been asked a few times to speak to photography groups and I’ve given presentations at RED Studios in California. I also teach REDucation which is a week long course on using the RED camera and post-production workflows. I definitely don’t mind sharing what I do for a living. If my experiences can help others reach their goals in some small way that’s super cool. My camera has been an all-access pass to adventure. The places it has taken me and the things I’ve seen and done are simply amazing. I guess the best advice I could give to a photographer wanting to get into aviation is to be original. Emulating another photographer’s work is a good way to learn but you need to find your own artistic voice and style. To do that get out there and shoot. Then, shoot some more. You usually don’t have to go far to find an airshow or a museum. If you have one nearby, go to an airbase. Find an area close to the base where you can get some great shots of airplanes in the pattern. The bottom line is, you won’t get good at anything if you don’t practice. According to Malcolm Gladwell it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in any field, so get crackin’!
RED EPIC-X, 200mm, f/2.8, 1/48, ISO 800
Canon 1D MkIII, 70mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 100
Canon 5D MkII, 90mm, f/2.8, 20sec, ISO 400
MEET OUR MEMBERS
I am presently a B747-400 Captain / West Region Chief for UPS Airlines living in Temecula, California. My professional career has afforded me the opportunity to visit many interesting regions of the world. Prior to moving to Southern California this past summer, I spent 8 years in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska has one of the most diverse aviation communities found anywhere and the photo opportunities where incredible. One essential piece of luggage I always include in my travels is a camera. I consider myself an advance amateur. My photographs include a variety of interests; however, aviation has always been a passion of mine. I shoot Nikon and have since buying my first Nikon D70 almost 13 years ago. My current equipment includes a Nikon D800/D300 and a selection of Nikon lenses including a 14-24 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 and 400mm f2.8. For action shots, I primarily rely on the 70-200 or 400mm. For static displays the 14-24 and 24-70 are great for a different perspective. When shooting, I capture my images in RAW to give the greatest flexibility and use Lightroom and Photoshop to catalog and process my images. I enjoy shooting in all types of weather and find that images shot in poor weather conditions adds a unique drama to the scene. I discovered ISAP with the help of my wife. While browsing images on the Internet, she followed a link back to ISAP and immediately told me that I should check it out. I signed up shortly afterwards and just renewed my membership for a second year. I have not had as much of an opportunity to shoot this past year with a change of job assignment and cross-country move but hope to use my membership to discover photo opportunities in the near future. Like aviation, I feel that the photography community is very unique. I have discovered that people of both interests enjoy getting together and sharing information. Sharing of information benefits everyone; both the instructor and student. At the end of the day, it is all about the experience.
MEET OUR MEMBER With friends we are always discussing new opportunities made possible because of the technological improvement in hardware and software. A tip I would like to give a new aviation photographer is to make sure there is movement in your photos. Either by not freezing the propeller or rotor or by using the speed of the airplane to get a blurry background.
I am living in Arnhem, the Netherlands. I started to take photos of aviation in 1983 with a Pentax SLR. Growing up near NAS Valkenburg, I spent a lot of time learning photography from the more experienced photographers and by trial and error. When I changed to digital photography in 2005, I took some classes in Photoshop and Lightroom to develop the shots the way I want. I am using a Canon Eos 1D mark IV as my main camera with a Eos 1D mark IIN as back-up. My favorite lens is the 70-200/F2.8l mark II and I just got the new 100-400/4.0-5.6 mark II. For close range I am using the 24-70/4.0 and 17-40/4.0. During airshows I am mainly using the 100-400 and the 70-200 on the second body.
Canon EOS 1D mk IIN with 28-135/3,5-5.6 IS at 70mm, 1/250, f 14, ISO 100
I am shooting in RAW only since that gives me the flexibility to give my shots the best processing and provides the best result. I am using Lightroom 5 and sometimes Perfect effects for some special effects. Since I was already reading IsNAP via Issuu, I thought it would be nice to become a member of ISAP as well so I joined ISAP this year. I hope to learn from my fellow photographers and to be helpful when I can.
Canon EOS 1D mk IV with 70-200/2.8L at 160mm, 1/100, f 18, ISO 200
EOS 1D mk IV with 24-70/f4.0L IS at 59mm, 1/400, f 9.0, ISO 100
Canon EOS 1D mk IV with 500/4.0L IS, 1/1000, f 8.0, ISO 200
Canon EOS 1D mk IIN with 70-200/2.8L at 120mm, 1/500, f 5.0, ISO 100
EOS 1D mk IV with 300/4.0L IS, 1/125, f 6.3, ISO 200
Canon EOS 1D mk IV with 24-70/f4.0L IS at 24mm, 5 sec., f 8.0, ISO 200
EOS 1D mk IV with 300/4.0L IS, 1/1000, f 9.0, ISO 200
MEET OUR MEMBER With the first digital cameras coming on the market I purchased a Sony Digital that loaded to a floppy disc. Man that 640 X 400 resolution was something else. Until I compared the prints with my Kodachrome 25 prints. Well later I acquires a small but much better Sony 3 MB camera, yet I wasn’t satisfied until I purchased my first serious digital in a Nikon D-70 with 18-70mm lens. Next came a Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 lens and I was hooked. Gave the D-70 in an in-law and jumped to a D-300 and saw all the difference in the world. Picked up a used Nikkor 600mm f/4 and a new 24-70mm f/2.8 and made that next jump. Today I shoot a D-800 with my 24-70mm f /2.8, a 14-24mm f/2.8, and an 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 which I take to all air shows. My 80-200MM f/2.8 is still my favorite “Concert” lens and the one i used at Nellis AFB ISAP 2010. The 24mm f/2.8 prime and the 50mm f/1.4 prime are my two lens I keep at the music store along with the D-300 to shoot photos for FB and our website.
Charles Craig Swancy but everyone calls me Craig. A native of Weatherford, Texas with family roots dating back into the 1870’s. Married to Ruth (36years) with two sons. Our oldest son Chris is a DPS Trooper in Ft. Worth and Matt is the Manager of Craig’s Music, Inc. in Weatherford. A career Fireman from 1971 to 2005 with the City of Weatherford, Texas, Worked through the ranks and retired as Captain, Shift Commander. In 1978 I started Craig’s Music, Inc. and grew this musical instrument store into the largest independently owned music store in Texas. Guitars, Amps, Drums, Keyboards, Sound Systems is our mainstay while we employ a full time Luthier/Guitar Tech and an Amp Tech for repairs and restoration of stringed instruments and amps. We carry over 20,000 vacuum tubes in stock and often find a rare tube someone needs for and old amp or S.W. Radio. Currently Mayor-Pro Tem of the City of Weatherford and no I can’t fix traffic tickets. My interest in cameras began with the purchase of a Canon AE-1 back in 1973. Purchased a 100-200 zoom to go with the stock 50mm and a 500mm lens to round out my outfit. Over the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s I took thousands of shots using primarily Ektachome 64 and Kodachrome 25. On occasion I would venture out at night with some Ektachrome 200 or 400. Many prints and slides are categorized and boxed at home. My Dad was a Civil Air Patrol Captain during WW II and continued to fly post war. We flew everywhere as a family during the 1950’s and early 60’s in a Piper Tri-Pacer. Many times I was fortunate to fly the right seat and log a few hours at the controls. Dad’s love for flying and his many CAP Manuals lead to an appreciation of all Private and military Aircraft. Dad was a photographer and always carried a 35mm camera while on vacations. As Dad grew older and gave up flying, I used to take him to many “Fly-Ins” in north Texas and together we exposed many rolls of film during our trips. No doubt his influence is the basis for my photography and love of aircraft. The Canon AE-1 served me well until the 1990’s when I jumped ship and went to Nikon. I bought a pair of Nikon F-2 Cameras, and a bag of Nikkor Lens from a retiring photographer. (24mm Prime, 50mm prime, 105mm prime, 300 mm, prime and several Nikkor Zooms.) Many of those lenses I still use today.
When attending Air Shows or Fly-Ins I tend to shoot all my ground photos with the 14-24mm and 24-70mm. All Air Shots are shot with the 80-400mm and sometimes I’ll put a 2X converter on. A new Nikkor 200-500mm is on order. Always preferring to shoot in RAW since the sensor on the D-800 can handle so much information. I was able to get a 56MB photo last summer using 14 bit RAW settings. My prints are often very large photos of 24” X 36”, 36” X 48,” and 40” X 60”. The largest print to date was 8 ft. x 12 ft. print of our local courthouse for a museum. Generally I process everything through Lightroom now because of the control and flexibility of the program. I intend to jump into Photoshop in mid 2016. Forever shooting in Manual, as that is how I learned, friends and Photographers I highly respect have urged me to reach out into other camera settings. As one friend said, “Because the camera is smarter than I am.” I joined ISAP at the urging of an ISAP Member, the late Dr. Dick Coers of Ft. Worth, in March of 2010 and made my first ISAP Symposium at Las Vegas. Dr. Coers convinced my very shortly that I would enjoy the symposiums, locations, and the comradery of ISAP. He was indeed correct. (We lost Dr. Dick Coers on March 9, 2012.) At home I help and teach basic and intermediate techniques to the local beginning photographers. Always ready to gather a small group and light out in search of a photo opportunity either day or night. What advice would I share with a Photographer new to Aviation. Ground shots are easy, learn to frame them well. Air shots take time to learn in leading or swinging the camera. Shoot fast in the beginning and as you become accustomed to the swing, and your shots become better, then lower your shutter speed for good prop blurs. Then explain the shutter speeds for jets and prop airplanes. Lastly, Larry Grace said to me, “Let the photo come to you.” A good piece of advice.
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I am an advanced amateur photographer with a passion for aviation. My love of airplanes began in my early grade school years growing up in Tucson, Arizona. I have memories of family Sunday drives around Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and looking at all of the stored airplanes parked along public roads, likely the place my interest in aviation developed. My first camera was a Fisher-Price that my father gave me, honest! I grew up with Canons, first a TX, then an AE-1 and finally a T-90. I moved on to a Pentax 645, all while shooting slide film. I took photography in high school, but have no other formal training other than working with my father as a tutor and mentor. I switched to all digital in 2005 with the Panasonic superzoom camera the FZ20 then the FZ30. When the mirrorless, Micro 4/3 system came on the scene I fell in love with the compact Panasonic G-1 and remained with the Micro 4/3 system ever since. My current tools are the Olympus OM-D EM-1 and EM-5II with a stable of Olympus glass. I use a Panasonic GX-7 as my backup and night shot camera. By now, I have lost many of the Canikon folks, but remember I was the guy at Oshkosh that I had all three bodies and seven lenses in my backpack, all at once and with room to spare.
Katie Baron with SNJ-5 N4745C at Osceola, WI. Olympus OM-D EM5II with Olympus 75mm f1.8
My go to airshow set up is my Olympus EM-1 with the Olympus Pro 40-150mm f2.8. An added bonus of the Micro 4/3 set up is the 2x crop factor as opposed to a full-frame camera, so I am using a 80-300mm F2.8 lens. When I need more reach I add the 1.4x Olympus teleconverter. Olympus has announced a 300mm f4.0 for release in 2016, a lens I eagerly anticipate (think 600mm f4.0 in a compact package). My post capture work is in Adobe Lightroom CS combined with some tweaking in Photoshop CS. My goal is to someday be good enough to earn a spot doing airto-air work. As a frustrated, non-pilot due to my lack of any depth perception, most of my flying has been vicarious as opposed to hands on. I joined ISAP based on the positive experiences I have had with other ISAP members at Oshkosh, and most of all wanting to be around other aviation photographers well above my skill level so I can learn more about our craft. Delta Airbus A330-300 N811NW departs into the setting sun at Minneapolis-St. Paul. Panasonic GH-3 with Panasonic 14-140mm
Avianca Airbus A321 takes off in the late evening light from San Jose, Costa Rica Olympus OM-D EM-1 with Olympus Pro 40-150mm f2.8
The prettiest time of year as fall colors greets Alaska 737-700 N644AS as it arrives at Minneapolis-St. Paul from Seattle. Olympus OM-D EM-1 with Panasonic 100-300mm
Delta 747-400 N664US departs from runway 4 at MSP with downtown Minneapolis in the background. Olympus OM-D EM-1 with Panasonic 100-300mm 00-400
The Texas Flying Legends FG-1D Corsair makes a photo pass at Oshkosh 2015. Olympus OM-D EM-1 with Olympus Pro 40-150mm f2.8 with Olympus 1.4x converter
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Let me introduce myself to those members who do not know me, and update my many friends in ISAP on what I am doing these days. I am your ISAP Treasurer and Board Member. Photography is my first passion, aviation is my second… or maybe aviation has been my first passion with photography as a bonus. I am a former EAA staff photographer, where I had the pleasure of being Photo 2 to Jim Koepnick’s Photo 1. Being able to learn air to air photography from Jim and Bruce Moore was a once in a lifetime job opportunity. In my time with EAA, I had Magazine Covers published by Sport Aviation, Sport Aerobatics, Warbirds, Vintage and Women For Aviation. I was also published in Flying Magazine, Aviation Week & Space Technology, and Plane and Pilot. While at EAA, I was featured as the cover story for Women In Aviation July/August 2007. WAI also brought me to several of their conferences as a speaker, with my favorite one being Anchorage, Alaska. I was awarded the 2014 Bruce Baty Volunteer of the Year by WAI. An honor I treasure. I currently shoot for WAI for their annual conference and EAA. So what else am I up to these days? I am a commercial photographer in the Greater Green Bay, Wisconsin area, specializing in aerial construction progress photography. I utilize the local FBO/flight instructor for my photo pilots, depending on where the construction site is located. I have wonderful working relationships with both FBO’s in Green Bay, the Fond du Lac Airport, and Middleton for my Madison assignments. In 2013 I was accepted as a protégé in the Green Bay Packer’s Mentor/Protégé Program and spent a year being mentored by the Boldt Co in Appleton, Wisconsin. In 2013 I was awarded a bid as a construction photographer for the Lambeau Field Onieda Gate Expansion Project for both aerial and surface photos. I then went on in 2014-2015 to cover the Atrium Expansion Project. As a life-long Packer fan, another once in a lifetime job opportunity. I live in rural Luxemburg on my husband, Gary’s, 4th generation farm. I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. I am a board member on our local Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to seeing you at the next airshow.
MEET OUR MEMBER I take great pride in helping others learn this great hobby and affliction. I have friends that publish photos on my Facebook aviation groups and I always have helpful suggestions for them. It is great to see that those suggestions are taken to heart and their photos continually get better. The main thing that I tell anyone learning photography no matter what they take pictures of is learn the basics of photography, do not rely on the automation of the camera because only you can take a good photo. As for aviation photos, I tell folks, watch your sun angles and know where you want to shoot your aircraft. You do not have to run off a 25 shot burst in hopes of getting one good photo. When shooting Kodachrome K64 in the old days we didnâ€™t have that luxury, you had to get it right the first time or you wasted a lot of money.
My name is Michael Carter. I was born and raised in Long Beach, California where I still live today. Growing up next to the Douglas factory I obviously am a huge Douglas/McDonnell Douglas fan and historian. I have been taking photos of airplanes since 1974 when I got my first camera and seriously shooting since 1994. Taking pictures of airplanes was a no brainier for me as I have always been in love with airplanes (my wife tells me I love them more than her). I work for a major airline as an Operations Supervisor and always have a camera with me at work. I have no formal photographic training just learned on my own over the years. I did take photography classes in High School to learn the basics but that is it. I have learned a lot from fellow photographers over the years as well, a very valuable resource everyone should utilize. I am not a fancy or over the top artsy type aviation photographer, I just want the best photo possible of the aircraft I shoot for myself and my collection as I feel I am recording history to some degree. This again is a love of aircraft for me and not a competition. Over the years I have been published in several aviation magazines and have co-authored numerous stories published in both Airways Magazine and Airliners Magazine mainly featuring the McDonnell Douglas MD-95 (Boeing 717-200). Canon is my camera of choice and I shoot with two 7Ds, one body with a Canon 18-200mm lens the other body combined with a Canon 100-400mm IS lens. I also shoot slides with a Canon EOS 3 body combined with a Sigma 135-400mm lens and rounding out my camera arsenal is a Canon G12 digital camera for those times a less intrusive set-up is called for. As for general shooting practices I shoot in JPEG as I find this works best for me. It obviously requires less storage than RAW files do and that is one of the main considerations for me. I have recently upgraded to Photoshop Elements 9 from Photoshop 7 (which I have used for years) but the many enhancements of Elements 9 are very, very handy. I heard about this group from a good friend and found it to be very interesting after looking at the website. This is actually the first professional photography group that I have been associated with, so this is a new venture for me.
I also tell people not to take a so-so photos and plan on fixing the imperfections in a photo editing program, again get it right the first time, Ansel Adams did not have photoshop or lightroom to fall back on. Finally, I tell new aviation photographers to learn your hobby and learn about the aircraft. Itâ€™s not a race to see who can get their photo on the internet first it should be about getting the best photo possible for yourself and if others like or appreciate your photo that is a bonus.
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I started Focal Flight, LLC, a Southern California based full service aerial photo business, about 10 years ago. Most of my business involves using aviation to acquire images. We do air-to-ground aerial photography and will do everything from hand held oblique images of individual houses to creating ortho-photos of hundreds of square miles. The aviation photography is a natural outcropping of this business. We have mapped many airports for everything for wall murals and posters, to geo-referenced ortho-photos used for engineering. I also do a fair amount of air-to-air photography. Since we have a vertical camera port in our aircraft, I had the idea of doing a vertical air-to-air image. The first image I did was a self portrait. I set up a Canon 5D MII in the vertical port of our mapping airplane. I attached a wireless shutter release to the camera. I flew a Pitts S1S myself and formed up directly below the camera ship. Once in position, I took the shot myself with the wireless remote from the cockpit of a Pitts S1s. Since then, we have done this with several other aircraft. I primarily use a Canon 5D MIII or a 5DS R now. For air-to-air images of propeller drives airplanes, we also have a Kenyon 6x6 gyro, which allows us to shoot with very low shutter speeds (usually 160th) producing a full disk from the propeller of the subject airplane while keeping the image sharp. I will shoot RAW or JPEG depending on the project. I use PhotoShop and Bridge for processing.
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I am from Tampa, FL. I am self taught and considered semi-pro. I mostly photograph people in all situations. The bulk is skydivers (parachutists) traveling with the SOCOM Parachute Team. The bulk of my work is with the Rebel Canon T1i 15.1 MP Digital SLR shooting with a EF 75 - 300mm f/4 - 5.6 and 18 - 55 mm lens. I shoot JPG and use both Photoshop and Lightroom. Each has some qualities and processes I like. My friend Larry introduced me to ISAP and wanted to futher my reach and education through ISAP. The advice I can give is the more you photograph the more your eye begins to see. Youâ€™re not just taking a photo you are telling a story catching the right expression, light, background behind your subject matter.
MEET OUR MEMBER Two tips I’d share for a new aviation photographer: 1) Keep practicing, even if the subject is just a Cessna at your local flying club or airfield, 2) Look for feedback from experienced photographers, take any comments on board and learn from them, don’t take it personally.
I live in Galway, Ireland, and I guess I can be best described as semi-pro. I have never studied photography, nor have I received any formal training; trial and error, experimentation and learning new techniques as I go along are how I developed my photography skills. I don’t know how I got interested in photography; I always had an interest I guess. As for the aviation part of the hobby, I first discovered aviation when I saw an Irish Air Corps three ship Fouga Magister flypast at the opening ceremony of a Scout Jamboree in Ireland in 1985.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV 24-105mm lens ISO 320 f/11 1/320 sec 60mm
A few years later I went to an air show where I discovered that you could mix photography AND aviation, the rest, as they say, is history. I use all Canon equipment, I have a pair of EOS 1D Mark IV’s bodies, my usual set up is one body with an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens, the other body with an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, both cameras have had their straps removed and I instead use the Black Rapid RS-DR2 dual sling strap. I also have an EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens and 1.4x converter in the bag in case I need to go wide or get more reach. I shoot both RAW and JPG as the 1D has the capability to record RAW to the CF card, and JPG to the SD card. I travel as light as possible so I don’t travel with a laptop, instead, my SD cards are Wi-Fi cards and I can transfer JPG’s that are time critical directly to my phone and email them where they need to be, or upload them to Twitter or Facebook.
Canon EOS-40D 24-105mm lens ISO 100 f/8 1/250 sec 93mm
Aside from a few photo groups on Facebook, the only photography organization I belong to is ISAP. I met Larry Grace at the Minnesota Air Spectacular at Mankato in 2015, he suggested I join up and a few months down the line here I am! I’ll always share tips whenever asked, recently I’ve been asked to give some presentations on aviation photography, at the time of writing one is complete and one more is imminent. The first presentation was with the local camera club (which I keep threatening to join but still haven’t gotten around to doing), while the upcoming one is for a group that strives to introduce women to aviation. Canon EOS-30D 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens ISO 200 f/2.8 1/1000 sec 200mm
Canon EOS-40D 10-22mm EF-S lens ISO 200 f/18 1/100 sec 10mm
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV 100-400mm MkII lens ISO 160 f/5.6 1/800 sec 400mm
Canon EOS-40D 100-400mm lens ISO 400 f/10 1/250 sec 225mm
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV 24-105mm lens ISO 400 f/5.6 1/1000 sec 105mm
MEET OUR MEMBER Knowledge should be shared so I started to give some lectures on tone-mapping techniques to a couple of friends. My advice for all those new in aviation: * Get close! * Shoot RAW, always! * Sensor dust is evil, keep your camera clean!
I was born in February 1962, just a week before John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the earth in Mercury Atlas 6. The place of my birth is a town called Wuppertal, rather close to Düsseldorf in the mid-western part of Germany. I was different: while other boys liked their toy cars or their electric railways I always preferred things with wings. Consequently I started flying gliders at the age of 14. A Private Pilot License followed at 17 and I had been active as a pilot until 2006, logging some 1.000 hours in a variety of Light Aircraft. In 1979 I had been selected as a member of the German “International Air Cadet Exchange” Team and was send to the United States for a couple of weeks. That visit also marked the start for my interest in military aviation as well as in photography. Aircraft are highly photogenic, especially those in the military. I took several thousand aviation since those early days, some of them have been published in newspapers and in calendars. I did not have any professional training so far and consider myself as an advanced amateur with an autodidactic background.
NIKON D300S Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm 1:4G ED VR ISO 250
My current equipment covers a NIKON D300S, a NIKON D7000 and a Sony Alpha 6000. I use a Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4,55,6G VR zoom lens on the Nikons and a Sony 70 – 200mm SEL 70200G on the Alpha 6000. For static shots I prefer wide angle lenses like the Sigma 10-20mm / F 3,5 EX DC HSM and the Walimex Pro 12mm / F 1:2,0. There is no option rather than to shoot in RAW. Why? RAW supports the complete range of post production processes. Why should we limit our potentials by using JPG? I organize my picture processing with three software components: Lightroom, Photoshop and Perfect Photo Suite 9. Since the Adobe modules must be considered as standard operating tools the PPS-9 provides some very interesting filter presets that help to manage a rather lean workflow.
NIKON D300S Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm 1:4G ED VR at 220mm ISO 800
Some time ago I read an article about Jessica Ambats and her stunning Air-to-Air photography. Doing some research on her work I learned about ISAP and the idea behind it. I strongly share ISAP’s philosophy to support communication, education and friendship amongst the “aviation minded” community so it was only logical to become a part of it. I joined in November 2015.
NIKON 1 V1 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm at 50mm ISO 400
Camera: NIKON 1 V1 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm at 32mm ISO 400
NIKON D300S Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm 1:4G ED VR at 68mm ISO 250
NIKON D200 Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm 1:4G ED VR at 38mm ISO 800
NIKON D70 Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm 1:4G ED VR at 200mm ISO 250
MEET OUR MEMBER to help everyone who enjoys photography and want to improve it. First thing I can advice to a photographer who is new to aviation is: go to the airports and aviation cafe’s around, where you can meet pilots and other aviation lovers in your area. Create a portfolio digital or printed, and introduce yourself and your works to others. Know your limits and improve yourself, but don’t forget security is the first step of aviation photography. You may miss some photos because of the rules not letting you to reach them, but every rule at aviation industry is written with blood of others, so they have reasons, obey them.
I am located in Istanbul, Turkey. A city where Europe meets Asia. I am a professional photographer. I do study photography while I was in university for my Architecture degree. With that base education I improve myself with lots of research, reading and following photographers, books and websites. I do get Air to Air photography education at Eric Coeckelberghs Air2Air Academy in Belgium, both in 2010 and 2012. My desire for aviation lies since I was 7 years old, i remember i was interested anything that flies that years, birds, model planes etc. So being also interested in photography, making aviation photography is not a surprise for me. I use Canon 35mm SLR cameras. Before it was film camera as EOS 1N, and digital ones so on. Now I own EOS 1Ds Mk2 & EOS 5D Mk3 cameras. I have a selection of lenses from 17 mm to 500mm range. There is no exact combination while shooting airshows but generally a 200mm f:2.8 lens works quite well if I am in general crowd. In some cases I do prefer 300mm f:2.8 or 500mm f:4 lenses. Still I have the desire to use my 28-70mm lens while i am around static displays or doing reportage style photos around the planes. I prefer to shoot RAW + small jpg files. Small jpg files help me to choose which photos to edit fast way. RAW files gives me the chance to play with them without loosing details. Also small jpg’s are handy when you need to share some photos during or right after shooting. I use Canon Digital Photo Professional to convert RAW files into TIF files. After that I use Adobe Photoshop CC to edit them like selective area brightness, contrast, saturation, also creating new frames by cropping and rotating the image. I have joined ISAP two years ago, while I was searching if there is international organizations for aviation photography. In my country we don’t have such organization yet, but we have some photographer groups. So to learn about whats going on outside and hoping to join events to improve my photography in future, also to show what I can do and possibilities in my country to foreign photographers I applied to ISAP. I am not belonging to any other photography associations. I’m giving lectures on photography at Turkish Air Force Academy at the moment, also have monthly classes for Real Estate Agents on how to take Architectural Photos. In past I teach about “Wildlife Bird Photography” at IFSAK (Istanbul Photography Art Amateurs Association), I give lectures at Yeditepe University on Basic Photography & Advertising Photography. Beside this formal classes I also like
MEET OUR MEMBER Very simple, I made great friends in the USA, I learned from one of these friends. Here in Brazil, I am affiliated with the journalists’ union of São Paulo; I am Journalist.
I started one Photographing in 1982, the flame of Photography appeared when I was only 9 years old, I made my first picture with a good old Olympus TRIP 35 I was school holidays in Argentina, the photo was in a in a square in the city Buenos Aires, my parents were leaning against a tree when I saw the result charmed me thought, I even did it?
Yes I help, I explain everything I know, and I do not know; I will ask help. First, if it is to be a professional, charge to do the job, remember that the camera needs constant care and you need to eat. If flying ask for pilots their skills and they can fly at graduation, before any flight is important to know what will be done, write down all the steps, when you talk about what you want to say clearly, look fly in places with beautiful landscapes and without much interference, do not let the flirting pilot with sun in the face, it can be blinded momentarily, if photograph shows, try to wear comfortable clothes and sunscreen, make patience not shoot strafing, unless you go to shoot a plane cutting a track for example? Do not waste images look right into the display and frame the scene, as you want! If you’re on a show with acrobatic planes and not a nice Canon lens of 600mm, allow the aircraft to be lower, it will bring you ground references, and the image will impact more!
I live in São Paulo the largest city in Brazil, with more than 12 million people, not counting the suburbs, live professional photography full time, I started my course in the FOCUS school, one of the most reputable of Brazil, and learned to shooting advertising as an assistant to a very famous Brazilian photographer named Dimitri Lee, with him learned to use large format, 4x5 and 8x10 inches. I entered the aircraft photography by my Father was a pilot and started flying since 1956, and he took us fly too early, always piloted, tell me and my brother Samuel, nowadays he is Master of A330 TAM. My father wanted me to be a professional pilot, but knew that the commercial aviation has nothing glorious, I prefer to fly for pleasure. I’m Canon since I started; my first was an F1, strong, a great camera. Today I have four cameras that do not leave my photography bag, a Canon 1DX 5D Mark III, an old more very good EOS 1D and G11 I love these last two my wife is who else uses, just carry! I have five lenses, one 70|200 2.8L IS, 24|105L IS, 17|40L, Macro 100 L IS and an old 28|200 and two tele-converts, 1.4 and 2 times, and a Canon flash, but I rarely use; for pictures cabin use continuous lights. I do very little air show, my business is facing the air to air, this mode use very wide angle and the 70|200 2.8L IS, when I use the 70|200 shows with converter 2x on Canon 1DX which is much faster and wide angle in the 5D Mark III, nothing special, I take when planes are flying lower to fill the frame, very high I no use, it is best to use a 600 mm most part of my air shows are here in the USA. RAW, my cameras not know JPEG. RAW I use for his characteristic curve, allows the user greater flexibility, JPEG is good for Internet. About the Photoshop, when I was photographing in 4x5 inches in my studio retouched much film and did a lot of fusion, and was introduced by a friend to Photoshop, he taught me some steps and realized that the program is nothing more than my old lab, only digital and more easy and clean, I am a fan of Photoshop.
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III 24-105mm 4L 40mm f/20 1/160 sec
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III 70-200mm 2.8L 78mm f/8 1/400 sec
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III Lens 17-40mm 4L 21mm f/22 1/20 sec
Canon EOS 10D 70-200mm 2.8L 170mm f/13 1/180 sec
Canon EOS 5D 70-200mm 2.8L 200mm f/5.6 1/10 sec
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In 2004 I opened Air Combat Zone, a fighter jet flight simulation center that gives the general public an opportunity to experience modern air combat in F/A-18 Hornet flight simulators near Toronto Ontario. Air shows were an obvious marketing venue for the business and I quickly developed a relationship with the local air show community. That led to lots of great photo ops and I made the shift from simply being a camera owner to having a much higher interest in aviation photography as a hobby. I soon found myself in a group of like-minded aviation photographers and between picking their brains for more knowledge and combing the internet for information I developed a photography skills base that began producing some very satisfying results. In 2010 I had my first taste of truly unique access to an aviation photo opportunity. A friend invited me to the RCAF’s 4 Wing in Cold Lake Alberta to experience and shoot at a Maple Flag multinational air combat exercise. He arranged a photo pass for me and we stood next to the runway, on the ramp, and up on the tower and watched as fighter jets, transports, tankers and helo’s launched and recovered for their missions each day. I was only there for three days, but that experience sunk the hooks of aviation photography deep into me and I started a yearning to move my interest in photography beyond being a hobby. I have since had the privilege to cover military aviation at exercises from Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean to Sicily during combat operations over Libya. From Cold Lake Alberta in Northern Canada to Natal Brazil for CRUZEX. Seeking ways to monetize a quickly growing library of images I began self publishing prints, books, calendars and other products resulting in the creation of the Locked On Photography web store. To further justify my growing photog habit I began submitting articles to magazines. While it’s not yet my full time profession, I would now list aviation photojournalism as my greatest passion. Along the road from hobby to passion I discovered ISAP while surfing online. After what was probably more time than I should have spent (like always) viewing and analyzing the images on www. aviationphoto.org, I discovered how affordable membership was. I frankly didn’t have a specific goal in mind when I joined. I just felt that it was a no brainer to join a group of people who were so skilled at my new found passion. Despite my best intentions when I joined, haven’t made the time to take advantage of my membership. I’m now working to change that going forward.
Some of my own favorite images have been shot with a point and shoot camera or my cell phone which just proves equipment isn’t everything. But once I unleashed the capability of a DSLR my work of course improved markedly. I chose to shoot with Canon (why?, it was on sale...) . I started with a Rebel 3Ti and now also have a 70D. At air shows and during base visits I tend to shoot with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens on the 70D and the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, which performs unbelievably for a kit lens, on the Rebel. The combination gives me coverage from 18-400mm so I don’t usually end up too close or too far for my lenses. I don’t yet own the 100-400mm lens but I’m a huge fan of renting lenses as required. Not having a constant need for the lens, renting is an affordable way to shoot with the best when opportunities arise and when I don’t need the extra range I use my Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM. I do also own a Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM which I consider my secret weapon on the ramp and indoors. While I completely understand the technically superior aspects of the RAW format, I simply find that increased quality of RAW over JPEG isn’t warranted by the additional time it takes me to work with the format and the space it takes to store (i.e. added cost). I like to do my initial vetting/ rating of images in Windows Photo Viewer due to the rapid zoom available with my mouse’s scroll wheel. Once vetted, I process my work with Lightroom 5 occasionally using the Google Nik Collection of filters for the occasional shot that warrants the added attention. Even though I don’t have any formal photographic training, I’m always happy to share what I have learned along the way. It’s always a pleasure when someone likes my work. Some times people want to chat about the content of an image but often the discussion is more about how an image was caught and processed and I’m always happy discussing any aspect of my work. As part of hosting the VIP area for the Canadian International Air Show I started giving a brief presentation to interested guests titled “Air Show Photography 101”. There’s lots we learn along the way that can be shared with others who are new to aviation photography but the number one rule for me is simple: show up. Get out to shows, go and spot responsibly at your local airport, strive for the opportunity of access to military aviation. Whatever your interest is in aviation, chase it and have your camera ready to take away a special memory of your love for aircraft and the people that fly them. The future of improving our photographic skills starts by taking a picture, so my suggestion would be go take it.
Canon EOS 70D Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM 70mm f/8 1/2000 sec ISO 400
Canon EOS 70D Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM 200mm f/8 1/2000 sec ISO 200
Canon EOS 70D Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM 35mm f/8 5 sec ISO 200
Canon EOS Rebel T3i Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM 65mm f/9 1/500 sec ISO 200
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The feeling of being born with a camera in my hand and a lens that I think is somehow connected to my soul is familiar to me. My goal in my photography is to capture the history, thrill, romance and feel of flight for all to experience even if they have never flown. My preference is natural lighting and my camera and lens of choice are a Sony full frame a850, 70200mm, a 150600mm, a 20mm 2.8. I prefer to shoot in RAW at higher shutter speeds for airshows to prevent motion blur. However, I like to see a little motion blur in the props or energy stream on jets. It gives a sense of movement. The key, to capture the emotion in my opinion, is the crop ratios and time of day. I prefer early morning or after three depending of the time of year. I taught myself photography on “you tube”, studying the work of my favorite artists and reading. I continue to learn every day from the many great photographers that share this passion with me, however my instinct is to rely on feeling and impulse. No matter how much I learn I will revert to that. My formal education is from the University of Maryland, European Division, but my life experience is global. I have lived, worked and traveled abroad and have appreciated war birds and classic planes from every country and era. My passion for aviation commenced as merely a birth right. I grew up at the tarmac looking up at the bottom of these huge flying machines waiting for my father to come home or sitting on his lap in the cockpit on approach in far away places. Thought all girls grew up like that till I was much older. I was lucky to feel the thrill of flight and visit the best museums in the world before I could even grasp the meaning of it. Later on in life, I had the privilege to live next to one of the best collections of war birds in the world, The Planes of Fame Museum, at CNO. There I got my first chance to expose my work, was inspired to start my gallery ( www.DanoraAviart.com ), pursue my private pilots license and join the 99’s. An international organization of women in aviation established in 1928. In the process of all of this, I researched aviation photography associations in a quest to meet others that shared my passion internationally... and was thrilled to find ISAP. I was impressed by the diversity and level of expertise in the field of aviation photography. Excited about being in the company of all of you.. and hopefully looking forward to meeting someday.
MEET OUR MEMBER Yes, the greatest gift of photography is sharing, whether it’s an image, experience or technique. My advice to anyone new to shooting aviation is simply to find what inspires you, talk with others who share your passion and shoot often.
I am a second generation aviation photographer, as my father worked for Martin Marietta as part of their photography team from the early 1960s until his retirement in the late 1980s. This is where my interest in military aviation and photography began. Much of my father’s job at Martin included photographing various military systems Martin was developing for prospective clients, mostly in the U.S. From time to time, he would bring home photos of aircraft, tanks, and missiles that he or his unit produced, which sparked my imagination as a youngster. As a teen, I spent a lot of time camping and hiking in central Florida near Patrick AFB, MacDill AFB and the Avon Park bombing range. Once I experienced the chest pounding thrill of afterburners, there was no looking back. I’ve been an aviation nut since and have been chasing aircraft with a camera for more than 30 years. Currently, I am based out of Orlando, FL and classify myself as a part-time pro. Professionally, I work in the banking industry and I am also the owner/operator of my own photography business. I’ve had the privilege of working with Jim Winters as part of Team Nikon Miami since 2010, which has expanded my commercial photography. I specialize in ground-to-air aviation and sports photography and I am constantly honing my skills. In addition to what I have learned from my father, I have a degree in journalism from the University of Central Florida. Otherwise, I am mostly self-taught. I have used Nikon equipment since 1989 and currently use a pair of D4 bodies as the backbone of my aviation and sports work. Depending on the situation, I use Nikon 600mm/f4, 400mm/f2.8, 80-400mm zoom or 70-200mm zoom lenses. I rely heavily on Nikon’s outstanding durability, AF capabilities and the sharpness of its prime lenses to capture small details in subjects. I prefer to travel as light as possible.
Camera/lens - Nikon D4; Nikon 400mm f/2.8 lens Exposure - 1/1000 sec, f/5, ISO 100
Camera/lens - Nikon D4; Nikon 400mm f/2.8 lens Exposure - 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 100
I shoot RAW images primarily to fine-tune exposure adjustments in post-processing. Most of my work is not extremely time-sensitive, which gives me greater latitude to shoot RAW. I do my image processing in Photoshop, using Bridge and ACR as the main part of my workflow. There are a number of exceptional aviation photographers who have been an inspiration to me and several are current ISAP members: Jim Koepnick, Glenn Bloore, Jessica Ambats and Jay Beckman to name a few. I joined ISAP to network, learn and ultimately expand my photography. I am also a member of the NPPA and PPA.
Camera/lens - Nikon D4; Nikon 400mm f/2.8 lens Exposure - 1/100 sec, f/9, ISO 100
Camera/lens -Nikon D4; Nikon 400mm f/2.8 lens Exposure - 1/1250 sec, f/5, ISO 100
Camera/lens - Nikon D4; Nikon 400mm f/2.8 lens Exposure - 1/80 sec, f/14, ISO 100
Camera/lens - Nikon D4; Nikon 400mm f/2.8 lens Exposure - 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100
Camera/lens - Nikon D4; Nikon 600mm f/4 lens Exposure - 1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 100
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I am a 24-year-old corporate pilot and amateur photographer from New Hampshire. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by aviation and have always pursued a career in the field. While I have no formal photographic training, I hope to learn from the many talented members at ISAP and ultimately get more involved in the field of aviation photography, specifically air-to-air. I currently use a Fuji XT-1, and a handful of lenses ranging from an 8mm fisheye to 140mm. When shooting inside the plane (as I often do), the camera is almost exclusively paired with a 14mm lens which is small enough to bring along on trips. Although I do not have much experience with air shows, itâ€™s an aspect of aviation photography that I would like to explore more in the future.
Fuji XT-1 f/2.8 2.3 sec ISO 400 14 mm
In post, I typically use RAW in conjunction with Adobe Lightroom. I prefer the control that RAW allows for without a loss in image quality. Lightroom provides an easy way to catalogue and edit images without having to switch programs â€“ aside from the occasional stint in Photoshop, I use Lightroom almost exclusively. I joined ISAP in May of 2016 on the recommendation of a current member. After asking how to go about getting a start in aviation photography, she suggested ISAP as a great way to learn and become active in the community. This is the first professional photography group that I have been associated with and I look forward to meeting and working alongside its many members.
Fuji XT-1 f/4 1/240 sec ISO 200 8 mm
Fuji XT-1 f/5.6 1/280 sec ISO 200 60 mm
Fuji XT-1 f/5.6 1/950 sec ISO 200 140 mm
Fuji XT-1 f/4 1/250 sec ISO 200 8 mm
Fuji XT-1 f/4 1/125 sec ISO 200 14 mm
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I’m a full-time professional architectural, aviation, and commercial/ industrial photographer based in Seattle. I started out as a journalist on the writing/editing side of things, and gradually switched over to photography. I studied fine-art photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and was also fortunate enough to have been mentored by several prominent Seattle photographers who usually prefer to remain nameless so they don’t take any of the blame for my shenanigans.
Alpa 12MAX/Phase One P45+, Schneider-Kreuznach 36mm APO-Digitar; manual, ISO 50, 36mm, 10 sec., f/11
I’m also a Phase One Certified Professional, and one of only 39 Phase One Certified Technicians worldwide. My interest in aviation can be traced back to when I was a little kid and my grandmother would take my brother and me to the local airfield to watch skydivers. The interest in all things aviation grew from there, and my primary interest is in commercial aviation. I use Canon DSLRs (a 5D Mark II and a 5D Mark II) along with a Phase One 645DF+ and an Alpa 12-MAX technical camera with a P45+ digital back that fits both. They comprise my architecture kit, but they do help me make some lovely aviation photographs under the correct circumstances. For air shows, the body/lens combination depends on the vantage point I’m able to wrangle and what I’m hoping to accomplish. Sometimes it’s 15mm, other times 600mm.
Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L; manual, ISO 200 70mm, 1/400, f/8
I always shoot in camera raw — raw files allow maximum flexibility for editing. For processing, I use a combination of Lightroom, Capture One, and Photoshop, depending on the camera, and my favorite aspect of both Lightroom and Capture One is that they are non-destructive editors, so the original file is never altered. I’ve used Photoshop for ages, having learned it in the 1990s (Version 2), so it’s a very familiar editing tool. I joined ISAP in 2013 when the annual event was held here in Seattle, and our local Canon rep gave me the heads-up about the event. The only other photo organization I’m a part of is the American Society of Media Photographers – I’ve been a member of the Seattle/Northwest chapter board for about 10 years, and am a past chapter president. I do – I teach architectural photography, business, and marketing at the Art Institute of Seattle. For the new folks, the best advice is to get out there and make photos as much as possible – don’t wait for the airshow or that special aircraft, just get out there. Take notes relating to time of day, light conditions, etc., and your camera will record the rest of the settings for you so you can use the information to troubleshoot or improve your skills.
Canon 5D Mark III / Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 Di VC USD; manual, ISO 200, 450mm, 1/400, f/8
Canon 5D Mark II / Canon 24-70mm f/2.8; manual, ISO50, 25mm, 1/320, f/7.1
Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 200-400 f/4L; manual, ISO400, 200mm, 1/200, f/4
Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6L; manual, ISO250, 155mm, 1/100, f/11
Canon 5D Mark II / Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE; manual, ISO200, 15mm, 1/500, f/6.3
MEET OUR MEMBER a flattering experience for me as those question were a recognition of my effort. When I started in photography, I asked the same questions and luckily found someone to answer them, so I’m now trying to be that someone who will answer the questions and maybe inspire someone else in aviation photography. My advice to a novice in aviation photography would be practice as much as possible and always consider new ideas. Don’t try to copy someone’s style, but develop your own. Listen to the advice of experienced photographers and learn from them, but stick to the photos you like. Shoot for yourself.
I live in Zagreb, Croatia and I consider myself as somewhere between an advanced amateur and a semi-pro photographer. I haven’t received any formal training in photography, nor have attended any courses. My skills developed pretty much through self teaching, books and experiments. Simple trial and error technique. But I have to thank also a few good friends, fellow photographers, who gave me some words of advice and thought me some tips and tricks of the trade. My interest in aviation started when I was still young. I decided to attend the aviation technical high school and later studied aeronautics. Although I graduated in the fields of aerodynamics and aircraft construction I started my professional career as an air traffic controller 15 years ago. I’m still an active area ATCO and work with civil and military aircraft. Photography was always my interest but it wasn’t specially connected to aviation until the recent seven years. Somehow I realized that I had a professional commitment and a passionate hobby that belonged together. My first DSLR was a Nikon D90 with an all-around 18-200mm lens. From that moment on, I’m using Nikon equipment. My current gear consists of two Nikon D810, my favorite Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR lens, Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VRII, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR and a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G. I also use the TC-14E III 1.4x teleconverter to extend a little bit my reach. I always shoot in RAW. There is simply no other option for me as I always want to get the most from every shot. For post processing I use mainly Photoshop and in some occasions Lightroom. I started with Photoshop so it became a habit for me to do all the editing in Photoshop. The aviation photography scene in Croatia is pretty thin so I started looking for a community where I could find people with similar passion and maybe also meet them in person on some air shows. And that is how I have found ISAP. After I learned more about ISAP, their story and goals, I was very impressed and decided to join in May 2016. I strongly support the idea of mutual help between photographers in every professional way, without any regards on the skill, style or equipment used. Some of the people that saw my photos also asked for advice in how to shot such photos and what gear and settings I’ve used. That was
MEET OUR MEMBER that is not always possible, but my one piece of advice is that no matter how good you are at photoshop, you will never get it to look as good as if you shoot it with the right lighting to begin with! Photography is after all, the recording of light!
My name is John Freedman, I am a semi-professional photographer based in Brisbane Australia, and I spend part of the year attending airshows in US. I contribute material to Australian Aero magazine, Flightpath Australia, and other publications. I have no formal photographic training; I got into photography at high school, where I joined the Photography Club. We had a couple of Pentax K-1000 cameras, and a black and white dark room. After leaving school I had dreams of doing newspaper photography, but found no jobs in it, so I turned to the television industry. After doing work experience (intern) I started in videotapes, then recording technician, and ended up as a News Cameraman/ Editor (Photographer). I love using cameras; video, still, whatever; it is just a fun thing to do, to record light, events, history.
What I like to reflect on is the images and opportunities that I have had to record history through the lens. I have photographed a Space Shuttle launch, been aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier twice, the arrival of the first RAAF C-17, and the first RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets. I got the last ever flight of F-111s and the last flight of the Lockheed SR-71. These moments will never happen again, and it was an honor to be there for them. I sure wish I had the camera equipment I have now, but alas, you play the hand you are dealt, you do the best you can. I learnt that from doing TV News, where whatever the conditions, you can only do the best you can, if the lighting is not perfect, you are out of position, just do the best you can. I joined ISAP about 4-5 years ago through associating with the many members who attend Airventure at Oshkosh, and Larry demanding that I join! If you want to learn stuff and have a good time, this is the place and group to hang with. Like many photogs, I like to pass along what I know, I by no means think I know everything, and I too like to learn new skills and tricks. The day you think you know everything is the day you no longer try to better your skills! What advice can I give to others? Shoot in shutter priority, shoot in RAW, and practice, practice and practice. As I said earlier, if you are willing to let me photograph your aircraft, please contact me; I would love to do an air-to-air photo session!! John.
What got me into aviation photography? I really don’t know? I loved the Baa Baa Black Sheep TV show when I was a kid. I got interested in aircraft, and attended a couple of airshows. Then I went on a trip to the US, and visited the USAF Museum, and went to the annual airshow at Edwards AFB. From there my interest spread to a passion, then to its current state, an obsession! Along the way I got to meet some great people, amazing pilots, and many who share the disease of aviation. I own Nikon DSLRs; years ago I went down the Nikon path, and have been happy to stay there. Once you start buying equipment you are pretty much committed (or should be!) I have a large kit, too large, but I love toys! I have the D200, D300, D300S, D750, and D800. I have the Nikon 10.5mm (great lens for in cockpits!), Nikon 18-200mm, 28300mm, 80-400mm, 300mm f4, and Tamron 150-600mm. At airshows I mainly have the 150-600 on the D300S to get the added DX crop, the 80-400 on the D750 for medium shots, and a wide angle on the D300. The D800 + 28-300mm is used should I manage to get any air-to-air opportunities. (Please if anybody has a spare seat, or has an aircraft and is willing to let me do an aerial photo shoot, PLEASE, lets get together!!) I shoot everything in RAW, (That is camera RAW not…never mind…) Post editing is mainly with Nikon Capture NX2, which I am getting better at using. I have Photoshop Elements and the Creative Cloud to help clean and tweak the images. I do like using NIK Color Efex Pro to add polarizing filters to some images. I only do basic editing of the images, and try and keep them as real as possible due to editorial responsibility. Of course the best way to get the best imagery is to photograph them in the right lighting to begin with, but
SE5A Stack: Nikon D300, 18-200mm, 1/200 f.10 ISO 200. It is quite surreal; you look through the camera at scenes that could easily be from the Great War. The Vintage Aviator Ltd SE5a aircraft formation over Masterton NZ.
1997 SR-71B On Finals: Nikon F90 Film camera, settings unknown. SR-71B NASA 831 (956) on final at Edwards AFB Open House 1997, the last flights of the trainer. I was honored to be with the NASA ground crew for the flight.
Boomerang: Nikon D300, 18-200mm 1/200 f.16 ISO 200. Australiaâ€™s only ever designed and built fighter, the CAC Boomerang makes a post restoration flight off Caboolture.
Bristol and Dr1 air: Nikon D300S, 18-200mm 1/160 f4.5 ISO 400. Some of the most amazing aircraft I have ever seen are part of The Vintage Aviator Limited collection in New Zealand. The Bristol F2B Fighter replica tries to get away from the Fokker Dr.1 replica at Classic Fighters 2011.
KH Chippy Ho: Nikon D200, 18-200mm 1/320 f.4 ISO 100. F/A-18C Chippy Ho launches from the USS Kittyhawk during Exercise Talisman Sabre off Rockhampton Australia.
MEET OUR MEMBER I came across and joined ISAP in 2013 when searching the interment for sources to improve my aerial and aviation photography. I am exploring the possibility of joining one of the British aviation photography associations. Geographically, they are much nearer to me. I do help beginners to master camera handling and framing techniques. I haven’t had the chance to introduce aviation photography to others, because it is hard to get access to aircraft. However, I arrange landscape photography trips for photography enthusiasts. Oman is incredibly rich with complex topography, including deserts, sand dunes, oasis, deep canyons, high mountains, caves and even green hills in the southern part of Oman. Some of that have been featured in the National Geographic magazine.
I was born and raised in Oman. In 1978 I joined the Royal Air Force of Oman. Following my retirement from RAFO as a Colonel in May 2009, I joined a business Group as a senior executive and a General Manager of an IT company. From 2001 to 2008 I served as Defense Attaché in Washington DC, USA. I also managed the acquisition of F-16 fighter aircraft program. Two years ago I cofounded with a friend a film and photography production company called “Brand Infiniti”. We produce marketing and advertisement media for businesses. It is funny that having been surrounded by aircraft most of my professional life, my interest with aviation photography only started in the final few weeks of my service; when in late 2008 I was assigned to produce a documentary film for the Air Force’s 50th Anniversary. In less than two months to retire, and accompanied by a team of professional film makers, I flew on board and photographed every single type of RAFO aircraft. By the end of the assignment I became hooked on aviation photography! I consider my self as a semi professional. I largely self taught myself. Lately I enrolled in a number of online courses to learn more advance digital processing techniques. I mainly use Canon EOS 1D-X with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L lens, for high frame rate and high-speed Auto-focus, when shooting high speed maneuvering aircraft in the air. I use the Canon EOS 5D III with Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L lens for capturing aircraft while taking-off and landing, and with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lenses for aircraft on ground and close-ups. I also use the Canon EF 16-35mm f/1.2.8L for wide angle area shots. One thing with airshow photography; you have to very well versed with your kit’s technical ability and limitations. You also have to have total situational awareness of what is happening in the air and on the ground all the time. Things tend to happen suddenly and quickly!! I prefer to shoot RAW. With the extreme bright desert environment in Oman, I am able to pull out more details during post photography processing. I use Lightroom most of the time. I use Photoshop for the occasional more complex artistic effects. However, lately I started exploring On1 with great interest.
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My name is Stefan Seville and I currently live in Atlanta, GA. While I’ve had my photography published in a few publications, this is mostly a hobby and networking activity for me. I’ve always had a camera in my hands, and purchased my first SLR in 2006. I took one level of the photography course offered at my high school during senior year and learned two things: I didn’t really know anything, and a good photographer is always learning. I was raised around aviation thanks to my dad’s job with a major airline, so my inkling for photography naturally included things with wings. As my formal education in the field of aviation progressed, my camera came with me and it has turned into my main focus behind the camera because of that. Because the salesman who helped me with my first camera purchase shot Nikon, I bought one too. Currently I have two Nikon D7000 bodies -
for air shows, the Sigma 150-600 (Sport) and Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 are the usual suspects. Depending on the environment and subject, the Tokina 12-24 f/4 and Nikkor 50 f/1.8 may be used as well. Because my images are not published in a format that makes RAW worthwhile, I shoot primarily in JPG for its overall more efficient operation. For processing, Adobe Bridge is my importing/sorting/organizing application, and Photoshop CS4 to complete post-processing. This is the flow I learned while shooting on a temporary newspaper assignment a few years ago - as of yet it hasn’t broken, so it hasn’t been fixed! I had heard about ISAP years ago while at AirVenture, and this year in Oshkosh was encouraged by Mr Larry Grace himself to join.
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I am located in Luxembourg, Europe and would consider myself somewhere in between advanced amateur and semipro. I learned my basic photography skills with my father who at the time was a lot into photography and from that developed my skills by self-study. My interest in aviation photography was a rather natural development as I was always, since my youngest age, attracted to aviation and took photos of the aviation world since my teenage years. Along with pursuing a career as an airline pilot I developed my photography and combined my two passions. I have always been using Nikon gear and currently shoot with a D800 and (more rarely) with the older D200. The lens I use depends of course mostly on what I photograph but at airshows my favorite lens has become the fantastic AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm. I prefer JPG due to the faster post-processing but still mostly shoot RAW due to the much increased flexibility during post-processing. I do the large majority of my editing in Corel Drawâ€™s Paintshop. I joined ISAP about a year ago because I was seeking to take my aviation photography to a new level. I do not belong to another professional group but am a volunteer crew member at Airliners.net. In a world where almost anybody takes snapshots with their mobile phone I try to show people that there is an even greater world behind their phones that deserves to be captured with a decent camera. The tips to being new to aviation photography are probably the same as for any photography, learn your subject and your equipment, start small and increase your level step by step. But above all, be patient, it almost always pays off.
MEET OUR MEMBER Pano, Pano Tour Plus and KR Pano. These three programs allow me to produce high resolution Virtual Tours that can be viewed online, and on any mobile device. I joined ISAP after a pleasant conversation I shared with President, Larry Grace back in June of this year. We chatted about our mutual passion for Aviation and Photography, as well as how great ISAP is. We also discussed the other very talented Aviation Photographers that make this organization so great. It was an easy sell from my standpoint. I was thrilled and honored to be considered to join such a great group of talent.
My name is Thomas James, and I am the son of a former Aerospace Engineer. Needless to say, Aviation was a big part of his life, which later became a big part of mine as well. My father’s passion for machines that fly was contagious, and as a result, had a great deal to do with me becoming an Aviation Photographer later in life. I am strategically located within driving distance of all the major Southern California Airports, which is in Santa Clarita, CA. I am a Professional Photographer; however, for the first twelve years I considered myself “self-taught.” It wasn’t until May of 2010 that I decided to go for broke, literally, and registered at the world renowned Brooks Institute for Professional Photographers. There I studied all forms of Photography; for instance, table-top, portraiture, studio, action sports, people, you name it - we covered it - in depth. I cannot say enough great things about my alma mater, Brooks. My two passions in life have been Photography and Aviation. It only made sense to fuse the two together. The first time I photographed anything related to aviation was for a friend that was working in Private Charter Sales. The company he was working for in Santa Barbara needed photos of their one and only jet, a Cessna Citation. He asked me if I knew how to photograph aircraft, and my reply was, “no, but I would love to learn.” There was a little bit of a learning curve to shooting jets - specifically interiors, but after a few reshoots, I had it down and began shooting for other charter companies, too. My equipment has not changed in eight years. I primarily shoot with my trusty Nikon D700, nifty 50mm f/1.4, 70-200 f/2.8, and 14-24mm f/2.8. The Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show, that is being held next month in San Diego, will be the first airshow I photograph professionally. From what I have learned from other Aviation Photographers, I will lean heavily on my 70-200mm f/2.8 to capture all the fun. I always shoot in RAW format. RAW files have the most data, which provide me the latitude to do what I need while editing high dynamic range images. My workflow always starts with Lightroom CC, then to Photoshop for more heavy handed editing. Some jobs I might never even open Photoshop due to the increased robustness of LR. For my 360° Virtual Tours of Aviation Cabins and Flight Decks, I use Auto Giga
Believe it or not, my lovely girlfriend came across your website while surfing around on our iPad. When she handed it to me, I just looked at her funny, smiled, and asked, “since when are you interested in Aviation?” Needless to say, she’s a great woman and I love her. While I was attending Brooks Institute in 2010, I joined American Photographic Artists - Los Angeles (APA), but shortly after withdrew my membership. I did not believe they were structured for Photographers like me. Yes, just about every time I take a photo and someone is within earshot, I try to pass along what I am doing photographically, whether they want to know or not I think. I love to teach and share photography with everyone. It is a little more difficult with some of the subject matter I shoot, but even then I try to explain the process. If I were to pass on one gem to an up and coming aviation photographer, it would be, fall in love with the shapes, lines and angles that aircraft are comprised of. Marvel at the Engineering and Science that make Aviation possible. For me, if you seek that before you close your shutter, most of the images you capture will reflect that love and respect for Aviation.
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My photographic vision is to be able to create an image that allows me to share a viewpoint that I had or one that someone else many not have had at the same time. The composition of the image comes from light and shape along with how you bring it to print or present it for on-line viewing. Over the years, I have learned by asking, viewing and researching photography and other photographers. I often network with other photographers as well as watching others work. I am always seeking feedback on my images in an effort to improve my craft. Creating your own “style” is dependent upon your vision and how you process the images.
Larry Grace - President of ISAP My first memories of photography experience date back to when I was about nine or ten, when I was the family “photographer” – snapping photos of my family during special occasions. My passion for aviation dates back to that same time frame, I enjoyed building and collecting model airplanes. I was immersed in aviation as well as the space program. Upon graduation from High School, I enlisted in the US Air Force and it was during that time that I combined my love of photography and aviation – what a great opportunity to capture detailed photos of the aircraft I modeled as a child. After my time in the USAF, I attended The School of Communication Arts with an emphasis in photography. My career has encompassed working with commercial studios and commercial printers where I worked as staff photographer. My photographic work has appeared in numerous brochures, books, catalogs, websites, and magazines for industries such as high tech, energy, healthcare, travel, real estate, architecture, sports, aviation and children’s playground equipment. I currently shoot using Nikon equipment. My camera bag includes the D800, D610 and D700 bodies. When film was in vogue, I shot using Minolta, Pentax and Olympus cameras. Along with Medium and Large format bodies (21/4 to 8x10). The combination I use is dependent upon the situation. If I am shooting at an air show ground to air – I may utilize a Nikon 500mm along with tele-converters (1.7x and 2x). I recently tested the new Tamron 150-600 lens and found it to be a good starter lens for those on a budget and looking for a little more reach. When shooting air-to-air, I like using the 24-70mm, 24-120mm, and 18-200mm. If limited to taking only one lens in the cockpit, the lens of choice would be the 24-120mm. For static and people I typically use the 24-120mm and 70-200mm. In the end, I use the best lens that I have to assist me in capturing the best image. When I first began shooting digital I used JPG. Once I understood the benefits of shooting RAW – I switched to RAW. I feel that shooting RAW files allows me full control of the file when working in Photoshop or Lightroom.
I have had the opportunity to work with many photo labs not only in Minnesota, but also across the country. Open communication is key – making certain that both the lab and myself understand what my desired outcome is – and taking and making suggestions to achieve that outcome. I also utilize workshops, on-line forums and videos for valuable suggestions in ways to improve printing of my images. I have printed portfolios as well as galleries on my iPad and iPhone. I also have a personal website, as well as images posted on Google Plus, Flickr, Facebook, KelbyOne and several online forums. I’m a member of the following groups: National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), Minneapolis photo group “Lens Prose”, Photographer for AirSpace Minnesota, Living Legends of Aviation and Kiddie Hawk Air Academy and team photographer for the Twin Cities River Rats Water Show Ski Team for the past six years. I am also a current member of Nikon Professional Services (NPS). In 2005, I attended my first ISAP symposium in Washington DC after seeing an article about the group in Air and Space magazine. I certainly was a bit apprehensive, wondering and worrying that my photographic skills would not measure up to the many talented members. I have forged many wonderful friendships through ISAP and have also had the chance to meet many of you as well as aviation legends. I am forever grateful to be a part of such a great organization and working with the current ISAP board members (Jim Wilson, Bonnie Kratz, Mike Collins, George Kounis and Kevin Hong) I look forward to continued participation in ISAP events / symposium, and look forward to the time I have the pleasure of meeting up with ISAP members.
MEET THE MEMBERS
MEET THE MEMBERS
Kevin Hong - ISAP/ISnAP Editor After years of shooting photos I took some photography classes in college and learned how to appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a great black and white photo. Having a graphic design degree from the University of Houston allows me to look at photos differently than a normal photographer. I take into account the usage of space in an image and think of blank space for text in future advertisements and marketing when I shoot for clients. In the past I always thought about my photography and the passion for aviation just as a hobby but have turned it into a profession starting my own photography/graphic design company. I never thought I would turn my love of aviation into a career and do things I never imagined such as flying with a door off of an aircraft to shoot photos of airplanes. When people ask what I do, I tell them and they can’t believe that someone does this for a living. Rightfully so I have to agree but why I do it is very therapeutic. There is nothing like watching a plane fly next to you to get the perfect shot. Is it hard work? Of course it is but when the shoot is done I love looking out in the distance and enjoying the view at sunset. I’ve always shot with Canon cameras and still shoot with them today. Shooting RAW format gives me the flexibility to manipulate photographs as well as work with them when I design books using most of the programs in the Adobe arsenal. Shooting photos of veterans and being in the warbird community holds a special place in my heart. I love talking with veterans and sharing their stories. Even the warbirds I shoot have a story to tell. For me I don’t just take photos of airplanes. It’s about preserving the history and I try to do it with the photography and design skills I have learned. Just recently I completed a book covering the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. It’s a photographic journey showing everyone the untold story of ceremonies in the small towns that celebrate the liberations of their community every year. To meet the surviving veterans of World War II was an honor and something I will never forget. Throughout my journey I always try to gather information no longer found in history books by talking directly with people who were there in the field of combat. Since my first ISAP in Las Vegas I have made many friends and shared adventures that I never dreamed possible. Throughout my professional career as a photographer I always continue to help people interested in photography to become better photographers. Behind every photograph there is a story. I agree a picture is worth a thousand words but meeting the veterans and the planes who made history is priceless. All I can say is if these planes could talk.
Learn more about the International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP) from our members that have been featured in our online magazine...