Welcome to the March 2014 issue of ISnAP! Living Legends of Aviation Larry Grace, Kevin Hong, Bonnie Kratz, Hayman Tam Text by Hayman Tam Meet The Members Alex Esguerra Brian R. Veprek Frank Crébas Dan Beauvais Erik Simonsen Gary Daniels George McClure H. Michael Miley
Jose Ocana Matt Booty Nir Ben-Yosef Sheldon Heatherington Steve Zimmermann Susan Koppel Gary Chambers José Ramos
AirSpace Minnesota Larry Grace Sun ‘n Fun Event/Schedule Demo Team Schedules
ISAP XIII Symposium
As you can see from this issue’s cover, we are looking forward to ISAP members coming together at the upcoming ISAP XIII symposium in Tampa, April 3 through 5. The event is being held in conjunction with the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In, and we are partnering with the Sun ’n Fun organization to hold what we believe will be the best symposium yet. Speakers for this year’s Symposium include Pete Collins, Bill Ingalls, Scott Kelby, Stacy Pearsall, Keith Skelton, Mark Magin and George Kounis. The 2014 ISAP George Hall Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Russell Munson. You won’t want to miss Russell share from his wealth of experience in his uniquely amusing and inspirational way. Our scheduled field trip day for the symposium is Friday, April 4, and we will spend the day at Sun ’n Fun. This year the United States Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels, will be the featured air show performers. It is also the 40th anniversary of the Sun ’n Fun Fly In, as well as the 100th anniversary of Air Combat. There will be many opportunities for photos during the day on our field trip day and with the help of Sun ’n Fun, we are working special photo areas beyond the crowd line where only registered symposium attendees will have access. If you can come early or stay in Florida after the symposium, your registration does include a wristband good for admission to Sun ’n Fun all week.
While 2013 was a down year for aviation photography opportunities, 2014 is looking like a good comeback year for many of our members. The 2014 ISAP symposium goal is to bring together our members who share a love of aviation, and want to preserve its history through their images. Through our organization, members can seek to enhance their artistic quality, advance technical knowledge, and improve safety for all areas of aviation photography while fostering professionalism, high ethical standards, and camaraderie. In the new year ISAP also seeks to help new members to better their photography skills and workflow, and set up resources to help with business questions that our members have. Updates are being made to the ISAP website and member portfolio section, and we are showcasing ISAP members’ images and accomplishments on our social media pages. This year ISAP members took part in photographing two major events, Living Legends of Aviation and The Bob Hoover Tribute. ISAP members’ images have been featured in magazines and online. ISAP members also took part in a photo op at NAS El Centro, where the US Navy Blue Angels held their winter training. Members attending this year’s symposium will receive a one-year membership to KelbyOne, compliments of B&H Photo and KelbyOne. To take advantage of future opportunities for ISAP members, please make sure that your contact information is up to date and you are able to receive email from ISAP. Update or add your portfolio to the ISAP website. ISAP has received a lot of comments on our portfolio section and a few of our members have been contacted for job opportunities and image usage because of these portfolios. In this issue we are continuing to highlight ISAP members. I’m sure you will enjoy learning how your fellow ISAP members got started, as well as seeing some of their images and learning some tips. Remember that ISnAP is your publication to share your images, stories and tips with other members and the public. We look forward to each member sharing his or her stories with all of us. Enjoy this issue of ISnAP and we will see you in Tampa for ISAP-XIII. Sincerely, Larry Grace, President International Society for Aviation Photography www.aviationphoto.org • www.facebook.com/ISAPorg
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John L. Little II
The ISnAP is a periodic publication of the International Society for Aviation Photography and is used to communicate news, functions, convention information, and other information of interest on the local, regional, and national scenes. The views and opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and should not be construed as the views or opinions of the International Society for Aviation Photography.
2014 LIVING LEGENDS OF AVIATION
Photographs taken by Larry Grace, Kevin Hong, Bonnie Kratz, Hayman Tam Text by Hayman Tam
The “Living Legends of Aviation” is a select group of people, now numbering 89, of extraordinary accomplishment and renown in the aviation arena. Among the defining criteria used in identifying “Living
Legends” are aviation entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, record breakers, astronauts, pilots that have become celebrities and celebrities who have become pilots. As the initial group of Legends evolved, these extraordinary people of aviation nominate others to join them, and the list has gradually grown. As Legends take their flight west, new inductees selected by their fellow Legends replace them.
2014 marked the eleventh Awards event, held at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills. This year ISAP members took part with the photograph team covering the event. Hayman Tam along with his wife and ISAP President Larry Grace are veterans of this event and was joined by
Living Legends of Aviation Inductees this year are: • Jack Erickson - best known as the founder of Erickson Air-Crane with their distinctive S64 Skycranes, now developing MD-87 firefighting aircraft. He is also a warbird collector with 24 aircraft. • David Hurley - while with Cessna, helped launch the Citation series of aircraft. Later went to Canadair to launch the Challenger series of business jets. Founded Flight Services Group, one of the world’s largest corporate aircraft management and aviation services providers. • T. Allan McArtor - Chairman or Airbus Americas, brought A320 aircraft assembly to Alabama. Previously head of all FedEx air operations, was also appointed Administrator of FAA under President Reagan. Vietnam combat fighter pilot and former USAF Thunderbirds pilot. • Roy Morgan - one of the founder of Air Methods Corp, the largest provider of air medical transport in the US. Beginning with a Bell 206, AMC now has over 400 helicopters and 20 fixed wing aircraft. • David Needleman - Founder of several airlines, including JetBlue and WestJet. His newest airline is Brazil’s Azul
first timers Kevin Hong and Bonnie Kratz.
• John Uczekaj - CEO of Aspen Avionics. Previously at Honeywell overseeing the Bendix/King line of general aviation avionics.
Shooting conditions during the reception ranges from bright ballroom
• Treat Williams - Actor and pilot for over forty years with over ten thousand hours in the cockpit. Author of the Disney children’s book “Airshow”.
to candlelight, and is a normal flash setup since you are fairly close to the subjects. This year saw quite a few photographers using Gary Fong Lightspheres. Hayman used the following setup, Nikon SB-600 mounted on a D300 (w/18-200mm) while my second shooter used a SB-700 setup with a D7000 (with 18-55mm). During the program Hayman was shooting handheld with the D7000 with a 70-200 f/2.8 from about 100’ back. Larry’s setup was with the Nikon D3S and D700 using 70-200 f2.8 the 24-70 f/2.8 and 14-24 f/2.8 lenses. Flash units SB900 and SB700. Bonnie and Kevin were shooting with Canon equipment.
This event is a fantastic opportunity to see and even meet some of these aviation heavyweights. It has also been very educational in learning from the acceptance speeches how these folks built their lives around aviation, often starting as childhood dreams. Emcee duties were split between Sean Tucker and Danny Clisham, aided by the host John Travolta.
Award Honorees for 2014 are: • Lifetime Aviation Industry Leader Award - Bruce Whitman - Chairman and CEO of FlightSafety • Harrison Ford Aviation Legacy Award - Marilyn Richwine & Rhonda Fullerton- Both are integral to the planning and execution for the Citation Special Olympics Airlift where 200 Citations transport over 1,000 athletes and staff to the Games • Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award - Frederick Smith - Founder, Chairman and CEO of FedEx • Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award - Jack Erickson - best known as the founder of Erickson Air-Crane • Bob Hoover Freedom of Flight Award - Maj Gen Patrick Brady - Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient. Flew over 2,000 combat medevac missions evacuating 5,000 wounded. The Legends event is produced by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a non-profit organization that introduces children to aviation. Kiddie Hawk follows the students as they progress; making scholarships available as Kiddie Hawk pilots enter actual flight training. Learn more about the Living Legends of Aviation Awards at www.livinglegendsofaviation.org.
Photos by Bonnie Kratz
Photos by Kevin Hong
Photos by Hayman Tam
Photos by Larry Grace
Meet the members
Alex Esguerra I’m from San Mateo, California, located some twenty minutes out from San Francisco. I consider myself an advanced amateur photographer, with little formal training (one year of photography class in high school), and take pictures when I’m not working my day job as Airfield Safety Officer at San Francisco International Airport. What really sparked my interest was a picture I took with an iPhone of a 747 emerging from the fog (attached) – it really caught the beauty that I see in aviation, which has always been a passion of mine. Up to recently, my mainstay has been a Canon T2i with a 70-300mm as my mainstay lens, although I rent a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L for air shows. I have just upgraded to a Canon 5D and hope to permanently add the 100-400mm lens to my collection. As of November of 2013, I shoot entirely in RAW, and prefer Lightroom for processing. The abilities to control the various channels and eliminate flaws are invaluable. I came across ISAP a few months ago while researching one of the member’s portfolio and finally joined in January of this year. I like the concept of being with a group of photographers with a common subject interest and hope to learn a few things along with the way as well as pass on any useful knowledge that I myself might have. I think back to when I first started aviation photography and like the notion that I might make someone’s learning curve a little less steep. My big tip is to learn the Exposure Triangle until it’s second nature.
â€œI like the concept of being with a group of photographers with a common subject interest and hope to learn a few things along with the way as well as pass on any useful knowledge that I myself might have.â€?
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
This Phantom was shot after sunset from a Learjet. A flare illuminates the F-4. EOS1DX EF24-70f2,8 II @ 70mm. 1/250, f2,8. ISO320
Eurofighter Typhoon and F-4F Phantom II. EOS1DX EF24-70f2,8 II @ 35mm. 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
I cannot tolerate the idea of a machine making aesthetic choices on my behalf, and throwing away data it doesn’t think I need. I want every bit of information I squeezed onto my camera’s sensor available for my creative processing. Therefore, I always shoot in RAW. I use Photo Mechanic to move bulk images from my memory cards to a disk drive, and to allow me to immediately start reviewing and flagging images for later processing. I use Lightroom to do my image management. I have more than 250,000 images always spinning on WAN-accessible network disk volumes, indexed and instantly accessible by Lightroom, despite Adobe’s statements that network volumes are not supported. I also use Lightroom for raw conversion and basic image processing. Nearly every image I process also goes into Photoshop, where I do more detailed editing. Inside Photoshop, I use filters and plug-ins from Nik, Topaz, and OnOne. For HDR work, I use either Nik HDR Efex Pro or Photomatix. I prefer the Nik tool’s rendering, but prefer the ghost management in Photomatix.
Dan Beauvais My name is Dan Beauvais, and I am fortunate to live at the intersection of the earth, ocean, and sky, on a chain of barrier islands and peninsulas known as the Outer Banks. Specifically, I live in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the birthplace of aviation. I’m a professional photographer, specializing in landscape photography. I sell work in galleries and on-line. I’m a partner in a photographic workshop company. I do photographic presentations for hire, and have taught photography at the community college level. I’ve been very active in photography for more than 30 years, and earned my skill via a combination of continuing education, several workshops and seminars, mentoring, organized study groups, and voracious self study. While living in the Raleigh area for several years, I befriended fellow ISAP member Arnold Greenwell. He intrigued me with his images of aerobatic aircraft. A few years after I relocated to Kitty Hawk, we had the week long centennial celebration of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, within walking distance from my home. I invited Arnold to join me for the week, and he taught me much of what I know of aviation photography. I refined that knowledge, developing my own voice for celebrating the color and dynamics of aviation via awareness of light and careful post processing. I currently use Nikon D800 bodies and vertical grip for their low noise, high resolution, and professional handling. I have extensively used a D700 and grip for its high frame rate and low noise, and D300 bodies and grips for their high frame rate and the longer effective focal length due to their cropped sensor. For ground to air, I primarily use the Nikon 200-400/4 VR, sometimes with the Nikon TC-14e 1.4x teleconverter. For statics, I will use a battery of Nikon and Sigma lenses with effective focal lengths from 15mm to 840mm, and a Nikon 105/2.8 AF Macro lens. Ground to air is always handheld. For statics, day and night, I nearly always use a tripod, an Induro CT-414 with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head. It gives me stable control, repeatability, and ultimate image quality.
Like my hammer and my saw, they are different tools in my toolbox, each serving different purposes. It’s hard to say whether I prefer my hammer or my saw, nor Lightroom or Photoshop. Why did you join ISAP and when? How did you learn about ISAP? Do you belong to any other professional photography associations or groups? I joined ISAP some time before ISAP VII (2007) Pensacola, after shooting airshows for several years. I’d developed a camaraderie with fellow shooters, and wished to deepen those connections, to have further learning opportunities, and to take advantage of the access provided during ISAP activities. I’ve been admitted to Nikon Professional Services (NPS), I’m a member of Photographic Society of America (PSA), and am very active in Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association (CNPA). I enjoy helping others develop their skills in all types of photography. I do so formally in my workshop business, but even more so informally by just shooting with others, and sharing ideas by phone, email, social media, and my web site, DanBeauvais.com. ISAP stands for International Society for Aviation Photography. I think as a group, we often focus too heavily on the A. My advice would be to pay more attention to the P – strive to be a top-notch photographer. Compose to take advantage of the graphic elements and dynamics. Pay attention and capture the quality of light. And only show the very best of your work – edit it ruthlessly. I once heard a quip, “The difference between an amateur and a pro is that a pro never shows his mistakes.”
The Candy Bomber, the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation’s C-54E Skymaster, “Spirit of Freedom”. 240mm EFL, 1/125, f/22, ISO 200
Kyle Franklin executes a tight downward spiral in his highly modified 1940 Waco UPF-7 PT-14 “Mystery Ship”. 570 EFL, 1/320, f/14, ISO 200
In an ethanol-powered showdown, Paul Teutul, Sr., designer and founder of the famed Orange County Choppers, and star of reality television series, “American Chopper,” races late airshow legend Greg Poe. 600mm EFL, 1/50, f/20, ISO 200
Kirby Chambliss and his Red Bull Zivko Edge 540. Chambliss is a five-time US National Aerobatic Champion, and 2004 & 2006 Red Bull Air Race World Champion. 550mm EFL, 1/320, f/16, ISO 200, extensively cropped
This image is made from about a dozen time-lapse photos. Some images are of planes doing aerobatics while carrying pyrotechnics and lights. Other photos are of ground based fireworks. All were made from the same position with a tripod mounted camera. 17mm EFL, f/5.6, ISO 200, various shutter times ranging from a few seconds to about two minutes
Two T-2 Buckeyes on take-off at NAS Pensacola. 202mm EFL, 1/1250, f6.3, ISO 200
A North American T-6 Texan, originally seeing service as a South African Air Force Harvard 7246, is displayed at EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh, WI. 57mm EFL, 1/200, f14, ISO 200. Image made by merging two manipulated copies. First was a black outline created via a multistep process described by Scott Kelby. Second copy liberally stylized with Topaz Adjust.
A North American T-28B Trojan in a pool of golden morning light on wet tarmac. The T-28 was primarily used as a training aircraft by the US Air Force and US Navy in the 1950s into the early 1980s. 17mm EFL, ISO 200, f/32, HDR with various shutter speeds.
A graphic study of a stripe on the tarmac at NAS Oceana. 66mm EFL, 1/640, f/13, ISO 400.
Skip Stewart in his 400 hp modified Pitts S-2S, â€œPrometheus.â€? 550mm EFL, 1/320, f/9, ISO 200, extensively cropped
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
George McClure I work a 9 to 5 jobs and photograph when I can get away. Home is the central coast of California, between LA and San Francisco. I consider myself an amateur photographer. Although I don’t have formal training I am very fortunate to have been mentored by people like Denny Lombard, Jay Miller, Kevin Robertson and others. Seminars, a couple of local community college classes, and lots of trial and error have helped me establish a basic capability. An invitation from Denny Lombard sparked my initial interest in aviation photography. I shoot with Canon equipment. My favorite combination is a EOS 1D-X with a 70 to 200 zoom. At an air show I often try and use a Canon 600 F4 mounted on a tripod with a Wimberly head. I prefer shooting RAW because the amount of information available and the “stability” of the file. Photoshop is the program I am most familiar with. It is fairly easy to find tutorials and experienced people to answer questions. Denny Lombard invited me to join ISAP and participate in one of the annual events. Denny also introduced me to Jay Miller. Jay is a good friend and these fantastic photographers keep me challenged and growing. Sharing with others is part of the photography experience. My photos are a result of many people freely sharing their experience and providing tips for improvement or problem solving. With respect to advise, I suggest trying to capture a sense of motion in your aviation photography.
Meet the members
H. Michael Miley My parents say my love for planes started in the crib with it’s view of the P3’s landing at the now closed Glenview Naval Air Station just north of Chicago. When I was a bit older, my dad taught me to use the venerable Pentax K-1000 as he was making a living shooting stills and video. After moving to first Indiana and then California where I got my pilot’s license, I again live just west of O’Hare and consider myself an advanced amateur working in the technology field and spent 20 years as a Public Affairs Officer in the Civil Air Patrol CAP. After inheriting my dad’s old glass, I went down the Cannon path starting with the first Digital Rebel. If you see me at an airshow, I’ll likely have my Canon EF 70-200 on my 7D. Then again, I might have rented a 100-400 or something bigger. I’m a RAW shooter. I’m still learning and need the flexibility RAW provides. Besides, drives aren’t that expensive. As for software, I work almost exclusively in Aperture. Only occasionally do I need to combine photos or artistically adapt reality and for that I turn to the cost conscious Pixelmator.
Schaumburg Aviation Days 2010 T1i, Tamron 28-75mm, 75mm, f5, iso 100, 1/320
You can thank Jo Hunter for me joining ISAP. She was right. This organization provides inspiration and education to folks like me who are learning and growing. I love to teach others. I’m a flight instructor. I’ve gotten instructor certifications in Aperture and Final Cut. I’ve been an adjunct helping others learn to transition projects to the small screens of our mobile world. Given all that and my tech background, it’s no surprise I like to help people learn about their cameras. Lots of people have lots of gear…and no DSLR should be stuck using only the green box setting. For folks new to aviation, start with the planes, but remember it’s about the people. Keep an eye on the pilots, mechanics, builders, and audience. That’s where you will see the real passion and respect.
T1i, EF 300mm, f10, iso 10,0 1/250 - Taken at Airventure 2010
Thunderbirds over Battle Creek Field of Flight 2012 7D, EF 70-200mm, 200mm, f16, iso 400, 1/5000
Julie Clark Inverted - Taken at Airventure 2011 T1i, EF 100-400mm, f13, iso 200, 1/640
Cub Flotilla - Taken at Airventure 2010 T1i, EF70-200mm, 200mm, f5.6, iso 800, 1/400
UA Landing ORD 9R T1i, EF70-200mm, 200mm, f4, iso 400, 1/125
Jet Glider - Taken at Airventure 2011 T1i, EF 400mm, f9, iso 100, 1/800
First Lesson - My Daughterâ€™s First Lesson Digital Rebel. Canon 18-55mm, 24mm, f3.5, iso 100, 1/320
Moon Rising - Taken at Airventure 2009 T1i, EF 300mm, f11, iso 100, 1/250
TWA Airmail - Taken at Airventure 2010 T1i, EF70-200mm, 98mm, f5.6, iso 100, 1/250
Meet the members I would love to shoot more air to air photography but I do not have many chances to do it so I take the pictures of aircraft on the ground and I put them in flight. I try to create images which are difficult or impossible to create in real life, placing the viewer in the middle of the story. To do that Photoshop is the connecting door to a new reality. My first contact with ISAP was by chance. Surfing the net I found Its web site and I started browsing some members portfolios. I discovered among the fellow members some of my â€œphotography teachersâ€?. I have learned a lot watching their videos or reading their books. Also, I discovered that some of the most impressive images I have admired years before are from ISAP members. So I thought that, if it was so much talent in one place I wanted to be there.
Jose Ocana I am from Madrid, Spain and I consider myself as an advanced amateur. My beginnings in photography were with the new digital era and the just released Nikon D70. The possibility to see the picture just after pressing the shutter was a giant leap for me. I have attended a couple of short courses but mainly I have grown as a self taught photographer. Reading everything I could about light, camera capabilities, processing, etc. Internet has been also a great teacher because I have also learn a lot from video courses online. The aviation was in my life before photography came into it. Since I was a child I wanted to be a pilot. I had my private pilot license earlier than the drivers license, and I got the commercial pilot license meanwhile I studied Aeronautical engineering at the university. After two years working as engineer, I joined a regional airline and I work as pilot since then. Five years ago I was promoted to captain and currently I have 7800 flying hours under my belt. I am a Nikon shooter. My camera is currently a D800 which I use with a wide range of lenses. I use a lot the Sigma 15mm fisheye lens because I shoot many pictures in the cockpit which is not very spacious. On the tarmac I use to shoot with the Nikkor 24-70 and 14-24. For air shows the Nikkor 70-200 with or without the TC-20 III or TC-1.7 II are my options. I always shoot RAW. Lately, I do a lot of composing in Photoshop and the RAW files give a wider range of options. Photoshop is the program where I spend most of the time I am in front the computer. Image blending is a work for Photoshop. The range of options is endless. I do not think I will ever dominate all the options available.
I also participate in several forums of Nikon shooters and photography but I do not belong to any other professional association because I am not a professional. Within these forums everybody share its knowledge and propose different options and points of view. I think it is very helpful to read the tips and tricks of more experienced photographers. My advice for aviation photography is to pay attention to details. Sometimes it is more interesting a small piece than the whole cake. Many times we try to bring the whole aircraft into the frame, losing the details. The metal skin of the fuselage or the machinery of the engine are sometimes more interesting that the whole aircraft, placing the viewer in the middle of the story.
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/11, 1/250, 340mm, ISO 100, +1/3
f/8, 1/320, 300mm, ISO 100, +1
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…
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Meet the members
Sheldon Heatherington Hello ISAP! My name is Sheldon Heatherington, and I guess you could say I am a cross between an advanced amateur, and semipro, as I am trying to grow my photography business. I am a Pensacola, FL, native, who has the privilege of having the Blue Angels in my backyard. I have no formal photography training, even though I took Photography One in college. I mostly learned from trial and error, and owning a Canon rebel film camera for ten years. I have been into aviation since i was a little guy, and aviation photography just seemed natural. I am also a pilot, and that made me want to couple the two passions even more. My cameras of choice are all canon gear (70D, 7D, 50D) and my lenses are a mix of Canon and Sigma (Canon 70-300mm, 18-135mm, and Sigma 150-500). I use the 150-500 95% of the time for air shows, and the 18-135 for air to air shoots, the 70-300 is a backup. For editing, I use Lightroom almost exclusively, with photoshop as a secondary tool if I really have to clone something out. I shoot RAW to give me the most wiggle room with my shots. I found out about ISAP through a friend, Jim Koepnick, and joined about three years ago, I believe. Photography is a therapy to me, so naturally, I love talking about it with people. I introduced a good friend of mine to aviation photography, and just photography in general, and love to just talk cameras with people. If you are new to aviation photography, I would say, get out, shoot a lot, getting progressively lower in shutter speeds to get that perfect prop disk, and go to lots of air shows. It is addictive, and never gets old. I never tire of seeing the Blue Angels, and for every act, strive to get that ‘perfect shot’. I couldn’t have picked a better hobby!
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
EOS 5Dmk3, EF 24-105 f/4L; ISO 2000, f/6.3, 1/20s
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
Nikon D800, 24-70 f/2.8, KS-4x4; ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/50s
Nikon D800, 24-70 f/2.8, KS-4x4; ISO 50, f/10, 1/60s
EOS 5Dmk3, EF 24-105 f/4L; ISO 320, f/10, 1/320s
Nikon D800, 70-200 f/2.8; ISO 250, f/6.3, 1/1250s
Meet the members
I shoot with all Canon equipment – I currently own the Canon 5DMk2 and 5DMk3. For airshows I use my Canon 100-400 almost exclusively for action shots. For static photos, I usually have my 24-105mm handy. I only shoot in RAW because there is so much more data available in the image, and like to control the post-processing. I use Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop and various plugins from Nik, Topaz, and On-One. I don’t use Lightroom – Adobe Camera Raw does everything that the Develop module does in Lightroom, and I prefer my own file organization structure. I joined ISAP about 18 months ago, and due to some confusion on renewal dates, I dropped off the rolls last September and just rejoined. I don’t remember how I learned about it – I think someone on Facebook pointed me to the organization. I am also an active member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP – now KelbyOne).
Susan Koppel I am a photographer based in Reno, Nevada. I guess you would call me a “professional” since I have been paid for some jobs, and I do a lot of volunteer work as well. I’ve just launched a business specializing in pet portraits - we will see how successful that is. Photography is actually my third career – First, I worked as a certified flight instructor, then I studied aerospace engineering in college and worked as an engineer for thirty years. I worked as a flight test engineer and avionics system specialist on the F-16 fighter, then moved to the commercial side and worked as a flight test engineer and training program developer for the MD-11. My final full-time position was as deputy chief design engineer for the Boeing 717, where I was responsible for the flight deck and all the systems that touched it. I still do some consulting on the side, but now my primary focus is photography. I currently volunteer a couple of days per week as an animal keeper and staff photographer at Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary, just outside Reno, Nevada. There I often get to photograph cheetahs during high speed runs. I also volunteer at the Nevada Humane Society where I do portraits of adoptable animals for media and Humane Society use, as well as photographing most of their special events. I do not have “formal” photography training, but have had a camera since I was five years old. I read a lot of books and magazines and consume hours of on-line training, as well as attending workshops and trade shows. I’ve always loved aviation and aviation photography. I started flying lessons when I was 14, and by the time I was 18, I had commercial and flight instructor certificates for single, multi-engine and instrument aircraft. I grew up in Reno, so was able to attend the Reno Air Races almost every year since 1964. I think I’ve missed three at most.
I do try to help others learn photography. I co-run a photography meet-up group here in Reno, I do presentations for our local library, and will soon be teaching some post-processing classes for another photography group. I also conduct workshops in wildlife photography at Animal Ark. Advice to share with new photographer: practice, practice, practice. Practice tracking skills, practice holding the camera steady. Aviation photography is hard – especially with propeller planes; you want to freeze the plane and blur the prop. Not an easy skill!
Meet the members
wanted photos. Later career changes to the C-130 opened up more opportunities with low cruising altitudes and far more destinations than those open to the Phantoms. The biggest boost to my photography was my decision to return to school for a bachelors degree in graphic design and photography. I was facing a career change after being downsized (right-sized depending on which side of the table you are sitting) from an airline. Facing the job market with a 30-year-old diploma was no pleasure. The choice of a program was based on the keynote speaker at the Las Vegas symposium saying if you were a still photographer and not getting into video, you will soon be left in the dust. The program balanced my technical photography with the artistic. I used to say about my aerial photography that I am not a fly by night operation. I am not more comfortable with artificial lighting, product capture, portraiture, and using InDesign and Illustrator to round out a project.
Gary Chambers I have been involved with aviation-oriented photography since 1978 when I was an enlisted photo interpreter in the Kentucky Air National Guard. This began a journey of aerial and mapping photography that lasted into the 1990s. The photo interpretation led to a geography degree in cartography & remote sensing from the University of Kentucky with civilian employment compiling topographic maps from stereo imagery. The compiling eventually led to piloting. My first job that I could enjoy food with my meals consisted of doing aerial photos of farmsteads for State Aerial Farm Statistics of Toledo, Ohio. This kept me busy for three years covering the eastern United States from Mitchell, South Dakota, to the eastern shores of Maryland. I returned to mapping photography in 1995 when I filled in for a pilot friend suffered from a heart attack. The North American Navion was outfitted with a T-11 mapping camera, two Mamiya RZ-67s medium format (one vertical and one oblique), and two video cameras looking through the Mamiya viewfinders. The monitor for the video enabled me to operate as a single crew. Simultaneously with the mapping photography was aerial photography in Air National Guard. I completed navigator training and flew in the back seat of the RF-4C Phantom II. A career highlight was completing USAF Fighter Weapons School three weeks before Top Gun hit the theaters in 1986. That was a good summer to go to airshows. The military career went from reconnaissance, to F-4E fighters in Indiana, and then back to the RF-4C with the Alabama Air National Guard. The 35mm aspect of my photography began with gathering data for my scale model building. Several moves around the country led to less model building and more photography. I was primarily a documenting photographer for historical purposes following in the pattern of the airline hobbyists of the day that sought to get a 50mm sun lit profile image on Kodachrome. My first air-to-air photography was in 1986 when I flew the KY ANG spare jet to the Recce Air Meet at Bergstrom AFB. This led to subsequent opportunities to document the last deployment in the RF-4C and other situations when the units
Recent commercial photography has been doing advertising photography. My current civilian employment has relegated photography to a part-time endeavor. I use a Canon 7D with a 40D backup and a range of L series lens from 17-40 to 100-400. I now shoot in RAW format to have maximum flexibility without compromising the image. Other aspects of my photography are doing restorations, scanning, and video editing. An ongoing successful venue for me has been www.airliners.net. I get several sales from the 6300+ images that have been accepted onto that site. I like Airliners.net for the searchable database making it easy to find a specific subject from a wide range of criteria. Those images have been viewed a collective of over 25 million times. My favorite sales from there have been to Hasegawa Models for three box covers. An early fascination with aviation was model kit box art. I am happy to have my images on now on the boxes. Some final thoughts are photography is simply composition, lighting, and exposure. Each situation is different but the basics remain like a multi-variable equation. I am grateful to mentors like Max Haynes that got me to telling stories instead of a sterile image. That gets more of those thousand words out of the picture. I appreciate the peer review that I get from members like Mark Naumann. Mark urged me to attend the Pensacola symposium in 2007. I had wanted to attend earlier events but usually found myself 8-9 time zones to the east. At present, ISAP is my primary national organization. There is a good photography culture in St. Louis that I have been welcomed into. I joined The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum: http://www.iphf.org soon after getting settled in. Good advice I have received and would like to pass on is there is more to aviation photography than the hardware. It is people that bring the machines to life. Always try to add a human element to the body of work if not each image. If you are starting out, go to a museum where you can photograph static subjects. Solve one variable at a time. Get comfortable with static subjects and then progress to motion, panning and shifting light. Never compare your own work to another and never cease to be inspired by others. There is too much tendency to beat yourself up because YOU donâ€™t think it measures up. Everyone has his or her own vision. A line of photographers with the same subject will generate a variety of images. Photograph for yourself, it is easier to keep the passion fired.
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.
AirSpace Minnesota Hall of Fame Reception
ISAP President Larry Grace helped with the celebration of two Minnesota technology innovators who will join national halls of fame this year at a special reception on February 6. Hosted by Target Corporation Flight Services and AirSpace Minnesota, the event saluted Cirrus Co-Founder & CEO Dale Klapmeier and the iconic Don Piccard. Don, son of the legendary Jean Piccard and Jeannette Piccard and first to cross the English Channel in a hot air balloon with Ed Yost, will enter the U.S. Ballooning Hall of Fame on July 27, 2014 at the National Balloon Museum in Indianola, Iowa, joining the company of 24 pioneering aeronauts. Dale, who founded Cirrus Design in 1984 and turned it into the dominant market leader in high performance, single-engine, four-place airplanes within 20 years, will be enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame on October 4, 2014 at the National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning Center and adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Since its founding in 1962, 219 air and space pioneers have been enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Both are members of the AirSpace Minnesota Board of Directors. AirSpace Minnesota is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to chronicle Minnesotaâ€™s great aerospace and aviation legacy and equip a new generation to write the next chapter of the innovation story. We are committed to helping students discover their dreams and the creativity and value of skills and careers involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics. When dreams and skills connect, anything is possible. - See more at: http://airspacemn.org/who-we-are/#sthash.mZ7w4nDI.dpuf
2014 Schedule is as follows: (schedule subject to change)
Tues. & Wed.: 3 - 6 p.m. Thurs.: 12 - 5:30 p.m. Fri.: 2 - 5:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun.: 1 - 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1
Misty Blues Parachute Team Greg Koontz Aeroshell Dan Marcotte Ace Rob Holland/ Matt Chapman Steve Oliver Tiger Team Jim Peitz Julie Clark Gary Rower Immortals Nikolay Timofeev Melissa Pemberton Gary Ward Paul McCowan Parachute Team Warbirds
Wednesday, April 2
Misty Blues Parachute Team Jim Peitz Rob Holland Gary Rower Tiger Team Nikolay Timofeev Julie Clark Gary Ward Immortals Warbirds Justin Lewis Dan Marcotte Paul McCowan Parachute Team Steve Oliver Michael Wiskus
Thursday, April 3
US Navy Blue Angels Greg Koontz Misty Blues Parachute Team Jim Peitz Aeroshell Patty Wagstaff Rob Holland Justin Lewis Matt Chapman Paul McCown Bob Carlton Michael Wiskus
Friday, April 4
Southern Command Jump Team Manfred Radius Aerostars Sean Tucker Geico Skytypers Matt Younkin Matt Chapman Warbirds Michael Goulian F-22 & Heritage David Martin US Navy Blue Angels
Saturday, April 5
Southern Command Jump Team Sean Tucker Aeroshell Patty Wagstaff Geico Skytypers Warbirds Dan Buchanan F-22 & Heritage Michael Goulian US Navy Blue Angels Skip Stewart Matt Younkin David Martin
Saturday Evening, April 5
Night Airshow begins at 7:30 and ends at 9:30 p.m. (with Fireworks) Team Aerodynamix Manfred Radius Aeroshell Gene Soucy Dan Buchanan Matt Younkin Steve Oliver Bat Copter
Sunday, April 6
Southern Command Jump Team David Martin Aeroshell Gene Soucy Aerostars Sean Tucker Geico Skytypers Patty Wagstaff Bob Carlton F-22 & Heritage Michael Goulian US Navy Blue Angels
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tional Soci et rna e t
ISAP Vice Chairman
ISAP Secretary Mike Collins ISAP Treasurer Bonnie Kratz
ISAP Board Member
J.R. Wilson Jr.
ISAP Chairman Emeritus
ISnAP Editor Kevin Hong
ISnAP International Editor
ISAP Webmaster/ISAP Forum
ISAP Code of Ethics I agree to abide by the ISAP Code of Ethics and pledge to honor the highest level of professionalism and conduct, with honesty and integrity at all times. I will familiarize myself with the rules and regulations of any facility that I visit and abide by them to uphold and dignify the reputation of ISAP and refrain from conduct that could harm any future opportunities for other members. I will treat others with courtesy and exercise good judgment in my actions. I agree to share my knowledge and skills with my fellow ISAP members to help increase the level of ISAP’s reputable knowledge base. If I breach any part of the ISAP Code of Ethics, my membership may be restricted or terminated by the ISAP Board of Directors.
Contact us ISAP President / Board members • email@example.com General questions • firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Membership • firstname.lastname@example.org Website / Members forum • email@example.com Please submit photos as a jpg file, sized at 4x6 or 5x7 (200 dpi minimum), and text as a Microsoft Word file as attachments via email to ISnAP@aviationphoto.org
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