WELCOME TO THE 2019 NOVEMBER ISSUE OF ISnAP! B-29 Doc Night Shoot Craig Swancy Larry Grace Garret Moyer Nick Moore Gary Edwards Kevin Hong John Sepp
Philip Johnson Raymond Cervantes John Ford
Athens Flying Week 2019 Dragos Munteanu Bucharest International Airshow 2019 Dragos Munteanu
David Nelson Peter Yee Rod Cromer
Northwest High School Creative Media Production Academy Hannah Kim Joshua Moran Jackson Lazzeri India Darling Jubi Valadez Zhixin Cheng Thomas Nguyen Lucky 13 Fly-in Gordon Court D-Day Dakotas at Duxford Marc Schultz The 2019 Great Pacific Airshow Mike Bilek 2019 Miramar Airshow Jason Skinner Mike Bilek Flying Legends Scott Slingsby 2019 Geneseo Airshow Wayne Domkowski
Michael Cozad Mike Gagarin Simon Wong
Meet The Members Al Figuccio Guillermo Anaya
Ian Kreidich Michael Corazzelli
FRONT COVER PHOTO: Larry Grace B-29 Doc night shoot Camera: Nikon Lens: Nikon 24-120mm Exposure: f11 Shutter speed: 2.5 sec. ISO 100
USAF F-22 Demo Team Support Team Lt. Sam Eckholm Bell Ft. Worth Alliance Airshow 2019 Andy Lay Jason Skinner Charles Daniels John Sepp Craig Swancy Mark Lenz Garret Moyer
NAS Lemoore Photo Call Darshan Meda Jeff Krueger Michael Bellinger
BACK COVER: Kevin Hong Navy Warbird photo pass - F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcats, F4U Corsairs, F7F Tigercat Camera: Canon Lens: 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L Exposure: f9 Shutter speed: 1/320 ISO 100 ISAP’s 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. ISAP continues to help our members to better their photography skills, 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. 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! Sincerely, Larry Grace, ISAP President Kevin Hong, ISnAP Editor International Society for Aviation Photography www.aviationphoto.org • www.facebook.com/ISAPorg firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW ISAP MEMBERS Julia Apfelbaum
Pablo Guillermo Anaya Barron
Wes V Dell
Daren R Maloy
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.
B-29 Doc Night Shoot
Text and photo by Larry Grace, ISAP President
We did it! The first night time engine run-up for photography with the B-29 Superfortress Doc. This opportunity has not been done with either of the last two flying B-29 in the world.
As the lighting got lower we stood ready to capture images. The first engine came to life one by one and before you knew it all four engines were running and you could hear the photographers clicking away!
Over the years I have seen images of warbirds, airlines and military aircraft done at night and not that many were done with aircraft based in the US. Now it has been done in the US but not many opportunities that would allow a group of photographers to capture these images.
We had planned for a 10-15 minute window for the engines to run. Unknown to the photographers the flight crew wanted to do some additional checks this allowed the photographers to move from their setup and move around the at front of the aircraft to capture other images. At the 30 minute mark, we all got the word and the engines shut down. As quickly as it started it was over and left all of us excited and talking about what we saw and capture through our lenses.
Over the years I have talked with airshows and museums about putting on these types of workshops. We have held smaller workshops during NAF El Centro, Dallas, TX and during the Bell Fort Worth Alliance Airshows. Last year during the ICAS convention in Las Vegas I began a discussion with a staff member with Docâ€™s Friends about the opportunity to do a night shoot with Doc with engines running. From that discussion lead to trip out to Wichita Falls, KS where Doc is based and the museum that was built for it. After our meeting, a couple of months went by and received a call on a date for in August to make it happen. Plans were to allow 25 ISAP photographers and we opened it to other photographers to join us in this first time photo op. ISAP photographers came together for this workshop and each had the chance to spend time inside Doc and up close for detail images. Before sunset, we set up lights and each photographer discussed where they wanted to set up and their camera settings for the session.
A big thank you to the museum and staff of Docâ€™s Friends for their time and help to make this happen. We look forward to the next opportunity with Doc to allow other photographers to enjoy the sights and sounds of the B-29 Superfortress come to life. Who knows a few of you may have the opportunity to do Air to Air with Doc during our next workshop? The image display here with a Milky Way background along with lighting correction was done in Photoshop. ISAP members can view a video on how to make corrections and add a background to images using Camera Raw in Photoshop or Lightroom from fellow ISAP member Scott Kelby.
Never in my dreams as a child growing up in Texas did I ever think I would get to see a Boeing B-29 Superfortress up close, let alone see it fly. Perish the thought of photographing in detail the same B-29 inside and out. Then you want to offer me the opportunity to photograph the same polished bird on it’s first “Night Start” in some 50-60 years? You’re not kidding, are you? Well the owners, crew, staff, and all involved with Doc made that exact offer to the members of ISAP for a special date and time when they were back home during a very busy Air Show Schedule of 2019. ISAP President, Larry Grace and Staff members discussed that very subject with ISAP member Brett Schauf and the powers that be with Doc the B-29 whose home is in one of the most aircraft historic cities in the United States, Wichita, Kansas. The home of Stearman, Cessna, Beechcraft, Lear Jet, Boeing and probably a few more I have overlooked. The rest is now history. Having the opportunity to spend some quality time at Doc’s facility in Wichita, photograph the aircraft (inside and out) plus a night engine startup just crossed off the number one desire on my “Bucket List.” Everyone affiliated with Doc went above and beyond the call of duty to assist our group of ISAP Photographers. I would like to give Brett Schauf a true “Atta Boy” for all his help and assistance during this ISAP Workshop and in effect making this 69 year old feel like a kid again.
During World War II Doc was one of 1,644 B-29s manufactured in Wichita, Kansas after America entered the war. Moreover, the B-29 served in the Korea War. The squadron was known as the Seven Dwarfs in July of 1951, along with Doc was assigned to radar calibration duty. In May of 1955, Doc served in the Mojave Desert as a target for the U.S. Navy where B-29s frequently encountered ‘friendly fire.’ By chance Doc survived, and in 1987 a group led by Tony Mazzolini and backed by the United States Aviation Museum Doc was rescued and brought back to Wichita, Kansas in 2000 to begin restoration. Ironically, Doc started the process of reassembling the B-29 just a few hundred feet from where it rolled off the Boeing assembly line located in Wichita, Kansas. In February of 2013, a group of aviation enthusiasts and business leaders led by retired Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner created a 501c3 non-profit called ‘Doc’s Friends.’ After 18 years from being rescued from the Mojave Desert Doc took the first flight on July 17, 2016. Along the way, Doc has attended many air shows including the 2017 EAA AirVenture and the 70th Anniversary of Joint Base Andrews in Washington, D.C. Furthermore, in September 2017 the Future Home of B-29 Doc Hangar Education and Visitors Center broke ground on a 42,000 sq. ft. facility is an interactive experience for all ages. On August 15th and 16th, a group of photographers from the International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP) from California, Texas, Missouri, and Arizona descended into Wichita, Kansas to attend a photography workshop, and to photograph Doc a B-29 Superfortress. The first day included a ‘meet and greet’ with members of ‘Doc’s Friends.’ As the day went on, attendees broke up into groups of two to photograph the inside of Doc. After eating dinner together and sharing stories and photo tips, the highlight of the event occurred. Doc was rolled out of the hanger by a tug. Floodlights were set up where photographers waited for the sun to go down. On this warm Kansas evening, Doc was illuminated in front while volunteers did a preflight check before engine start-up. As Doc started up, this would be the first time in decades Doc would be photographed with the engines running at night. As they were running, you could feel the excitement while members would ‘click’ their shutters taking back the majestic power of Doc’s four engines roaring in the evening hours. No doubt, this experience to some photographers included: completing a ‘bucket list’ experience, self-discovery, a strong sense of wonder, and thankfulness to all who put in so many hours to make Doc airworthy again. The future of Doc’s mission depends on connecting and educating generations to the ‘Greatest Generation’ and to those who protected our freedom.
Gary Edwards â€¢ ISAP Treasurer
Promised myself after retiring I would attend more ISAP events and this one was the first on the list. I made my way over to Wichita, KS to meet Doc in August. Took about 16 hours of drive time but all went well. Only bad news I received was the photo flight on Friday with Doc was called off. I was a bit bummed but when handed lemons throw them out and drink something strong. Thursday we had our evening photo shoot with Doc, engines running at night. The spectacle of four massive engines turning 16 foot diameter props at night was amazing. This is something that has not been done since probably the 50’s (photographing a B-29 at night with the engines running) when the last of these flew RADAR calibration missions. But that is not what I am writing about, it is actually what happened the day after. Friday, post night shoot.
The day after we met back at Doc’s hanger going over lessons learned and additional discussions about what is next. As we were all taking Brett, our POC for Doc, brought in Tim Wiebe who is one of Doc’s pilots. When the B-29 served during WWII he would have been known as the aircraft commander, the pilot sat in the right seat. It is a U.S.. Army thing. Tim appeared older than he should be for a typical B-29 aircraft commander of WWII but I was glad to know there are younger people who will keep ‘em flying for some time to come. And what I mean by younger is younger than 60. As Tim was introduced to us Brett made the comment Tim was going up in the T-6 that is hangared with Doc. The T-6 is on loan and conducts flights for those willing to pay. He asked if anyone wanted to go up with Tim for some aerobatics I raised my hand as I quickly looked around the room, no one had raised their hand yet so I got the hole shot and got a ride. I was absolutely up for a flight in a T-6. Picture a 6 foot 3 inch 290 pound guy being stuffed in the aft cockpit of the T-6.
Kevin Hong â€¢ ISnAP Editor
This year I had the opportunity to attend my first airshow in Greece. I must say the fact that the Greek Air Force (Hellenic Air Force - HAF) still operates the mighty Phantom played a part in the decision-making process…An expectation that the weather will be sunny after a generally rainy airshow season in Europe was another motivation. Athens is very easy to get to from most European hubs, a multitude of airlines serving its airport. The airshow takes place every year in the Tanagra Airbase situated around 70 km from the city of Athens. The show is organized over a weekend in September having also an option for spotters to attend the arrival days on Thursday and Friday before. Parking facilities are plentiful and quite close to the runway – on the grass in the airbase perimeter. Access starts at 09:00 in the morning with flying starting around noon and lasting well into the evening. Arriving early gets you in a good position for taking shots of the static
display – mostly aircraft of the Greek Air Force types and some retired types like the Mirage F1 and the F-86 Sabre. On static there was a Phantom, a Mirage 2000, several Greek helicopters, the special D-Day USAF C-130J W7 livery, a SAAB105 of the Austrian Air Force, and two Aeronautica Militare types – an Aermacchi MB339 and an Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master. Spotters can purchase access to a special enclosure on the flightline which includes an elevated grandstand – and I made good use of it. The general atmosphere of the airshow was very relaxed, in the demos but also when walking around the premises, there was plenty of space – the whole length of the runway was available for the spectators and various enclosures. There were also a lot of tents for exhibitions, companies and various aviation merchandise on sale.
Athens Flying Week 2019 (AFW19) By Dragos Munteanu
The airshow started with some paradrops followed by a flypast of a SuperPuma helicopter of the Hellenic Fire Service with the customary water drop demo from the bucket. As Greece is always prone to wildlife fires the demo of the capability shows a reality for which the country needs to be always prepared. Tanagra is the base where the Greek Mirage 2000s are based – we had the opportunity to witness a scramble of one 2000-5 aircraft which lead to a demo dogfight with a Greek F-16. A very nice flypast followed with all the fighter types of the Greek Air Force – 2 F-4s Phantoms, one F-16 and a Mirage 2000-5. The Belgian F-16 solo display was present in Tanagra – and Vador (the codename of the demo pilot) performed two times on Saturday. Vador came with the special D-Day livery painted aircraft of the 350 SQ – a squadron of the Belgian Air Force which fought on Spitfires in World War II. The Greek F-16 solo display – named Zeus for obvious reasons - also displayed the F-16 block 52 twice during the day. It was the last airshow of the Greek demo pilot – Captain Georgios Papadakis, a new pilot will join the team from next year.
Several aerobatic acts were presented several times in the day schedule with high performance aircraft and gliders, and mixed flypasts of a Q400 and an Extra 300. The Hellenic Navy had a very powerful act with 2 helicopters (one AB212 ASW and a S70B Aegean Hawk) and a P-3 Orion displaying solo and in formation. The Flying Bulls (the Red Bull sponsored team) brought to Tanagra 3 of their famous acts – the BO105 helicopter, the F4U Corsair and the Douglas DC-6. The other notable demos were: the Greek Daedalus T-6A Texan demo, the CL415 waterdrop, the HAF AH-64 Apache and a very spirited Austrian Air Force SAAB105 demo. All in all, the AFW2019 was a very good event, very well organized and clearly a highlight of the European Airshow scene.
Bucharest International Air Show By Dragos Munteanu
I am quite happy to showcase the airshow which is organized every year in my hometown, Bucharest, the capital or Romania. This year it was the 11th edition of the show – now organized in the “city airport” Aurel Vlaicu – Baneasa (LRBS) – this is the original airport of Bucharest which in the past years is only handling business aviation due to the close proximity of the city. The main airport is Bucharest Henri Coanda – Otopeni (LROP) – 10 km away from Baneasa, where the first editions of BIAS were held – however having an airshow at the biggest airport of the country was difficult to administer when the airport should have also been open for scheduled operations. The airshow has no entrance fee, so it is very well attended by spectators. Another detail is the length of the show – flying starts at 09:00 in the morning and continues until after nightfall – more than 12 hours of demos. Throughout the years the event gained quite a good notoriety and attracts more and more foreign spectators – mostly spotters. The past editions saw the participation of the Frecce Tricolori, Turkish Stars, Baltic Bees, the RAF Typhoon Solo display, Solo Turk, the Polish F-16 and Mig-29 solo displays, the Ukrainian SU-27 and so on. Of course, every year the Romanian Air Force is participating with most of its assets. This year the airshow date – 24th of August – was communicated quite late. The lineup was not as full as in the past years with external participants, but the local presence was strong. We got no less than 3 solo demos of the Mig-21 Lancer of the Romanian Air Force (RoAF) – which was quite outstanding – the last one at sunset with flares and afterburner. Most of the individual acts were performed two times – in the morning and afternoon and there was no gap in the program – 12 hours of flying activity…The Romanian Airclub was also a very strong presence with all its aircraft, Zlins, Extras, parachute drops from the Antonov 2. The Airclub main act is the Hawks of Romania demo team made up of four Extra 300/330 aircraft painted in the Romanian flag colors.
On the civilian side a traditional flypast of a big transport jet of the flag carrier – TAROM (Romanian Air Transport) and the Hawks of Romania saw this year an Airbus A318 flying in formation with 5 Extra 300s. After breaking the formation, the A318 performed a few flypasts which were appreciated by the spotters. The most significant external presence were the Baltic Bees – a civilian demo team from Latvia
operating 6 Aero L-39 Albatross aircraft. They performed a very clean display – even twice during the day. Another Romanian famous civilian act is a very “sporty” demo of a Kamov Ka-26 utilitarian helicopter (crop duster in its daily job…) flying aerobatics. The aerobatics world champion from Lithuania, Jurgis Kairys flying a Sukhoi Su-31 is a very popular appearance for many years in Romania so he performed his highly skilled routine also this year in BIAS. The exotic appearances for this year show were a L-29 Delfin from Slovakia and a very rare Serbian Soko G-2 Galeb jet trainer. Both aircraft were flown in dynamic demonstrations. The Italian glider champion Luca Bertosio brought his wonderful engine-less act – sponsored by Red Bull. All in all – a great show – and a hot one – in Bucharest August is easily at 36 deg Centigrade, but the runway is well positioned – the sun is in the back all day long. The date for the 2020 show is already known – it will be the 5th of September. I will be looking for you there…
As mentioned, the RoAF presence was impressive. We were greeted by big formations of up to 6 IAR330 Puma various versions (transport and the SOCAT attack variant), 6 ship formations of Mig-21 Lancers, solo demo of the IAR-99 Soim (Hawk – the jet lead it trainer of the RoAF – a Romanian designed and produced aircraft), 6 ship flypasts of IAR99s and many others. In the afternoon a tactical demonstration including paradrops, helicopters and F-16s providing air cover was mounted. Romania sent 4 specially modified Puma helicopters to support the UN mission in Mali so two of the helicopters were shown to the Romanian public. The combined flypasts of Mig -21 Lancers and F-16 Fighting Falcons (Romania operates 12 F-16s from 2016) were quite a unique sight. The propeller transport aircraft of RoAF made also short demos – the C-130 Hercules, the C-27 Spartan and the Antonov AN-30 that Romania is using for Open Skies treaty flights.
The F-22 Demonstration Team is made up of men and women from various and diverse backgrounds who all come together to play an integral part in the success of the team. From the crew chiefs, to the avionics technicians, and from the aircrew flight equipment specialist to the public affairs officer, the 13-member team that makes up the support side of #RaptorNation is vital to the mission of showcasing the worldâ€™s premier 5th-generation fighter at air shows around the world. The crew chiefs are in charge of servicing, fixing, and maintaining the F-22 in order to provide a safe and reliable aircraft for the pilot to fly. The avionics technicians work all of the electrical systems on the jet, troubleshooting everything from the cockpit displays, wiring, and avionics systems that exists on the Raptor. The Aircrew Flight Equipment specialist inspects and services all of the gear the pilot wears before each flight to include the helmet, oxygen mask, anti-g garment, and life preserver unit. The public affairs officers handles all photography and videography for the team as well as manages all social media, community outreach events, and recruiting opportunities.
USAF F-22 Demo Team Support Team By Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
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Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
Lt. Sam Eckholm
As is customary for the fall it is filled with the Reno Air Races, Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and the Bell Fort Worth/Alliance airshow. Just came off the Boeing B-29 Doc trip to Wichita, Kansas and was looking forward to a relaxing several months ahead. But then I received an email from Larry, the ISAP President, with the announcement of the airshow and workshop for 2019. Now that I am retired I figured why not, I had not been to this airshow since Larry started this workshop in 2016. This time though I would take my wife along as my birthday present to her. This was her first trip to Texas and she throughly enjoyed it. What did I bring besides my wife? Well I brought everything including the kitchen sink as I knew we were going to do a night shoot on Friday evening and that meant tripods. For cameras I brought my two
Nikon D810s and a gaggle of lenses from 14-24mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8 and the beast of the bunch the Nikon 200-500mm f4.5. Also brought other lenses but realized it was going to be a logistical nightmare if I started taking all of lenses. As we were shooting the airshow for the first day I used the 200-500mm f4.5 as we were going to mainly be on the grassy knoll practicing our art and skills. So here goes. First day, 17 October 2019 We met up in the meeting room at the hotel and went over the dayâ€™s agenda. Based on what Larry was able to pull together our whole schedule was tossed out the window and we went right to the grassy knoll. We met up with our High School photography students and their instructor, who I call Miss P. This is the same class back from 2016 but
ALLIA BELL FT. WORTH
different students and this year they also brought their video student as well. We were having fun shooting aircraft from the knoll and that is when I realized I am very rusty on my panning skills. As Gary Edwards wold say, â€œA perishable skill.â€? Well mine were extremely rusty as I had not done serious panning in a while. Out around Tucson we do NOT have a lot of airshows and it showed in my photos. I was disappointed in what I was capturing, not what was available.
was coming off. The hard part was switching from rotor or propeller driven aircraft to jet aircraft. I had to move my shutter speed up to 1/180 of a second on rotor/propeller aircraft as the rust was that bad. Had to go to 1/2000 second on high performance aircraft. The skill that I was rusty on was panning, especially with the 200-500mm lens at 500mm. I could not hold my subject in frame the way I wanted. Enough of this and on with the day.
I was able to catch a glimpse of the Bell V-280 Valor and tried to get some shots of the tilt rotor aircraft. Needless to say I only got one. The Blue Angels did some practice runs to define their box and points for the airshow so that made for some fun shots. HAH! Most all of them were culled - gone into the trash can. But I did notice some of the rust
We all spread over the grassy knoll from bridge to bridge. I had just walked back to the side when the local police showed up. They were on a mission and that was to remove the people who were under the approach end of the runway. The approach end needed to be cleared for safety reasons. So I gave a quick call to Larry and told him of the
Text by John Sepp Photo by Jason Skinner
situation and next thing we knew we were heading to the FBO. We were going out to the photo pit EARLY! We were able to get out at the photo pit a day early which meant more opportunities to catch arriving aircraft and the Blue Angels much closer. Also more surprises were ahead of us on this day as well. We had fun as aircraft kept arriving for the show but the best part was yet to come. Larry showed up and said we were going to have an opportunity to go out and meet the Blue Angels as Media. We were drawn for our Blue Angels pilots and we got LCDR James Haley. He has an infectious smile but when the smile goes you can tell he is a serious aviator. When we moved out to the ramp the High School students looked like they needed someone to hang with them. I told Larry I would start with them through this once in a life-time event. Yes, we were able to get within inches of the aircraft, pilots and ground crew. It was the icing on the cake for all of us. Something I don’t think I will ever have the chance again to do. The men and women of the Blue Angels are fantastic people, you feel as if you have known them your entire life. That pretty much capped off the day for us and we headed back to the hotel to gather and go over the images we brought with for discussion. As I downloaded my photos and looked at a couple of them I felt my whole days worth of shooting was for naught. Especially when I saw Craig Swancy’s photos from the day. I kept asking myself what planet was I on to not see that shot? We went into the evening with reviewing the photos. Sometime during the evening we had a special guest stop by, Scott Kelby. Photoshop expert and great person to know. By the end we were all beat and needing to hit the rack. So we packed everything up and headed off. Second day, 18 October 2019 It was rise and shine so we could get out to the airport. I do need to make one thing very clear. The 17th and 18th were days leading up to the airshow. The airshow was actually 19 and 20 October. So the 17th was aircraft arrival day and the 18th was Media day. Also the 18th meant we were going to the photo pit for an all day adventure in the pen as well as an evening photo shoot workshop. What did I shoot with during the day? For this day I ran two bodies and two lenses. Both Nikon D810 bodies, one with my 70-200mm f2.8 lens and the other with the 200-500mm f4.5 lens. I was carrying some weight on my shoulders this time with both cameras slung over my shoulders. I use the Sun Sniper slings to carry my gear. They have an embedded steel cable in the sling so no worries of breaking or someone cutting the strap (for those who travel abroad). This day was mostly air to ground shots as we needed to stay within the photo pit due to the transiting aircraft. Safety first. This day was also when anyone with a Media badge is allowed on the field. After watching a few I was concerned more for the aircraft safety. Saw one person stand behind a ground handler, literally right off the guys left shoulder wearing a baseball cap and holding his cell phone up in the air just to video an F-16 being directed in to park. Mind you the aircraft was well within 15 feet. If either his hat or his cell let loose and into the jet intake it would NOT have been pretty. Anyway, the thing to mind is safety. Hearing protection is also a must. I use custom conformal ear plugs, they are great and don’t wear out your ears. Great sound reduction as well. If you wanted to you could wear muffs over them and get even more attenuation. So the days work was everything from high performance propeller aircraft to jet aircraft to transport aircraft to rotor craft. Man was I busy.
My surprise for the day was when I saw Larry take out one of the High School students out to the taxi way. That was a special treat for them as well as for me. He gave them an opportunity to be way out in front of the crowd and get unobstructed shots. My other surprise is when he pulled me out to do the same thing. And would you know it that is when the Yak 110 went up. Never heard of a Yak 110? Well let me tell you it is two Yak aerobatic airplanes linked together with a turbine jet engine slung underneath and between the two fuselages. It is the wildest contraption you will ever see, it harkens back to the Twin Mustang. Anyway, I shot that aircraft with both my 70-200mm and 200-500mm lenses. In some case I shot through a maneuver and ended up with some interesting shots. And yes the rust was almost gone now. Got some tack sharp photos out of my time with Larry and on the taxi way. I want to thank him for the opportunity he gave me to be out there. Well, it was just busy up till about 3:30 pm. Then it was go and rescue those of us who parked out in the VIP parking lot. It was on the extreme opposite end from where we were, let us just say it was about two miles. Anyway, we rescued our cars and parked much closer in the Media lot. It was here that I picked up my 24-70mm f2.8 Nikkor lens for the night shoot. The one thing I forgot was my remote shutter release or shutter release cable for my D810s. So I would have to revert back to using either the hat trick or delayed shutter release. I would not be able to do bulb but I could drag the shutter out to 30 plus seconds. And that is what I did. From 4pm to 6pm we had the run of the ramp. So we were able to walk around and check out the static aircraft. All the while more aircraft were arriving and we got to see some interesting stuff. Lots of photo opportunities to be had by all. The High School kids had to leave earlier in the day to head back to catch their buses but several came along with Miss P. I had the pleasure of walking them from the FBO through a bunch of parked aircraft to the photo pit. I let the kids have fun and I am sure that came up with some interesting abstract photos based upon what I saw. I am looking forward to seeing some of their work when the ISnAP issue is released. Second day, 18 October 2019 - Evening Workshop Jim and Larry were able to get a pilot and his aircraft moved over to a dark part of the ramp (south end) and that is where we held the evening workshop. What else would one do but light paint. The evening sky was short lived but we were able to get some gorgeous photos. Light painting, everyone has tried this but it is best when you have a couple of people to help. Subject, light painter and photographer. This is where a tripod, shutter release cable and light make for a great photo. I used my Nikon D810 with the 24-70mm f2.8 Nikkor lens. I was running 64 ISO, 30 seconds at f11. At one point I had Jim light the side of the aircraft so I could get sharp focus. My first couple of photos were soft as I was trying to do focus peaking in the dark (running a high ISO helps but when light is falling you need a light source to light the subject to get a tan sharp image). We all had fun and I missed the one shot where the pilot did a funny pose. I was busy away from the camera talking to Jim or something like that and missed the start. Does not matter was I like the photos I took and will spend some more time working them through Lightroom or Photoshop. Skills I need to develop more as I have been an in camera kind of guy. As Larry and I made our day out in the gold cart we stopped by the OV-10 Bronco on the ramp lit only by lamps meant to light the entire ramp. So it posed an interesting set of problems in itself as you have a mid-gray colored plain against a black background on a light gray
ramp. Lot of blacks and grays but no whitesâ€Ś.hmm? Without a color card your guess is as good as mine as to the actual color temperature of the ramp lights.
So that ended the workshop and my stay in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. My wife and I headed home the next day on her birthday trip. Maybe next year I will stay for the entire weekend and get more of the actual show. I love photographing aircraft but people are also fun subjects.
One of the benefits being involved in ISAP is access to once in a lifetime photographic opportunities. Sometimes that means photographing F-18s landings from 60 feet off the runway, sometimes it means shooting Red Flag operations from the middle of the airfield, and this time for me it was flying with the United States Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights. Each flight that carries the Golden Knight jumpers to altitude for their demonstration jumps also includes six to eight members of the media to allow them to experience, first-hand, the preparation, discipline and precision of the GK Team. It was my privilege to participate as one of seven media passengers on my particular flight. In addition to the ten parachutists, the flight crew consists of a pilot, co-pilot and crew chief. Our pilot was Chief Warrant Officer Felicia E. Marlow, co-pilot was DAC Edward J. Schemper, and our crew chief was Sgt Devin K. McNutt. Prior to take-off, the media personnel were introduced to each of the jumpers and then provided a safety briefing by the crew chief before being strapped into our military-style, sidewall “hammock-style” seating. With the two rear doors open most of the flight, we had to remain buckled in for the duration. By contrast, the jumpers had no such restriction due to the fact that each of them was wearing a parachute. The aircraft we flew was somewhat historic, literally. The Fokker F27400M Friendship had been purchased by the US Army back in 1986 and re-designated as C-31A “Troopship.” The crew informed us that the 2019 Alliance Air Show would be the last mission for this particular aircraft and would be replaced with the UV-18 Twin Otter and the DHC Dash 8. The age of the aircraft was unfortunately on display as it experienced a ground abort for the morning demo flight earlier in the day. The weather and the crowds were perfect for our Saturday afternoon flight. The ascent to 12,500 feet was relatively smooth and uneventful. At altitude, markers were released and monitored to determine wind effects on the jump. We circled Alliance several times waiting for the air boss to cue up the GK demo. The main challenge during that time was staying warm as the outside temperature was 30F and the open doors provided a constant blast of wind. A few minutes prior to the team mass exodus, a single team member jumped to give a final report and go ahead for wind and weather conditions. As showtime arrived, the Knights quickly performed final gear checks and took position at the rear doors of the aircraft. When the jump location was reached the series of team jumps seemed to occur within seconds. With my camera in the fastest frame rate possible, I was able to catch a few good photos as the team members exited the two open doors. The descent back to the airport began immediately after the last jumper left the aircraft. This was actually the most trying portion of the flight as the rapid drop in altitude was much faster and far more turbulent than the ascent. The crew chief checked on the media passengers multiple times for hypoxia, nausea and ear pressure pain. He let us know that the pilot would level the plane temporarily if we requested it. We all survived without issue. Once on the ground, we each received a Golder Knight certificate and pin. We photographed the jumpers and expressed our thanks as they readied their parachutes for the next jump.
My gear included two Sony bodies, an A7Riii and an A9. Sony lenses used during the flight were a 16-35mm F4 and a 24-105mm F4. I used a 12-24mm F4 for the cockpit shots and a 100-400mm F4.55.6 for shots after we landed. Although strobes were acceptable, I took all my photos with natural light and compensated by auto bracketing the exposure when I could.
The Golden Knights’ mission as expressed in their creed is to “gain the respect, admiration, and gratitude of the American public and my teammates”. Being able to witness their professionalism, teamwork, and their pure enjoyment of the experience, I for one can attest that they fulfilled their mission. It was truly a unique, memorable experience.
Charles Daniels On Thursday October 17, 2019 a group of aviation enthusiasts gathered in North Fort Worth as we prepared for the 2019 Bell Helicopter Alliance Fort Worth Airshow. This year would be one for the memory books that I will never forget. As the afternoon finished up and we began to regroup at our staging area, it was brought to our attention that the US Army Golden Knights had two open slots to ride with them during their show performances for the weekend. Immediately I canceled my plans to head out to another show just hours later because I knew immediately, I wanted to give it my best shot at being selected to one of these two slots. Before the night ended, my dream since childhood came true and that was to be able to ride with a Military Demonstration Team at an Airshow that I attended. We were advised to report at a set time and location to be determined within the next 24 hours. On Sunday October 20, 2019 after arriving at the designated location assigned, we were met by SSgt. Clay Stevens of the US Army Golden Knights (Black Team) who ushered us to a transport van in waiting. Once we boarded the van, we were escorted to the plane and began our brief of the events that were shortly to unfold. As SSgt. Stevens concluded his brief with us, he let us know that the team would soon be performing their “dirt jump” where they rehearsed specifically how they would be jumping from the aircraft inbound and we were more than welcome to document their rehearsal however once completed we were to immediately board the aircraft as they had a set take off time. Within minutes of the rehearsal conclusion, we were boarded and strapped into their jump seats aboard the Fokker C-31 aircraft. As the props came to life, we were soon taxing down the runway and airborne. As we began climbing to jump altitude somewhere between 2500 – 3000 feet above the skies of Fort Worth and Alliance Airfield, the jumpers received their two-minute call to execute. Soon after they stood and began to hype each other up, one of the jumpers began giving out high fives and fist bumps to each of us aboard the aircraft. Seconds later, another followed then another. As the jumpers were given their “hot target” sign they each lined up single file on both sides of the aircraft, the green jump light illuminated and the cadence of READY, SET, GO rang out. One by one each of the 10 jumpers aboard exited the aircraft in an organized and precise manner. We were then in a quick descent back down to earth and it felt as though our time with the team which started and seemed to last for an eternity quickly was coming to an end. As we landed and taxied back into place, the crew chief brought out the chalks and we deplaned. We were shuttled back to the show line and what seemed like back to reality. As we all went our separate ways on the flight line, my attention was quickly drawn to a crowd of adults and kids helping these same men who were just airborne, re-pack their parachutes in the middle of the airshow flight line. The smiles on the children’s faces as they helped stretch, fold and re-pack their chutes said it all. I want to take a moment to say thank you to the US Army Golden Knights for extending these two seats for the Airshow and a special thank you to ISAP president Larry Grace for allowing us to represent ISAP on this incredible endeavor. Thank you for making this big kid at hearts dream come true. I want to leave you with this. If you ever have an opportunity to go airborne with any demonstration team and know that you’re afraid of heights, I encourage you to put that fear aside and go along for the ride. You truly won’t regret it.
Blue Angel 6
LCDR ANDRE WEBB
Lt. Commander Andre Webb’s family has a long history serving in the United States armed forces from both his mother and fathers’ side. Determined not to let his parents pay for college, Webb applied and got accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy where he got his undergraduate in Economics. The same determination led Lt. Commander Webb to begin flight training with the F-18 located in Miramar, California. After his training was complete, Lt. Commander Webb spent three years in Virginia flying the F-18 and eventually transferred to Texas to become a T-45 instructor. While working in Texas, Webb had the opportunity to meet peers who had applied for the Blue Angels team. Since being on the Blue Angels team was highly talked about, he tried out for the team and succeeded on the second try. After Lt. Commander Webb got the official notification, he said, “I pinch myself to see if I was still breathing.” No doubt Webb still recalls that day vividly and said,” That was a pretty awesome day.” Lt. Commander Webb’s training started in khaki flight suits on the road for the first few weeks watching and learning how the team operates by watching media interviews, airshows. Moreover, for the first year, he would set up airshows to learn how to narrate and other behind the scenes activities and flying back seat community members. Currently, Lt. Commander Webb Blue Angel #6 spends 33 weekends out of the year on the road doing airshows and enjoying every moment!
AMBER STEVENS 2ND CLASS AIR FRAME MECHANIC Amber Stevens 2nd class Air Frame Mechanic was inspired to join the military because of her uncle, who served 25 years in the U.S. Army. As a child, Amber Stevens 2nd class would watch the Blue Angels in amazement with her grandparents near Pensacola, Florida. Inspired to work with her father on projects, she would learn to work with her hands like him. These skills later transferred into a passion for working with aircraft fabrication for 9 years in the U.S. Navy. When the opportunity to work on the Blue Angels was presented. Amber Stevens 2nd class applied,
and after a rigorous interview process, the day came when she got the official notification she had been accepted to join the Blue Angels team. Amber Stevens 2nd class said, “I was ecstatic and smiling the whole day.” Currently, Amber Steven 2nd class primary responsibility is the aircraft’s structure, hydraulic, and landing gear. No doubt, Amber Stevens 2nd class loves her job as she smiled with pride throw-out the interview.
Northwest High School Creative Media Production Academy
Hannah Kim As a beginner photographer, I enjoyed practicing this new skill that I now have grown to love. This was my first time going to the airshow and seeing the planes in real life and getting a great opportunity to shoot photos. The people at the event were very kind and energetic; I got some really cool photos with the guidance of Larry Grace, the president of ISAPâ€™s aid. He helped all of us find the perfect balance to shoot photos that had a nice exposure. They guided us with the f-stop, ISO, and aperture. Light painting was amazing; I had always wondered how photographers took those cool shots of streaking lights. I give thanks to the nice man who ran around with the LED lights for the sake of the light painting, and the amazingly still pilot who posed for us. I had an amazing experience at the Light Painting event at the Alliance Airport. Thank you to my teacher and peers at Northwest for doing this with me. I look forward to working with ISAP again next year!
India Darling I saw my first airshow at 6 years old, since that day I have always wanted to be a pilot. Ten years later, thanks to ISAP, I had the privilege to be able to mix my love of both planes and photography into three incredible days. During the days I attended the Alliance Airshow I met some friendly, professional, and extremely talented photographers who proceeded to give me tips and tricks to help my photos surpass expectations. These tips and tricks included many instructions such as teaching me a good way to stand to catch these planes flying at high speeds past us, recommended exposure settings, as well as good angles to help create a story. With these in mind, the tips helped me create a more professional and story driven photos, which aided me in becoming incredibly confident in my photography skills. I had the opportunity to meet the Blue Angels pilot Lt. James Haley, and with my mindset of creating a story, I did just that. This airshow was a new experience for me, from educating and challenging me with photo types Iâ€™ve never taken, to leaving a lasting impact on my photography abilities. I look forward to continuing on this path and returning to the Airshow next year to learn and achieve more.
Joshua Moran The time I spent at the Airshow was a time worthwhile for me. Although this was not the first airshow that I have attended, it was more meaningful because this year I was able to get hands on experience from ISAP members. They helped me learn techniques to take pictures of the planes when they were moving and when they were on the ground. For example, they showed me how to stand correctly and how to hold the camera to decrease the amount of shake. They also helped me adjust my exposure settings. Over the course of the weekend I felt like I was one of the aviation photographers. I had an all access pass which allowed me to get a behind the scenes look of the events, planes, families, and pilots. Although I had some challenges like taking pictures at the right time, getting the emotions, and reactions from the family’s and planes going by, I grew in my photography skills. So, now I will use that growth from this year’s airshow and use it in next year’s airshow and more events to come.
Jackson Lazzeri The time that I spent at the Alliance Airshow was incredibly fun! I hadnâ€™t gone to one of these events since I was about 8 or 9 so this being my first experience back was amazing! I am pretty new to photography and I was still unclear with how to balance the exposure triangle, but as I went through the weekend I got so much help from the members of ISAP. They showed me how to set up for aviation photography, explaining things like how to stand properly and how to adjust my exposure settings. I was at the show Friday and Saturday and the entire time I was there I felt like I was learning new skills and techniques. On Friday, we were brought into the Fort Worth Camera photo pit to shadow the members of ISAP. This opportunity provided me with professional equipment and behind the scenes access to the planes and personnel, including the Blue Angels, making it something I will never forget. Saturday was a much different experience with many new challenges. Instead of just taking photos of planes, we then had to focus on photographing the event itself. This new challenge included capturing the attendees in the crowd interacting with each other and the exhibits, as well as their reactions to the show. With this new challenge came an additional obstacle of having to adjust lenses and exposure settings. While I have been to an airshow before, this was a much different experience. By the end of Saturday, I felt like I had learned more about photography than I ever had before.
Jubi Valadez Before this year, I had never been to an airshow, so to experience my first one with some of my classmates and being able to photograph with professionals was memorable. I had never been so near airplanes in my life, or been able to see them through a camera lens. The whole thing was incredible to see and do to take those pictures myself made me feel accomplished. It also gave me the opportunity to work with professionals and with professional equipment. Many of the lenses that we used I had never even touched and now I feel like I know how to use more equipment than ever before. All of the photographers were nice, giving my classmates and I tips on taking airplane action shots. Their tips are something I will begin using if I ever have to photograph action in the future and I hope I can go again next year.
Zhixin Cheng The Alliance Airshow of 2019 is the second airshow that I have attended, and it is by far the best one I have gone to. Being able to be mentored by the ISAP professionals was a special experience. They taught me many things such as how to stand so that I can follow and focus on the planes better. They also taught me how to adjust my exposure settings in relation to the speed of the planes. In addition to learning, we were provided the opportunity due to the all-access passes to use professional equipment, better locations to shoot, and better access to exclusive planes. In other words, we were allowed to shoot side by side with real media photographers as well as getting up close and personal with the Blue Angels. All in all, this event allowed me to get a taste of what the photography world could provide. Iâ€™m glad that with this experience, my skills have grown as well as my interest in photography. Photography has been an interest of mine before, but now it has become a hobby. Furthermore, as a student in the CMP academy having this opportunity allows me hands-on experience, therefore, giving me a competitive advantage in the real world.
Thomas Nguyen Right from day one, we went out and took our skills to the next level. Even though it left my legs a little sore from walking everywhere, it proved valuable for the later dates as I was much more prepared for the intensity of the event. We worked ourselves to get as many amazing shots as possible while showing these planes in a very dynamic way. I think our toils are worth it as we captured memories and emotions. There’s always something to learn every time we do this. The 2018 Airshow was about using unfavorable weather conditions to enhance the story. I didn’t do very good last year. This year is all about slowing down the shutter speed and letting everything flow. There’s always something I can improve on.
Thirteen is not usually considered a lucky number, unless you are an aviation buff, and you are attending the 13th annual Battle Lake Gathering of Airplanes (BLGA) at the Battle Lake Airport, in Battle Lake, Minnesota (Identifier 00MN) also known as the Tribute to Gerry Beck. I’ve attended and photographed many fly-in’s and airshows, and this is both of those, but it takes place at a small grass airstrip in the lake’s country of western central Minnesota and has grown into a pretty spectacular event. The BLGA is held every Labor Day weekend on Saturday from 10AM until 2 PM to commemorate the renowned warbird rebuilder, Gerald “Gerry” Beck, known to most of his friends and even his wife Cindy, and daughter Whitney as “Beck”. This was my second year attending and photographing this event and it was an amazing experience once again. The 2019 Fly-in was the largest of the 13 yearly events so far, according to Patricia “Pat” Kostelecky the coordinator of the event. There were 82 aircraft and at least 500 people, attended including many who are heavily involved with warbird rebuilding and restoration, such as Casey Odegaard of Odegaard Aviation and the Fargo Air Museum, Warren Pietsch of the Dakota Territories Air Museum in Minot, ND, Ron Fagen of Fagen Fighters Museum in Granite Falls, MN, all must see locations if you like old warbirds. The initial Battle Lake Gathering of Airplanes, 14 years ago, had 10 people and 3 airplanes. The Fly-in was planned to gather support to try and
save the Battle Lake Airport. The local community was contemplating closing it due the operating cost, not seeing the benefit of the small strip and hangers to the area. Gerry Beck and friends were trying to show how much revenue it generated for the town and surrounding areas and to raise funds to keep it open. The Becks had purchased a local lake home mainly due to the closeness and convenience of the Battle Lake Airport. Even though it was a small grass airstrip, with just a few hangars, it allowed he and many other pilots who spend their summers at lake homes and cottages in the area, to fly in for the weekend from Minneapolis and other parts of Minnesota, North and South Dakota and even farther away. So, Gerry Beck, a renowned warbird restorer and founding member of the Fargo Air Museum, was a key supporter involved in the planning of this initial event. It just so happens that he was sick the day of the event, and couldn’t attend, then by the time the 2nd year of the event was planned, he had been killed in an accident in the 2007 EAA Air Venture in Oshkosh Wisconsin. From then on, the yearly event was also a memorial airshow to Gerry as well as the gathering of vintage and modern aircraft. It remains a gathering of friends and a fundraiser for the airport as well. Gerry was well known for his vintage plane restoration business in Wahpeton, called Tri-State Aviation, which grew out of a crop-spraying operation. Gerry completed several of his own full restorations and
LUCKY 13 13th Annual Battle Lake Gathering of Airplanes By Gordon Court
participated on many others. These restorations of Warbirds included P-51 Mustangs, an F4U Corsair, a TBM Avenger, a Hawker Sea Fury, and a Mitsubishi Zero. The rebuilding and restoring of planes led them on many “Family Vacations” looking for just the right parts for these historic planes. Gerry Beck was born in 1949 in Guelph, North Dakota. From the TriState Aviation’s Gerry Beck Memorial Page: Beck discovered a love for aviation after becoming involved in skydiving during his college years at the University of North Dakota. He graduated from UND with an Industrial Arts Degree, and while teaching high school in Grand Forks, North Dakota, he continued his path in aviation by obtaining a private pilot’s license and rebuilding his first airplane. In 1974, he founded Tri-State Aviation, Inc. (TSA), an aerial spraying and aircraft maintenance firm located in Wahpeton, North Dakota. During his agricultural aviation career, Beck developed, or contributed to the development of, numerous items that enhanced pilot and aircraft safety and efficiency within the agricultural aviation industry. Before becoming interested in, and specializing in warplane building, Beck developed several crop-spraying innovations that are widely used today. These innovations include a special spraying boom incorporating an airfoil shape instead of round tubes.
Beck’s funeral at the Fargo Air Museum had hundreds in attendance, and the large turnout for the funeral was a testament to Beck’s abilities as a warplane restorer and advocate, and the closeness of the community of enthusiasts. The first thing to strike you about the Battle Lake Gathering of Airplanes, and to make it such an amazing event, is the camaraderie of those in attendance. The next is the wide variety of aircraft and being able to walk among them up close and personal. It’s rare to see one Beechcraft Stagger wing at a small-town fly in, but there were two of them this year’s BLGA. One, the yellow N985SW, is owned by Warren Peitsch, mentioned earlier, who was a very good friend of Beck. According to Whitney Beck, it was a surprise arrival since the plane was Warren’s latest project. Several people said he had finished just a week before the event and was making its maiden long flight after restoration. The plane was in like new condition and a highlight of the show. Some other notable airplanes, among the many rare and vintage aircraft and the number of warbirds in attendance, were; several T-6 Texans or Harvard’s as they are known abroad, the ‘310C’ Vought F4U Corsair owned by Cindy and Whitney Beck, rebuilt by Gerry Beck and flown by John Sinclair, the TBM Avenger T83, flown by Brad Deckert,
1944 Grumman TBM Avenger T83, Flown by Brad Deckert
the P-51 Mustang, Boomer, flown by Tim McPherson, several Boeing PT17 Stearman Trainer aircraft and a Marine Corps T-34 Mentor. Also notable among the rare aircraft were two Belanca’s, a 1972 and a 1973 model 17-30 and 31, a 1950 Piper PA18, several models and years of Van’s RV aircraft including Gerry Beck’s own RV4 that Whitney and Cindy Beck both confirmed as Beck’s favorite airplane to fly. Whitney even said, “That when asked, her father would pick the RV over all the warbirds and other aircraft he had flown as his favorite to fly due to its nimble handling and ability to get to the small airport at Battle Lake in 15 minutes from Wahpeton’s Harry Stern Airport, the home base of Tri-State Aviation.” She said that he loved being able to pull it out of the hangar by hand even with his bad knees. Other interesting aircraft were a 1959 Downer Belanca, a 1980 Rupp Roger Starduster biplane, a 1961 DeHavilland Beaver complete with floats, and a 1946 Fairchild 24W46 Argus. With 82 planes at the event there were too many to name, but there were also many Cessna and Piper Variants as well as a Carbon Cub and Aviat Husky to name a few. The Legacy of Gerry Beck – From the Tri-State Aviation Gerry Beck Memorial Page. Beck openly shared his knowledge and his passion for aviation. He encouraged and assisted others, willingly spent time with people of all ages who exhibited an interest in his endeavors, participated in airshows and aviation events, and was instrumental in the
formation of the Fargo Air Museum. Gerry’s vision was to build a second wing on the museum, to house restoration projects complete with rivet stations, audio WWII vignettes, welding and aviation basics. Beyond aviation, his philanthropy was evident in every aspect of his life as he gave tirelessly of his time, talents and dreams. He was a visionary, a thinker with an undaunted, steadfast, positive outlook. Beck’s legacy will be the indelible mark he left on the many lives he touched worldwide. Many antique aircraft perform at today’s airshows and races worldwide were directly touched by Gerry Beck or Tri-State Aviation. ‘The Restorers’, is an hour-long documentary film about warbird and vintage aircraft restorers and the planes they resurrect from the graves of history…In the snows of North Dakota, we find two of the best warbird builders in the world in Gerry Beck and Bob Odegaard, builders of Mustangs and a rare Super Corsair respectively. ‘The Restorers’, is available to view at www.hemlockfilms.com/the-restorers-season-1 If interested in finding out more about Gerry, there is also a great article with photos of the builds in Warbird News by Matthew McDaniel, written in 2016, about his projects including his P-51’s, F4U Corsair, Zero, and Helldiver Rebuilds. http://warbirdsnews.com/tag/gerry-beck Gerry was also involved in the making of the movie “Thunder over Reno” which featured Bob Odegaard’s Super Corsair. I knew Gerry in
To say this is a close-knit community of aviators is an understatement. It’s more like a family gathering where the public is invited to partake these beautiful flying machines. Many of the participants have been attending since the first annual event. So, if you decide to go to the 14th annual event on Labor Day weekend 2020, check Facebook for the event “Battle Lake Gathering of Airplanes” on the Midwest Airshow, Fly-in and Flight Club group, www.facebook.com/groups/MNFlightClub/. Make sure to bring $5 for the Raffle fund raiser for the airport and a few dollars for lunch, fly-in or drive in, but make sure to get their early to get a spot and ensure they don’t run out of food (2019). There might be 1000 people there next year and over 100 aircraft on a small grass strip in western central Minnesota. Enjoy the view on landing as you will be coming into this airport over the lake and watch the wind, it can shift on you. Hope to see you there. The information for this article was gathered from interviewing Cindy and Whitney Beck, Pat Kostelecky, Kreg Anderson and Todd Weber a former employee of Odegaard Aviation as well as several articles in
local newspapers, one written by Robin Huebner and published in the Grand Forks Herald. Also, with information by Gary Renier, and from attending the event, as well as the Tri-State Aviation website. Thanks to Gary Renier, a friend of Beck’s and a Battle Lake area summer resident who led an aviation photography event at my first show in 2018 for the Fargo Camera Club. Gary, a former Optometrist in Fargo, ND, is also heavily involved with Aircraft photography being a volunteer at the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Arizona, and former Fargo Camera Club President. It is my very distinct pleasure to write this article and get to know these wonderful people a little better.
passing due to being a volunteer at the Fargo Air Museum for a time, and having a passion for vintage aircraft and warbirds. I am also an avid aircraft photographer, and this event is unique in that you can see, and be among, all these wonderfully restored aircraft from a very close distance. All the planes are marshaled on the ground, but you often have to be aware of taxiing airplanes when moving around the parked aircraft to look at them.
The 1953 Marine Corps Beechcraft A45, T-34 Mentor, owned by Stephen Bohlig
DeHavilland DHC2 “Beaver”, owned by Paul Ehlen.
1946 Fairchild Model 24 Argus, 24W46, owned by William Strand.
1941 Boeing A75N Stearman PT17, Owned by John Schwenk
D-Day Dakotas AT D U X F O R D By Marc Schultz
It certainly had been a “once in a lifetime” event for aviation photographers at Duxford aerodrome in June 2019: Marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, the airfield hosted the largest assembly of the famous DC-3 / C-47 “Dakota” transport and troop carrier aircraft of the last 70 years. All in all some 23 Dakotas, representing many different variants like the DC-3, C-47, C-53 and the only C-41A ever built flew in to UK’s Imperial War Museum at Duxford to participate in a massive fly-by over the beaches of Normandy on June 5th. 7 of the 23 historic troop carriers joined the event from European bases, the rest had flown in from the US via Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Scotland. The pictures in this feature cover the arrival- and training-days from June 2nd to June 5th, also including a well organized night shoot in the evening hours of Monday, June 3rd. The aircraft shown in this set are: Douglas C-47A-90-DL 43-15731 “Miss Montana” N24320 Goldtimer Foundation Lisunov Li-2 “Karman Todor” HA-LIX DC-3 Association Finland’s Douglas DC-3A OH-LCH Douglas C-47-DL N150D Douglas C-47A-15-DK 42-92847 “That’s All Brother” N47TB Douglas C-47A Skytrain 42-1000884 “Mayfly” N147DC Tunison Foundation Douglas C-47 “Placid Lassie” N74589 Douglas C-47B “Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber” N47SJ” Douglas C-53-DO Skytrooper 42-68830 “D-Day Doll” N45366 All shots were taken with Sony Alpha 6000 and SEL 18-135mm, SEL 70-300mm and Sigma 16mm 1.4 lenses.
The 2019 Great Pacific Airshow By Mike Bilek
Having attended the Great Pacific Airshow since it’s inception in 2016, I have seen the show grow in popularity and excitement year after year. The 2019 Great Pacific Airshow continued its upward rise in popularity to reach new heights. An already stellar line-up, including the Royal Air Force Red Arrows, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the US Navy Legacy flight, the US Air Force F-35 Lightning II and A-10 Thunderbolt II demonstrations and Heritage flight, was topped by the last-minute addition of the US Air Force Thunderbirds.
Although a waterfront venue does not allow for many of the static displays that are enjoyed by air show crowds, there is plenty of action to keep the show-goers entertained. Rather than spreading the action in the sky over an entire day, the show was choreographed perfectly within the five hours allotted time for the performers to show their flying skills with little downtime. In addition to the military performers mentioned above, also included in this year’s show was Mike Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Airshows Pitts Biplane, Aaron Fitzgerald, Kirby Chambliss, and the Red Bull Air Force, SOCOM Para commandos, and an awesome display put on by Jet Pack Aviation. Another unique aspect of the Great Pacific Airshow is the opportunity to incorporate water demonstrations,
including the Long Beach Fire Department Fireboat and Orange County Fire Authority aerial firefighting and water rescue capabilities. Last year’s show was the first time I had ever shot photos at an air show with anything other than an iPhone. This fact was evident by the images I walked from the show with. After the show, I was determined to improve and joined the International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP). I have learned a lot in the past year and I was able to employ some of those lessons learned while shooting in 2019. One of the most notable changes was taking the opportunity to shoot from a boat on Saturday of the show to gain a different perspective and more suitable lighting conditions; shooting from the beach is extremely difficult as everything in the sky is backlit. Shooting from a boat had changes of its own, however; such as the unstable platform, being in a crowded space with other photographers, and dealing with the issue of the shade cover obscuring many shots. Despite the challenges, I was extremely happy with the images I was able to capture from this unique perspective.
This year marked my third trip to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for their Air Show. It was the last weekend in September. This yearâ€™s theme was a tribute to all first responders. In the air that meant a demonstration featuring Cal Fire helicopters from the San Diego Sheriff and an Erickson Air Crane that did water drops along the runway. I saw the very same Sheriffâ€™s helicopter on the news that weekend dropping on fires in San Diego County. The Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) demo unleashed the sound of freedom as much as they could showcasing local F-35B, F/A-18, UH-1, AH-1, MV-22, CH-53 and KC-135J aircraft. Marine Corps M-1A1 Abrams and Strykers as well as local Marine Infantry brought heat to the ground as well. The Air Force was represented by Maj. Garret Schmitz and the F-16 Viper Demo Team. Civilian performers included John Collver and Wardog, Vicki Benzing flying her Stearman, John Melby and the Pitts Biplane, Warbirds Over Miramar, Sean Tucker with Jesse Panzer and Aaron Fitzgerald doing unbelievable things with the Red Bull Helicopter. The RAF Red Arrows had one of their final stops on their North American Tour. Closing out the show was the US Navy Blue Angels.
Miramar Airshow By Jason Skinner
Mike Bilek In previous years attending the MCAS Air Show, I was only a spectator; with the exception of capturing images and video with my trusty iPhone. But it was this airshow in 2018 that inspired me to pick up a more suitable camera and no longer sit on the sidelines. Anyone that has attended the MCAS Miramar Air Show knows that it is one of the biggest airshows in the country, maybe even the world. There are a large variety of aircraft to photograph in the air and on the ground. But if you’ve attended the show, you also know it is a very difficult shooting location due to the haze that is common in Southern California and the back lit sky. This year however, what initially looked like poor weather for the air show weekend actually created very unique shooting conditions, especially for this show. I attended the air show on Friday and Saturday and was able to capture some interesting images under excellent lighting. One thing to note for this air show is the fact that they have a “Clear Bag Only” policy, which has been the case for the past several years. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it forced me to shrink my arsenal of camera equipment down to only the necessities. I brought along two camera bodies, the Sony A9 and Sony A7riii; two lenses, the Sony 100-400mm G-Master and Sony 24-105mm G; and my 1.4x teleconverter for greater reach. MCAS Miramar airshow featured the US Navy Blue Angels, the US Air Force Viper demonstration team with Heritage Flight, the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) demonstration, and most notably this year the Royal Air Force Red Arrows. The air show crowd was treated to an excellent show both Friday and Saturday despite the low cloud ceilings that kept all demonstrations flat for the first two days. Sunday however, the sky was as clear as could be allowing for all demonstrations to be performed to their maximum capacities, I only wish I were there to witness it. However, I did witness some of the best air show flying I have ever seen including a flawless flat show performed by the US Navy Blue Angels.
Flying Legends Airshow DUXFORD AIRFIELD 2019 By Scott Slingsby
This year the Imperial War Museum’s annual Flying Legends Airshow at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire England paid honor to the 75th anniversary of D-Day with numerous warbird displays and a performance by the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows aerobatic team.
opportunity to get a clean shot of the fighter or bomber of their choice. If a little realism is on your agenda, that can be accomplished too, as re-enactors in period gear stroll around just waiting for their picture to be taken.
An early arrival is a must for this show as the amount of displays is vast. There are two museums on the grounds: the Imperial War Museum, that actually owns the airport and the American Air Museum. Both house an impressive amount of airplanes that range from WWI-era all the way up to the Concorde. Also housed on the field is the Fighter Collection, and the Aircraft Restoration Company who restore, maintain and fly many of the classic planes on display. Their hangars are a fascinating walk-through for aviation enthusiasts. Here you can view the treasures such as a Gloster Gladiator or a Handley Page Victor under rebuild.
The morning weather was a concern. Low clouds hanging over the picturesque background of fields and rolling hills had the arrival of the Red Arrows in question, but right on schedule, the British flight demo team appeared on the horizon trailing red, white and blue smoke, the colors of the Union Jack. As with all demonstration teams, the Red Arrows have different criteria they use for the type of show they’re going to fly that day. With the weather being typically British, they broke into their low show, treating the crowds to numerous formations aptly named, Concorde, Wine Glass, Apollo and many more. A highlight was listening to the cockpit communication of the solos. The exuberance in their voices was all one needed to hear to know they were have fun up there.
A must for the photographer is the flight line walk. All the show planes line up for inspection from a short distance allowing everyone the
A Spitfire scramble started the warbird part of the show with a flourish. Twelve of RJ Mitchell’s iconic fighters sporting Rolls Royce Merlins and
Griffons roared down the grass runway and formed up for a beautiful formation flyby. They followed this up with a tail chase and numerous photo passes.
Not to be outdone by all the RAF fighters, The Royal Navy was well represented with a nice display that consisted of a Corsair. Bearcat, Wildcat, Sea Fury and PBY Catalina.
If you’re a fan of the 1969 film, ‘Battle of Britain’, the next act was for you. Five Hispano Buchons, the stars from this classic movie, took to the air for the first time, flying three-ship and two-ship formations. These are some of the dozen Buchon that came from the Wilson “Connie Edwards” collection in Texas. Four have been restored by Air Leasing Ltd based in Sywell, and another by the Aircraft Restoration Company.
We were treated to a Flying Legends first, a double Joker sequence flown by Nick Grey in The Fighter Collection’s Bearcat and Richard Grace in The Anglia Aircraft Restorations’ Hawker Sea Fury. Both fighters tore up the field with an impressive display of aerobatics that made us forget the final act was warming up.
The afternoon continued with numerous formation flybys, including the only flyable B-17 in Europe, Sally B, and the Curtiss Hawk flight that consisted of a P-40C, P-40F, Hawk 75 and P-36. The Ultimate Fighter Team made their debut at the show wowing the crowd in a formation display with a quartet of dissimilar aircraft. They were lead by John Gowdy in the P-47D Nelie B, Dave Puleston in a Spitfire Mk. V, Richard Grace in the Hispano Buchon, Andy Durston in the P-51 Contrary Mary. The formation soon broke up and went into a mock dogfight between the Buchon and Spitfire, complete with original Battle of Britain movie music. Together, this dynamic group put on a show that should thrill crowds throughout Europe for years to come. One of the rarer formations on the day was one commemorating the Battle of Britain. Not only did this have a couple of early Mk. I Spitfires but also an original Westland Lysander and the ultra rare Bristol Blenheim.
The show concluded with a formation of strength called the Balbo, named after the Italian fighter ace Italo Balbo who led mass formations in the 1930s to promote Italian Aviation. During the Battle of Britain the term was used to describe the big wings used at Duxford. These days it signals the end of the airshow. Twenty five warbirds amass in formation and do a spectacular flyby that sends chills down your spine just watching it. The sight and sound of all those piston pounders flying overhead was the perfect way conclude the day. With the festivities over, and all aircraft recovered, I found myself getting nostalgic as I reflected on the show. I had just spent the last two days walking on hallowed ground. This is where some of the Spitfires I had just watched fought the actual Battle of Britain. Some of the most famous names in British aviation, Douglas Bader and Eric “Winkle” Brown have walked on this tarmac. The amount of history that has taken place here requires further exploration - another trip across The Pond in the works.
2019 Geneseo Airshow THE GREATEST SHOW ON TURF By Wayne Domkowski
There is a reason the Geneseo Airshow held at the National Warplane Museum is titled “The Greatest Show on Turf” and it didn’t disappoint. This was their 39th annual airshow. The weather was great on both days. You could feel the excitement of the crowd. From the old timers who flew and served their country to the newest generation, everyone was there to have a good time. Saturday was a special day as the United States Air Force had their A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team on hand to swear in a group of new airmen. This is special and touching ceremony to witness a new generation join. This was during the opening ceremonies. Also during the opening ceremonies the National anthem for both America and Canada were sung. After this, all veterans were called forward to be honored. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house as the airshow performed overhead. The performers taxied past the crowd giving photographers perfect opportunities for great shots. The WWII re-enactors put on their show on the ground in front of the crowd. From period uniforms and believable battles this is a favorite of the crowd. As the year of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, it is important to remember and be proud of our military. The Liberty Jump Team jumped from a C-47 aircraft including the museum’s own Whiskey 7, as part of the D-Day Anniversary. Everyone was friendly and glad to answer any questions you had. Also of interest was the exhibits in the hangars. The A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team put on a great show both days. A wonderful showcase of all its maneuverability. Thereby defending their representation for being the best close air support in the world. Pilots affectionately call it the Warthog. Warbirds are a crowd favorite and were not disappointed. The P-51 Mustang Swamp Fox and P-51 Mustang Mad Max took off to fly formation together. Also flying was the B-17 Flying Fortress Memphis Belle. Two B-25 Mitchells flew in formation for the crowd. They were Champaign Gal and Miss Hap. The P-40 Warhawk that flew was piloted by Thom Richards. For a photographer, there were so many opportunities for shooting both on the ground and in the air. The static displays included WWII aircraft and military vehicles as well as the re-enactors gave us a glimpse into the past. It is important to keep this past remembered. In the air, we were treated to Warbirds taking off, flying in formation and landing. This is all done on one of the few grass field in the United States. The only aircraft that didn’t use the grass runway was the A-10 Thunderbolt II. But they did fake everyone out when they approached runway 23 with the gear and flaps down. Then pushed the throttle forward, retracted the gear and flaps while they climbed out. All in all a great weekend for shooting and enjoying an airshow.
ISAP NAS Lemoore P HOTO CALL By Michael Cozad
On Friday, September 20th, 2019, for the first time, myself along with seven other ISAP members attended a photo call at NAS Lemoore. ISAP and another photography group from Southern California attended the Photo Call lead by PAO LCDR Lydia Bock from NAS Lemoore. The day of the Photo Call, we were asked to photograph the static display for the Military Family Day for this weekend’s airshow, the “NAS Lemoore Central Valley Airshow” featuring the Navy’s Blue Angels, the first airshow for Lemoore in 8 years. This being my first Photo Call, I was not sure what to expect, though this morning would turn out to not disappoint. At 06:30, the sky was turning beautiful colors over the distant Sierra Nevada’s as we found ourselves amongst a dozen FA/-18E and F Super Hornets lined up in two rows on the ramp. With the pending sunrise looming, everyone scrambled to set up, not to miss an opportunity to get a shot of the F/A -18s with a twilight backdrop. With only a few rules, don’t wander into hangars, touch or climb on the planes, PAO Lydia Bock let us all loose to explore the statics on the hot ramp at our will. After a few wide shots of the F/A-18s, I moved on to explore the rest of the aircraft on the hot ramp. What to photograph, some detail shots of the F/A-18s, maybe the Blue Angels? Na, as I made my way down the ramp, clearing the last Super Hornet, I saw them, 7 little black jets lined up with perfection along the southeast edge of the hot ramp. “Oh ya”, I shouted out loud, “The “Patriots”! Lydia had mention something about some cute little black planes, but I did not realize. The Patriots Jet Team is one of my favorite jet demonstration team, stationed out of Byron, California,
approximately 74 miles southeast of Jackson, California, where I live. I spent some time shooting the Patriots’ little black L-39 Albatros jets, as the sun rose over NAS Lemoore. After the sun began to increase its angle overhead, I moved back to the F/A-18 Super Hornets where a couple more were being rolled out onto the ramp for static display. Then a distant sound aroused many of us photographers. The sound of horizontal rotors, filled the air, as a few helicopters fired up, warming up, and shutting down. A couple of drifting and taxied around on an adjacent ramp. Then, one in particular drew many of our attention. Just to the northeast, a US Army UH-60 Black Hawk lift off from behind the Blue Angels on the hot ramp. After photographing the Black Hawk for a while, we heard another sound, the sound of jets taxiing out to the runway. Two VFA 136 Knighthawks F/A-18E Super Hornets, were taxiing out and took off disappearing into the northern horizon. And finally, what we had all been waiting for, as the military families were beginning to arrive, two VFA 135 “Rough Riders” F-35C Lightning II were rolled out and prominently displayed at the head of the static displays. While the F-35Cs were being rolled in and set up, a single VAQ 135 Black Ravens EA-18G Growler landed and taxied to the ramp for static display. All in all a great morning for my first Photo Call, as well as ISAP’s first Photo Call at NAS Lemoore. And a huge thank you to our gracious hosts NAS Lemoore, and our PAO Lydia Bock. She did an excellent job!
This was my first visit to the base. The reputation of the base precedes itself and I had been looking forward to visiting it for a long time. The long wait did not disappoint and I had a fantastic time, almost a dream come true, enjoying the photocall. The early morning light was an amazing opportunity to photograph some beautiful jets. That in itself, sets it apart from the other photocalls that Iâ€™ve attended. To boot, getting free reign (relatively speaking) to get up close and personal with the aircraft just made the whole experience as great as it could have been. I had some good discussions with some of the remarkable aviators, sailors and servicemen that keep the aircraft in top shape. I learned a lot of new insights into the jets that have enthralled us at every air show and capture our imaginations. Therefore, this was more than just a photocall. I spent hours every evening for the past week trying to sort and organize my pictures, edit them and pick a few with difficulty. As it always happens, pictures fail to capture the awesomeness of my experience. I want to thank the PAO, Lydia Bock, for arranging the photocall in addition to her daily duties. A big shout out to all the personnel on the base for putting up with a bunch of excited photographers while setting up for a public airshow. Hopefully, I can return soon for another sunrise photocall!!
Naval Air Station Lemoore is a huge station in the middle of the California agriculture region and its 0545 hours on a Friday. Not only is it a normal workday for this active facility, but it is the beginning of the first air show there in eight years. Our host, LCDR Lydia Bock was busy not only with her first photo call at NAS Lemoore, but organizing many aspects of the air show. This station, home to over 250 Pacific fleet aircraft, was in the process of setting up the display of aircraft from each of the squadrons stationed there for the show, as well as the Navy Blue Angels and the Patriots. With all that going on, we could not have felt more welcome. We were given a bird’s eye view of the activities starting with a fantastic sunrise silhouette shoot and on into the late morning. It was fascinating to see the ground crews working in unison and tending to every detail involved with their individual aircraft. A lot was learned. For example I didn’t know that when planes are repositioned around the tarmac, that along with the tug driver and crew member in the cockpit, there are four spotters that move with the aircraft, one on each wing, one ahead of the tug and one in the back. Talking with one of the crew chiefs I was told that the spotter in the back was precautionary and could drop the tail hook if something happened as the plane was in motion. We were even treated to watching the rollout of a pair of F-35C’s and three of our members were able to talk with one of the pilots. This event was focused on static photos and while there were a number of opportunities to photograph some of the air operations, my goal this time was to highlight ground activities. Getting to the tarmac just before sunrise made for some really good photography. LCDR Bock worked hard to position things so we had the right lighting. We’ll make a photographer out of her yet! The first day of the air show was a military family day. As we were wrapping up our time on the tarmac, folks were just starting to show up. This was a great photo call and I hope there will be more in the future.
In some ways Naval Air Station Lemoore is a lot like Naval Air Field El Centro. They’re both in Southern California, and both are located in what seems like the middle of nowhere, surrounded by miles of fields. The similarities end once you enter the main gate and drive for what seems like miles before you encounter the heart of the base operations.
the Blue Angels and the Patriots jet team who would be performing in the weekend air show. There was a jet representing each of the bases squadrons, which gave a true variety of paint jobs. The sun was just beginning to peek over the mountains in the background, making for some wonderful photo opportunities.
Lemoore is the United States Navy’s newest and largest Master Jet Base - Strike Wing Pacific - home to five Carrier Air Wings with a grand total of fifteen different Strike Fighter Squadrons, and is thus LOADED with F/A-18’s Hornet and Super Hornets, plus the new F-35C, the naval version of the Lightning II. Thus they currently are home to over two hundred fighter jets!
At first there were no F-35’s on the ramp, but our LCDR Bock ensured us that they would arrive and extended the period of the photoshoot until they did. When they did arrive we got not one but two brand new Lightning II’s to photograph, plus the fly in of a EA-18G Growler. And as the base was still active there were a few launches of Hornets to watch.
This was not only my first photo call at NAS Lemoore, but was also my first visit to the base. Me and my fellow ISAP members arrived bright and early before sunrise outside the base, where we meet the base PAO LCDR Lydia Bock, and were escorted onto the base. Right off the bat we were treated to a double row of Hornets on the ramp, plus the jets for
I’m sure all of my fellow photographers will have considered the photo call a great success. LCDR Bock was a joy to work with, and went above and beyond the call to make sure that we all had the best time possible. To me it was well worth the five hour drive to participate, and I will look forward to the next opportunity to visit the base.
It’s “oh – dark – thirty”. We’re in a parking lot next to the main gate to Lemoore Naval Air station (NAS). It’s cold. The Public Affairs Officer LCDR Lydia Bock shows up in a few minutes and gives us a rundown as to what is planned. She begins by describing the base. It is the largest and newest Master Jet Base hosting the Navy’s entire west coast fighter/attack capability. This place is big. We proceed to the flight line in convoy. We park and proceed to the aircraft on static display. Our task is to photograph all these planes, which includes the F/A-18 E/F, the Blue Angels, the Patriots Aerial Exhibition Team, and the F-35C. The sun is coming up and we scramble from one spot to the next looking for the “right” shot. We’re lucky. The light is perfect. By 1000 hours it’s starting to warm up and we’ve been told that this is “family day”. The crowds start to arrive. The air show starts tomorrow. We pack up our stuff and depart after thanking LCDR Bock and her staff for their generosity and hospitality. Our hope is that we get to return another day.
It was a chilly morning outside NAS Lemoore as we prepared for the shoot prior to the weekend airshow. Being my second morning shoot, and hopefully the maiden one with the sun, emotions was high yet nervous to say the least. After meeting the PAO LCDR Lydia Bock and sharing some jokes, the groups set off towards the main event. NAS Lemoore was the biggest naval air station among west coast, housing a large number of squadrons and dozens of the latest F-35C carrier aircraft variant. At the airshow main display, we were greeted with a dozen F-18 Super Hornets lined up on both sides, each with their unique paint job. Once the jets were insight, everyoneâ€™s eyes lit up and shutters started clicking. The sun popped up minutes into the shoot and
provided lots of golden ray. Running from jet to jet, from Blue Angels to the Patriots Team, hours went by quick. In the end, two F-35C joined the lineup for a great aircraft family display. I had a great time at the photoshoot, special thanks to LCDR Lydia Bock and the base staff. She had displayed great passion for making this photoshoot a success, treating all photographers with kindness and lots of freedom. An awesome start welcoming Lemoore back on the airshow calendar, hopefully with years and years to come.
After nearly 10 years without an air show, Naval Air Station Lemoore played host to the US Navy Blue Angels and other performers at the Lemoore Air Show 2019 on September 20-22. ISAP was invited by the base public affairs officer LCDR Lydia Bock to an early morning static photo call on the Friday of the air show.
just minutes before dawn. Greeting us were a dozen F/A-18Es and Fs. Further away were five Hornets of the USN Blue Angels and seven Aero L-39 Albatros of the Patriots Jet Team. Everyone scrambled to get those precious dawn shots. Eventually four more squadrons were represented by two more Hornets and two F-35C Lightning IIs.
NAS Lemoore is located in the Central Valley of California, approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is the West Coast Master Jet Base for the U.S. Navy and home to twenty-two strike fighter squadrons. To paraphrase LCDR Bock, NAS Lemoore is situated in a perfect area for training and readiness work-ups as the station is surrounded agricultural and cattle lands and “cows don’t have cell phones to call to complain about jet noise.”
I think I can speak for everyone in saying that a great time was had by all. Close access to a number of jets, along with opportunities to speak with ground crew and aviators made this a special event.
Eight photographers from ISAP joined approximately ten other photographers for more than three hours of unrestricted ramp access. After meeting up with LCDR Bock outside the gates, we arrived on the ramp
MEET THE MEMBERS
I am a long time resident of Westfield, NJ which is approximately 20 miles west of Manhattan, NYC. While my career as an industrial safety engineer and certified safety professional began, my interest in photography began as well, albeit, in my spare time. A Yashica 35GSN rangefinder film camera was purchased. Until then the only photos I took were with the family Kodak cameras and most were family pictures. While being self-taught, my interest expanded to having a full darkroom at home for developing black & white film, prints and color slides. My wife Maggie fully supported and encouraged my photography then and still does today. Spare time for photography slowly diminished while work and family commitments grew. When my safety consulting became fully established and digital photography began to rival the quality of film and now likely surpasses it, my photography interest grew once again. Rather than using a “jack of all trades and master of none” approach, I centered my photo taking on wildlife and especially birds in flight. Then attending my first airshow in 2012, I was determined to work on capturing the excitement, thrill, exhilaration and action of airshows. I’m still working on this and now realize that aviation is more than just airshows so I am striving to photograph more of aviation in addition to airshows. I am an advanced amateur, not yet receiving pay or compensation for my photography. The Nikon D500 and D750 are my primary cameras with Nikkor 200-500 and 80-400 the most prominent lenses used. At air shows, the D500 with 200-500 lens is most often used. A Sony RX10 IV is recently added to my equipment which offers a lighter more compact camera with good effective reach of 24-600 mm. This is sometimes a good travel alternative when you are not able or want to bring a lot of gear. I prefer shooting photos in RAW to capture all the information that is available from the sensor. Once a JPG throws out what it does not need, that info cannot be recovered later. So, as software advances are made and new ideas come to mind for processing photos taken, you can go back to the full data and use the newest and improved software with full effect on them. Perhaps not often, but sometimes you can bring new life to a past photo you liked and just could not process to your liking back then. I most often use Lightroom and Photoshop. Occasionally, I also use Nikon Capture NX-D and IView to take advantage of the proprietary processing of raw files and conversion.
As part of my self teaching approach, I searched the internet for aviation photography sites, magazines and similar information that may help me expand my knowledge. I found ISnAP magazine which has impressive photos, so I looked for the organization that produced it and found ISAP. After reading the goals and mission, then member information, it was clearly an organization I wanted to be part of. ISAP willingness to accept advanced amateurs makes this a good fit. Within a few days of finding ISAP, I joined July 2019. Prior to this, I joined the Photographic Society of America (PSA) in 2012. I compete in many PSA sanctioned international photo salons having many photos accepted for exhibition in dozens of salons across 14 countries and also receiving several medals, honors, and ribbons. My results in these competitions is valuable feedback as to how well or not my photography is progressing. A tip I would like to share with those new to aviation photography and airshows in particular is to plan ahead. Get a copy of the scheduled performers. You can research them on line and see the type of performances they do. Looking at You Tube videos of a current season performance for those performers you want very much to photograph is a good preparation step. Many airshow performers use a well rehearsed performance for the season. This can help you anticipate those photos you’d like to capture since once the show begins, it seems to move a lot faster than you expected. I often help other photographers I meet at air shows or events who ask questions. I am always willingly to answer. It is important as well that if I do not know the answer, I say so, and will not guess at it. I will also initiate conversations with those who look at my camera equipment or my activity and appear to want to ask a question. Sometimes those new to photography want to ask but may be self conscious so I then initiate a conversation. If I am wrong, then it is a brief hello and done, but most often a string of questions and answers begins.
I have been a designer and professional photographer since 1998, I was a marketing manager for the Trek + Gary Fisher dealership here in Monterrey, Mexico and a marketing manager for the Ferrari-Maserati dealership here too, since I was a child I always had a camera and lived near a local airport in Colima, Mexico and I liked to photograph nature and hiking expeditions since I was a Scout for approximately 18 years, later in the work I developed I started with Nikon digital cameras, which is an excellent camera for its strength and easy handling , sometimes I take some courses of light and product workshops, so because I am lucky to promote and sell luxury cars and airplanes, I developed stepby-step knowledge of business aviation for support sales. Since 2004 I participated closer to aviation because I have the opportunity to meet some people who opened the doors at the North Airport (MMAN) and developed some voluntary photography and history of the airport for pilots and businesses there, such as result I participated in 2 books published with my photographs, “100 years of Aviation in Monterrey” and “The Aviation of the State of Mexico”. Currently, many companies in Mexico and the US have hired me to take photo sessions for business planes and I have some people who collaborate in my Pilot One Magazine, an aviation media outlet that has been accredited by the EAA since 2006, the NBAA, HAI as well as aviation shows and exhibitions. Mainly, Nikon, I currently have a D7200 and a D3200 that is my favorite because it is very light and makes it very easy for me to do jobs that require speed and precision, that is something that Canon does not have, the lenses I have or I rent if necessary , is the standard of 18-55 mm, a Nikon of 12-24 mm 2.8 N for wide interior shots, a lens of 70-300 mm 3.5 and a 40 mm 2.8 for details. The main objective of my activity is business aviation. I like some aerial shows, but honestly it is not my main reason for the photographic activity that I develop, because in reality the business aviation issue combined with luxury cars and sessions with male models and top models, I hope at some point to go in the north of England, in Scotland, where I have the contact of a group of Internet observers a place where low-level fighter jets pass and I would like to go to the cemetery of Nevada and New Mexico aviation and some places in Russia where there are many Cold War airplanes, I really like the historical aspects of aviation and its influence on modern aviation today. Yes, ALWAYS RAW, of course, at first I used Kodak Proimage film and it was processed by a specialized laboratory, for me, raw is the best way to achieve maximum detail and facilitates the subsequent process,
since 1996 I am part of consultants and beta testers for Adobe products and I receive a lot of information from them, I use last version of Lightroom and have Creative Cloud from Adobe. I started as a 3D designer in 1988 with Silicon Graphics and Macintosh applications and I was one of the first 3D animation here in North of Mexico for architectural images, in fact, I developed my first professional works with those programs to create photo-realistic images in combination With the photograph. All I know how was a very useful school to take my photographs now and I hope to make a good documentary video like One Six Right. I have always sought to belong to specialized groups of professionals to do business and exchange knowledge, on occasion I saw the ISnAP magazine and I liked it a lot and visit the website and although I did not see much of business aviation. I saw that many photographers who are members belong that if they do that kind of work in the aviation magazines of the USA, even for brands that I have also worked with like Bombardier, Cirrus, Gulfstream, among others. I consider that being in your organization implies a huge responsibility and prestige that can take to be in the elite of professionals, even more so that I did not see any accredited photographer from my country and I hope to be the first of many more. I belong as a means of communication and we are accredited as such in the aviation brands and associations in the US and Mexico that organize events such as the EAA, NBAA, HAI, EBACE, Amigos de la Aviacion, an event organized in association with the FAA in Mexico, and i have the coverage of events and conferences. Yes, I have been a product photography coach and I have also given some courses although more than photography it is more like dealing with the authorities since in Mexico it is much very complicated to perform this kind of work, entering an airport to take photography there To be very well recognized by clients and authorities in my country, however, because we have good communication and voluntary help with the authorities, our work is a bit easier. For reasons of security and discretion with clients, I do not develop much information with the general public, however, if we do some training sessions for some people interested in the subject.
I’m a full time professional photographer based in St. Louis, MO. My love of aviation led me to start flying at the age of 14, earning my private pilot certificate and instrument rating. While working towards a commercial pilot career, I met my creative match, my wife Kelly, which led to me becoming a professional photographer. While aviation is a passion of mine, my current professional photography work is generally outside of the aviation space. My published work can be seen in: Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Insider, London Evening Standard, Huffington Post, Photography Masterclass Magazine, Arkansas Life Magazine, and Thrillist. My clients include: Budweiser, Lowe’s, VisittheUSA.com, True Fitness, Athena Health, and United Healthcare. I’ve always used Nikon cameras throughout my 13 year professional career. I’ve been a Nikon Professional Services member since 2016. I’m currently using a D850 with 300mm F4/E lens for air show photography. The addition of a 1.4x teleconverter helps when I need more reach. I’ve found this to be an excellent lightweight setup. I generally shoot both RAW and JPG at the same time. JPG is great for sharing on social media immediately during an event. I moved to using Capture One for RAW processing many years ago. I’ve found it to be a superior program to Adobe Lightroom in many ways. This is especially true for large commercial photoshoots which normally involve shooting tethered to a computer workstation. I joined ISAP in 2018. Joining ISAP was a great way to start learning from the best in the field of aviation photography. I’m looking forward to attending some ISAP events in the future. I’ve tried to educate others on the business side of photography whenever I can. People often understate the amount of hard work it takes to make a living with photography. I feel like the best advice for anyone trying to learn photography is to find images that speak to them and then research how they were created. Being able to deconstruct other photographers work will lead to you being able to create your own unique work.
Yak-55 Oshkosh 2019
North Dakota for VisittheUSA.com
True Fitness Brand Commercial Work For those views too high, the judging team brings their own ladder.
Thunderbirds at Oshkosh 2019
Extra 300L St. Louis Airshow 2018
F-22 Oshkosh 2019
F-16 Demo at St. Louis Airshow 2018 Crews prepare long and hard for the arrival of the Judges at AirVenture.
Milford Sound New Zealand
I live in Foster City, CA. I would consider myself an advanced amateur and I am always working to improve my techniques. I do not have formal photography training. I am self-taught at an early age and I am always learning from many online sites such as KelbyOne or local workshops. I have been into photography for approximately 40 years. I have been shooting mostly automotive (Hot Rods) events and shoot for several automotive publications. I love most genres of transportation. Aviation photography is an interest that I have had for years and I decided to learn more to be a better aviation photographer. I currently shoot with a Canon 80D, Canon lens: 17-40mm f/4L 17-55mm f/2.8, 24-105mm f/4L and 70-300mm f/4-5.6. I plan to upgrade to a full frame body and bigger zoom lens in the future. I plan to use my 80D as a second camera for aviation photography. I always shoot RAW and JPG. I shoot RAW for my actual working files and JPG for reference. I mostly work in Lightroom CC Classic and occasionally in Photoshop CC. I would like to start using Photoshop CC more.
I have tried the NIK collection and Topaz Studio but mostly prefer to use Lightroom CC Classic. I learned about ISAP from doing an Internet search for Aviation photography. I joined ISAP to be part of an organization of Aviation Photographers. I would enjoy helping others when possible and also looking to learn from others to expand my skills. I am a member of PPA. I always help others in photography when asked. I have learned from others and always try to provide my techniques. I enjoy mentoring new photographers and helping them to learn about photography as well as post processing. My advice to new Aviation photographers is to find Aviation photographers that has a style you like to learn about composition and their style, keep shooting and shooting photos and donâ€™t get discouraged from taking a lot of bad photographs. We learn from the bad shots and how to fix our mistake to improve your skills.
ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/320 F Stop: F10 Lens: EF70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM EV: -1/3
ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/125 F Stop: F8 Lens: EF17-40mm f/4L USM EV: 0
ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/160 F Stop: F8 Lens: EF17-40mm f/4L USM EV: -1/3
ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/500 F Stop: F9 Lens: EF70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM EV: 0
ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/500 F Stop: F10 Lens: EF70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM EV: -1/3
ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/800 F Stop: F8 Lens: EF70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM EV: -2/3
ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/800 F Stop: F8 Lens: EF70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM EV: -1/3
ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/400 F Stop: F8 Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L ll USM EV: -1/3
My name is Sean Willis, and I live in Lancaster, California. I’ve been an avid but amateur photographer since I was young, shooting first with 110 film cameras, graduating to 35mm point and shoots, and then moving to digital and SLR essentially simultaneously, but on different equipment (a Powershot A40 and my wife’s AE-1). I went to school for Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at the University of Illinois, feeding both my interests in flying things and how things work. I spent several years in Chicago on the outskirts of the aerospace industry, and would often get my aviation fix traveling to Oshkosh or hiking down to the lake for Chicago’s Air and Water Show, always with my current camera in tow. I love airplanes and have come to love the people surrounding them, and documenting all of that with a camera is one of my great joys. I currently work as a Design and Flight Test Engineer for Scaled Composites in Mojave, CA, and I’ve been there for almost nine years. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot a number of unique aircraft on the ground, from the ground, and from the air while getting paid, so perhaps I could be considered semipro? Most recently I was assigned as photo chase (stills) for the successful first flight of the Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft in April ’19, which was an amazing experience after having been a part of the design, build, and ground test effort for nearly four years prior. I shoot Canon, currently a 70D, and my iPhone 6 when that’s the best I have with me. For airborne chase and as my all-purpose lens I typically have my 24-105mm L attached, and for airshows I’ve primarily used my 70-200mm f4L (non-IS). I also have several primes (40 f2.8 EF-S, 50 f1.4, and 85 f1.8) that I like to use for indoors and people photography. I’m mostly self-taught for better or worse, reading books and websites (thanks Strobist!), and learned a bunch by limiting myself to shooting with a 50mm f1.8 for the first year or so of having a DSLR.
I’ve been scattershot with my workflow, mostly shooting JPG for speed and space constraints, and bouncing from iPhoto to Aperture to Mac Photos to very recently Lightroom/Photoshop. I’ve been pretty averse to editing more than simple crops and rotations thus far, but I know it’s limiting my growth and range so I’m dipping my toes into that skillset moving forward. I learned about ISAP when I was in preparation for the Stratolaunch flight and bought / read Chad Slattery’s book, “Inside Aviation Photography”. I saw that several of the photographers I’ve been inspired by over the years were members, and I resolved to become a member as a means of hopefully making some connections and learning more about the craft. I love to help people learn more about photography, even if it’s just helping friends and family members with tips for improving their snapshots. I’ve found that aviation is typically a pretty insular but also a very welcoming activity / industry, so my advice to photographers new to aviation is to make an effort to get to know people involved and ask them forthrightly for access and opportunities. Much like photographers, aviators are usually very passionate and wanting to share their interest with others, so just showing that you’re interested is often enough to open doors, and maybe even cockpits!
AIRPLANE SILHOUETTES by John Ford
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The Art of Air to Air
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If you wish to purchase any ISAP merchandise please email email@example.com Send your name and current address and you will be invoiced via PayPal. Shipping cost will be added to your invoice. Members with an international address will have a higher shipping rate. ISAP Challenge coin - $10 + shipping ISAP safety vest (Small to X-Large) - $28 + shipping ISAP safety vest 2XL - $31, 3XL - $34, 4XL - $38 + shipping ISAP membership patch - $5 + shipping Limited patch version with Velcro backing - $10 + shipping
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ISAP Board Members President and Board Chairman Larry Grace Vice President and Vice Chairman Jim Wilson Treasurer Gary Edwards Past Treasurer Bonnie Kratz Secretary Mike Collins ISAP Board Member George Kounis ISAP Board Member Kevin Hong ISAP Staff Member John Sepp ISAP Staff Member Craig Swancy Chairman Emeritus Jay Miller ISnAP Editor Kevin Hong ISnAP International Editor Mike Green The ISnAP is a periodic publication of the International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP) 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 newsletter are those of the authors and should not be construed as the views or opinions of the International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP). Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org ISnAP is a publication to showcase our members work in capturing aviation events. Anytime you have images or would like to inquire on doing an article for ISnAP contact us via email at email@example.com Images should be sized at 3600 x 2400 @ 300 dpi (12â€? x 8â€?) in a landscape format only. Submit up to 10 images per article and submit your text in a word document and email a link by using www.wetransfer.com and send to firstname.lastname@example.org (Up to 2GB). You can also submit images for review for a future cover or back page display. If any questions you can email us as well to email@example.com. We look forward to your submission and to showcase your articles and images.
ISnAP November 2019 issue. (Magazine by International Society for Aviation Photography-ISAP)