Last year I had the good fortune to learn about a group of like minded aviation photographers who belong to ISAP - The International Society for Aviation Photography. It's membership is very diverse, from photo amateurs, to magazine editors, photo industry professionals, and of course, professional photographers from across the world who create only aviation imagery.
One of the members is a fellow by the name of Max Haynes, and he has an extensive website just chock full of terrific aviation imagery. Recently he solicited one photograph from each of the ISAP members, and using these images, created a stunning slideshow of this work. Initially, I hesitated to participate, mainly because of the formatting requirements, which required a crop of the image. I'm not a big fan of cropping images, as I work very hard at creating the image in the camera, using the full frame. So I sent an image in, uncropped and full framed, just to see if there was any flexibility.
Max loved the image, but in order to fit his format it had to be cropped. I did so, and resubmitted it. Lo and behold, my image was selected as the lead for the essay! It came as quite a surprise...and proved to be a good lesson for me as well.
The image is of a Consolidated Catalina PBY, shot at the Great Georgia Airshow in the fall of 2007. Three young men were standing atop the wing, and it was literally 5 minutes before the airshow ended, on Sunday afternoon. The sky was full of smoke from the Aeroshell team as they performed their routine, and as I walked toward a friend's plane, this image came together in the viewfinder.
I've always been a big fan of the PBY, mainly because of it's graceful lines. I shot three or four pictures in a row, bang, bang, bang, and we walked on. I knew I had a good image, but didn't know how good until it was later processed. In the image that preceded this one, the Aeroshell plane was not in a good position, compositionally speaking. The image that followed was spoiled as the young man on the right held up his cell phone to make a picture. For me, this image could have been shot in the 1940's, during WWII, and evokes some of the innocence of that time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do...