Sunday, April 29, 2018

Aviation


Aviation has been a passion of mine since I was a kid. I wanted to be a pilot in my adult life, specifically a fighter pilot. I knew everything about jets. I read books, watched videos ( no internet existed at that time ), built models and collected model planes. When computers became more widely available, the only computer games I was ever interested in were flight simulators. My favorite movies to this day are Top Gun and Iron Eagle!

As I approached high school graduation, my interests shifted somewhat and I decided that rather than just fly these machines, I wanted to really understand them, build and design them. I opted for a career in aerospace engineering, so when I'm not clicking my shutter and making photographs, I am designing jet engines.


My passion for flight never went away though. While in college I did learn to fly and got my private pilot's license. Unfortunately, for various reasons, I have not had the opportunity to fly since I graduated 20 years ago. Someday though, I know I will be back on the left seat looking down at the world again.

Meanwhile, airshows are where I get my aviation fix! I love them! I never get tired of them.


My first experience at an airshow was back in the late '80s when I went to an airshow in Homestead, FL. Times were different then and they had a lot of the military jets doing demos. I was already a fan but had never been so close to the action. I was in awe! When the F14 Tomcat took the sky I almost cried. That sound of the afterburning engines that you can actually feel in your bones is what I love about these machines.


The military demonstration teams are especially exciting. Not only do you get to see the capabilities of the extraordinary jets, but also the skill of the pilots in tight formation and individual precise aerobatic maneuvers. The navy has the Blue Angels flying the F18 Hornet and the air force has the Thunderbirds flying the F16 Falcon. Both are outstanding and always worth watching.



The two teams do very similar maneuvers but also have their unique trademark passes.




It's not just the US armed forces that have demonstration teams, the Canadia Snow Birds are also an excellent show to watch. This was my favorite maneuver from them, called The Battle of Britain.  I suspect it's designed to show the intense dogfighting over the skies during that particular battle.


After a few years of nearly no military aircraft at airshows due to budget cuts, it was refreshing to start seeing some of the stars of the military back in action. Here is an F22 Raptor at the Stuart Air Show back in 2014.


And the classic Brittish import, the Harrier at the same airshow.


No air show would be complete without the few "unusual" aircraft which are always a treat like the jet augmented biplane: The Screamin' Sasquatch.


Or the tiny microjet.


Of course, most air shows also have the static displays, which are also very exciting and give you the chance to get up close and personal with the aircraft.






Check out the aviation gallery under "Other Work" on my website for more aviation images from air shows.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dance Practice


I first met Andy and Anita at the gymnastics gym. They were there to get some help with the acrobatics in one of their ballroom dance routines. A few months later I was fortunate enough to attend one of their practice sessions and photograph it. It was quite the impressive session, they absolutely blew me away with what they did on that dance floor!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Back to Film Just for Fun!


I am old fortunate enough to have started on the path to a life of loving photography at a time when digital cameras were still science experiments at university labs. I grew up watching my dad take family pictures on a Canon FTb and develop / print the images himself in my uncle's darkroom. When my dad upgraded to a Canon AE1 I inherited the FTb and started making my own images.

In the early 90's I also upgraded to an AE1 and although there were, by that time, more advanced film cameras available I always enjoyed the manual process of the older cameras like the AE1. It makes me feel more involved, like I'm a bigger part of the final product. I still drive a stick shift for the same reasons.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Tennis Anyone?


Meet Eddie Elliot. He is a professional tennis player and all around sportsman. In addition to his intense tennis training, he also surfs, skates, snowboards, and if all of that wasn't enough he has recently started gymnastics training. It was through this gymnastics connection that our paths crossed and soon we had scheduled a time to shoot together.

By chance, Eddie and I live close to each other here in south Florida so we got together one afternoon just before Christmas at the tennis courts near my house and got to work on some cool portraits.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Year of Emily


As the year comes to a close, I realize that one of my big 2015 photo "projects" had a profoundly awesome, albeit unintended, result. I call it a project only in the sense that it required a significant investment of my own time, but really it was a year long photography workshop. Well, 3 workshops really. World renowned photography instructor Don Giannatti put together these portrait classes intended to make you look at the work of masters in the field and draw inspiration from their work. It's a truly enlightening exercise which I highly recommend to anyone who photographs people.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

More Portraits in the Style of...



I was very excited when Don Giannatti decided to do another round of the Lighting Essentials 8 week portrait workshop. The first one was so exciting and fun, now we had another 8 masters of portraiture to draw inspiration from.

The format was the same as the previous workshop. Don picks 8 portrait photographers with different styles for us to review. We draw inspiration from the work and make our own images. Whether you like their work or not, you can't help but to be inspired.

So here they are:

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Miss Florida Nationwide Shoot


Last December I published a post about a remarkable young woman named Lauren Joy Baranowski. We shot together for a new modeling agency in Palm Beach, Florida. The agency never really took hold, but Lauren took off like a rocket!

She got into the pageant scene and quickly became Miss Palm Beach Nationwide. Shortly after, this driven young lady went on to win the title of Miss Florida Nationwide, and that was when she contacted me again. Lauren needed new pictures to continue her quest for the Miss Nationwide title.