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The Frog in Your Hand

November 06, 2022 - My cover story for the September 2022 issue of ROTOR magazine is about manufacturing helicopter rotor blades. The premis...
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From One, Many

September 30, 2022 - I will tell you right off the bat, the following has the same image over and over — sort-of. If you're interested in see...
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Background Players

August 05, 2022 - I have noted, several times in previous articles, that photographing people at work is a satisfying endeavor and the res...
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Opening Wide

June 14, 2022 - Journalists live by six key questions when examining a subject or event: who, what, when, where, why, & how. (Apparently...
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Up up up

June 01, 2022 - When you, as photographer, are planted on the ground while your quarry is in the air, one of the most dynamic images you...
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Not So Show-y

April 03, 2022 - Not So Show-y I'm not a big air show shooter. I enjoy wandering around under a baking sun, trudging from static disp...
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Shooting the Hero

February 21, 2022 - Shooting the Hero he·ro | noun: A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qu...
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The Long and Short of It

December 26, 2021 - My previous article, and even the one before that, extolls the virtues of wide-angle lenses for capturing images that ca...
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Move Close and Say Aaah

October 26, 2021 - My previous article was about photographing mosquito control helicopters in Florida. My current efforts have me crisscro...
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Shoot Small to Make Big

September 05, 2021 - I recently spent a week driving across much of the state of Florida in order to fly with a passel of governmental mosqui...
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The Magical, Mystical, Full-Rotor-Disk Shot

July 01, 2021 - One of the toughest shots to make in air-to-air photography, when the subject is an airplane with propellers, or a helic...
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Into the Woods

June 16, 2021 - In my article Looking Up, the topic was ground-to-air photography and the location was Las Vegas; the aircraft was a Kam...
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Where's The Horizon?

April 28, 2021 - Landscape photography is often concerned with placement of the horizon in a composition. Aerospace photography might not...
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Shootin' Steady

April 04, 2021 - The number one challenge in making great images during air-to-air photography is stability of the camera during that spl...
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Front and Center

February 07, 2021 - A common approach to composition, especially among less-experienced photographers, is to place the subject in the middle...
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Working Those Pixels

January 17, 2021 - It is true that photos are made, not just taken. Pressing the shutter button is the beginning, and a very important begi...
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Keeping Your Distance

December 27, 2020 - In this time of pandemic, with its new challenges and expectations, there are stories to tell not just about keeping our...
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Reflecting gnitcelfeR

November 01, 2020 - Reflections are one way of seeing things differently, and when someone sees something differently, they want to see more...
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Complete Coverage

October 09, 2020 - Telluride, Colorado. Beautiful scenery up in the mountains, yes, but when it comes to helicopter flying, the density alt...
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Catching the Wandering Eye

September 09, 2020 - In many of my articles I mention, often in passing, how the first job for a photograph is catching the eye of a reader....
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Capturing A Bumblebee

August 05, 2020 - My recent article A Lot In A Little presented the wide range of images I captured during a single air-to-air mission. In...
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Framed

July 14, 2020 - I am, as I write this, deep into producing a photo essay for a trade magazine about firefighting helicopters in Arizona.
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A Lot In A Little

June 24, 2020 - When you are "burning dinosaur bones," as Chris Cornell put it, efficiency is important. The direct operating costs of a...
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Picturing History

June 10, 2020 - In my years as an aerospace photographer, and as the son of a USAF fighter pilot and as just a plain ol' guy who likes a...
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Looking at Bones

May 18, 2020 - Over the past 15 years, I have spent many days with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group on Davis-Mont...
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Fascinating Faces

May 01, 2020 - I am producing a series of books, with a very limited distribution, on aerospace photography. They are heavy on example...
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Looking Up

March 24, 2020 - I have photographed one model of helicopter over the years that few people have seen, far fewer have piloted, and only a...
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Working Details

January 25, 2020 - People are endlessly fascinating to look at, and we are instantly drawn to seeing them. In a previous article I addresse...
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Going in Circles

December 31, 2019 - I was recently in the Gulf of Mexico for a week of photography and story-gathering. One of the photo shoots was mostly a...
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Making a Masterpiece

December 07, 2019 - A short story that illustrates how thinking ahead and showing your work can help you and your client when the time is su...
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Showing Less to Engage More

November 19, 2019 - When a photographer presses the shutter release, they are making myriad decisions how to capture the scene before them....
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Killing Color

November 06, 2019 - I'm planning a marketing video for a client and have decided to create it in black-and-white, rather than full color. Th...
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Looking Forward To It

October 14, 2019 - Beginning last year (which would make it 2018), I have been photographing from inside helicopters looking forward throug...
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Up. Down. All Around.

September 17, 2019 - What do you get when you put a photographer — especially an aviation photographer — at or near an airport with a camera...
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No Gyro? No Problem.

August 13, 2019 - How do you get 1,200 sharp air-to-air images? Apparently, you press the shutter button 2,535 times then, back in your ho...
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Balling It Up

August 02, 2019 - There's a category of helicopter operations called human external cargo in which a human, or humans, are carried in a so...
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Calendrically Shot

July 12, 2019 - For many in business, wall calendars have lost their value as scheduling tools — a working professional’s daily schedule...
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Show Different

June 18, 2019 - I am not an avid air show shooter, one of those many, many fine photographers who capture the aircraft that ply the skie...
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Skew Not The Scenery

May 15, 2019 - Among the several challenges you face when photographing the interior of an aircraft is the small space. Not much room f...
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Why Engines?

May 02, 2019 - Over my years of aerospace photography I've noticed that my eye, and camera, often turns to engines. I wonder why that i...
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For Whom the Sun Sets

April 16, 2019 - There is oft-given advice that a photographer should have the sun behind them, streaming in over their shoulder and smas...
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Putting the Muse in Museum

March 29, 2019 - Whether for business or pleasure, museums and other densely packed collections of aircraft present not only a target-ric...
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Double-Trucking

March 18, 2019 - In " Rigged to Jiggle," my article about mounting a camera inside a single-seat helicopter to capture a behind-the-scene...
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Rigged to Jiggle

February 19, 2019 - On a trip to Puerto Rico to photograph a specific type of helicopter for a trade publication, one of the shots I wanted...
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Slow Shooter

January 30, 2019 - Aviation is inherently moving. The machines, the people, even the backgrounds, seem destined to be seen in motion. Effec...
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ExPositioning

January 18, 2019 - Photographing a trade show would seem a turkey shoot, with lots of targets in a small space, but it poses many challenge...
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You Put It Where?!

January 02, 2019 - The best view, meaning eye-catching and communicative, is often not the obvious one. Not the "standard" one, the one tha...
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Piecing Together the Past

December 14, 2018 - It was December 21, 2016, that the USAF retired its final F-4 Phantom II from service. I was covering the event for a ma...
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How Much is Enough?

December 04, 2018 - I was standing outside the fences southeast of Naval Air Facility El Centro, conversing with friends, enjoying the mild...
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The Sky's (Not) The Limit

November 19, 2018 - When the aircraft looks good but the sky looks like nothing, it's not likely you can wait for the ether to improve. If t...
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A Picture is Worth How Many Dollars!?

November 05, 2018 - When hiring a photographer, the idea of return on investment, ROI, is often rendered instead as “you charge how much?!”...
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Shooting in the Dark

October 15, 2018 - Sometimes the situation for photography turns dark. And I don't mean menacing or sad. Sometimes the light goes away or h...
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But It's Just Sitting There!

October 04, 2018 - I recently finished a nine-day journey through the western U.S. capturing images for an upcoming trade journal photo ess...
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Them Looking at You Looking at Them

September 07, 2018 - In a recent posting the topic was people working. Caught in the act of doing their jobs, and how photography captures th...
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The People Manning the Unmanned Vehicles

August 14, 2018 - Except for very specialized vehicles and missions, unmanned means only that a man, or woman, is not on board, and a phot...
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We Can Fly Because They Care

July 31, 2018 - Recently I put the spotlight on the airborne crewmembers not operating the aircraft. This time I take a look at ground c...
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Playing with Crayons

July 18, 2018 - A couple of articles ago I showed a "before, during, and after" series of my taking a blah photo and making it work with...
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The Folks Not Flying the Ship

June 29, 2018 - It is common when flying a photography mission in public safety/emergency medical aircraft for the full complement of cr...
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Turning Yuck into Yeah!

June 18, 2018 - I came back from an air-to-air photo shoot with plenty of good images, but one image didn't look so hot. What it looked...
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Blurring For Focus

August 21, 2017 - One of the opportunities I often take advantage of when photographing helicopters is to compose them against a backgroun...
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Cover Photo? No, Maybe, Done.

July 31, 2017 - In the world of aerospace marketing, air-to-air images are often the default for magazine covers. Providing those images...
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Going Wide

July 18, 2017 - Photographers have a plethora of tools they can bring to bear in creating images to support their clients. A photographe...
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On The Line

June 29, 2017 - Some of my favorite photography is when I get to capture people working on the flight line. They are alternately serious...
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Inside Out

June 20, 2017 - When you're photographing from a helicopter, the standard approach is to exclude any element of the aircraft, to capture...
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Linking for Value

June 04, 2017 - I sent invitations to complete a survey, about LinkedIn usage and value, using both direct emails and in postings to Lin...
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Diangularity

May 15, 2017 - Composing a photograph for commercial purposes is balancing the needs of multiple audiences across a range of media. Eve...
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Making Aerospace Art

May 02, 2017 - Back in 2015 I wrote about balancing art and commerce in photography and, in that article, focused on the commerce side...
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Looking Like Linking

April 16, 2017 - LinkedIn (/ˌliŋkt.ˈɪn/) n. A business -oriented social networking service. (Italics mine.) I visit LinkedIn occasionall...
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Send In The Clouds

April 01, 2017 - I wrote a few months ago about shooting in less-than-clement weather and how broken clouds can contribute to more-than-u...
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Shooting the Show

March 15, 2017 - Heli-Expo 2017 was marked by a sense of enthusiasm and optimism that has been building for a couple of years. There was...
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All Spun Up and No Place to Go

March 03, 2017 - In this follow-up to my most recent article — about getting good images of a flying aircraft when you and your camera ar...
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From the Ground Up…or Down

February 24, 2017 - I shot the above image from the ground. The client wanted to sell this helicopter and, rather than pay for a full air-to...
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Is It Coverworthy? Part 2

February 06, 2017 - In this follow-up I share additional guidance from the people who decide what shows and what blows on a magazine's cover...
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Looking Inside HDR

January 15, 2017 - In 2015 I showed an example of what is called high dynamic range, or HDR, photography. My example was the Boeing 747 tha...
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So, Why Does JPEG Suck?

December 16, 2016 - In a recent article I briefly mentioned (well, it was a parenthetical part of the title) that JPEG sucks. I showed an ex...
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Focus, Focus, Where's the Focus?

December 09, 2016 - When photographing for a story in a major magazine I use many approaches in my compositions and camera settings. Here I'...
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Adding Up the Pixels (plus, JPEG sucks!)

November 19, 2016 - We'll start with a simple bit of mathematics (hang in there — the key word is simple): 20 x 12 x 100 = 24,000. That's...
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What to do About the Weather

November 03, 2016 - Thunderstorms rolled through the area last night and it got me to thinking. For pilots concerned about safety and comple...
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The Hands Have It

October 11, 2016 - People are, as I've written before, one of my favorite subjects to photograph. Especially when they are at their work, t...
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Photons In, iPhone Out

October 11, 2016 - I observed, once, that "the ideal helicopter air-to-air photo platform includes a large flat space in the cabin with the...
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Double Ugly? Not.

October 11, 2016 - I was at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, the week of September 12 through 16, 2016, photographing some of the US Ai...
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Making Heat Look Hot

October 11, 2016 - Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is situated 22 miles east-southeast of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as the crow...
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Looking Down When You're Up

October 11, 2016 - I've been doing quite a bit of air-to-air work recently, and those images will show up when the time is right, but my mo...
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Blurring One for the Team

October 11, 2016 - I was looking at an earlier posting, which featured examples of busy backgrounds and not-from-the-front lighting, both o...
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Shooting for Scale

October 10, 2016 - With the coming of spring to south-central Arizona the hot weather moves in, the winter visitors move out, and the annua...
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Beautiful Busy Background

October 10, 2016 - Even if you're not a fan of alliteration, these images show the beauty and value of an appropriately busy background, wh...
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Near and Far

October 05, 2016 - I'm working on a project photographing the Arizona Department of Public Safety aviation units — it's a diverse set of mi...
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Planning for Variety

October 05, 2016 - Here are three images from a 2016 air-to-air photo shoot to illustrate something you should be doing, or expecting of yo...
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Here's a Tip: Tilt!

October 05, 2016 - If you've tried it, you'll understand the challenges of photographing flying aircraft from the ground: being on the grou...
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What's Wrong With This Picture (Think Fast!)

October 05, 2016 - This first image was posted to Wikipedia (not my photograph, I'll point out) and shows, very clearly, a Eurocopter (now...
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A Bright Future?

October 04, 2016 - I keep waiting for the day this DC-7 flies again. I understand it made an attempt that was aborted, resulting in some bl...
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Back and For(e)th

October 04, 2016 - Looking beyond the target or, sometimes, in front of it. When photographing aircraft, especially air-to-air, it is impor...
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The Eyes ARE the Focus

October 04, 2016 - I was photographing equipment and soldiers on Fort Hood, Texas, when I came upon a crew working on the rotor blades of a...
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The Quality of Light

September 05, 2016 - Where it comes from, and what it's like, make big differences My recent time spent on NAF El Centro yielded a bevy of...
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A Wider View of Things

September 05, 2016 - Have you ever seen a photo of an airplane being refueled, air-to-air, from the tanker aircraft? Me too. I've taken such...
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A Very Bold Trojan

September 05, 2016 - The Commemorative Air Force has reorganized their various member organizations and what had been the Arizona Wing is now...
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The End of the GE J-79?

September 04, 2016 - Not to worry — the engine that powered a few different aircraft, including the B-58 Hustler supersonic bomber and F-104...
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Mementos of a Meeting

March 22, 2016 - Assignment: Photograph Sergei Sikorsky Igor Sikorsky cast a very long shadow in the world of aviation, yet his son was...
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Grabbing the Light

March 22, 2016 - My first air-to-air photo shoot was nearly 20 years ago, and I learned something important: make things happen or they m...
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Speaking Up for Bespoke Photography

December 15, 2015 - Or, Why Pay For a Custom Photo Shoot? You might consider the following nothing but self-serving blather from a professi...
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Art versus Commerce

October 22, 2015 - It's a balancing act. Art with a capital "A" is created for the pleasure of the artist. Marketing is created to further...
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Making it Cover-Worthy Part 1

October 02, 2015 - Part One In my article " What's a Photo Worth " I equated the value of a magazine's cover photo to the cost of a full-p...
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Selling Your Air Unit and Keeping it Sold

August 29, 2015 - If your law enforcement agency has the good fortune to include an aviation unit, you understand that it is really the co...
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Taming Dynamic Range — 7 Becomes 1

July 06, 2015 - I was finishing up a day of photography at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, on Davis-Monthan AFB,...
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Making it Blurry While Keeping it Sharp

July 03, 2015 - Among aerospace photography subjects, helicopters are more of a challenge than many. Except for images made with intenti...
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What's a Photo Worth?

June 30, 2015 - Photography can be valued as either art or commerce, and each transaction is affected by its own market forces. The val...
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It's Not That I'm Starting Over…

June 21, 2015 - Hi. I'm Mark Bennett, founder of AeroMark Images. I started this company in 2015 with a goal that is important to me and...
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