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on Jun 29, 2012 in Field Reports

There is a Reason for Friends

It would be real easy to get all mushy right now, that’s the emotions good friends should bring up when you think about them. But you add good shooting bud, partner, adventurer to that mix and it’s a slam dunk. Kevin didn’t know I was taking this photo of him at the bday party, he was looking off at the aircraft and if I can guess, he was looking over the parking lot of aircraft saying to himself, “That one would be fun flying, that one would carry all my gear, that one is just sexy.”

We first meet when Kevin joined us decades ago on a workshop. On a foggy morning in a meadow full of spider webs covered in dew, he called me over for assistance. He was shooting with a F4 with 20f2.8 attached (it was a long time ago) and the camera couldn’t focus, it just kept going zzzzz….zzzzz as it searched for focus. I said I could fix that for him, he said, “Great!” I walked over, turned off his autofocus and walked away. We’ve been the best of friend ever since. We’ve chased Polar Bears and Grizzly Bears, Sandhill Cranes and Terns, from glaciers to deserts, even floated ANWR for two weeks, telling stories, talking about family, pulling practical jokes and laughing a lot. And we’ve taken a fair share of photos standing side by side.

Then I went whole hog into aviation photography and there is was, my silent coach helping me learn small yet very important points to be a more effective photographer and communicator. I know there are a lot of experiences, a lot of photographs I wouldn’t have to enjoy today if my friend hadn’t been there. Finding a friend who you can shoot with is something I’ve never written about and it only dawned on me when I saw this photo that evening on a Kansas grass strip. I hope you’re as lucky as I to find one as good as my bud, Kevin!