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on Oct 17, 2012 in Aviation

A Special Meeting

I’ve been working on a long term project and today, I had the sincere pleasure of meeting Mike Moretti. This very young 91yr old was a gunner in a A-20 in Italy in 1942-43. Being shot down and crashing into the sea loosing his pilot, having a ME-109 go past his guns while being chased by a spitfire, going through the military system and all that brings to a soldiers life, Mike spent hours telling us his story. What you see here is Mike in the basement in NJ where vets from WWII (90mm gunner on Midway during the battle to landing on Normandy) to vets from Vietnam (during the Tet offensive) meet to share stories of the past while supporting themselves in the future. Mike is here pointing out his aircraft in a book he brought to give to me (Mike & I have been emailing back and forth for the last few months). Our friend Breck & Kathy introduced Sharon & I to these great guys and I know we will back!

On the photo side, there are two things here. First, when I walked into this group, the camera was left outside. I walked in with just a iPad and notepad and pen. I started with introductions, sharing images and hearing stories. Only after a while after I was accepted did I go and get the camera and then asked if it was OK I made images. As you might notice, this was not some giant room, I was literally leaning against the water-heater! To make this photo of Mike, I shot with the D4 (@ISO 1600) with the 24f1.4AFS (@f4). There is a white wall just out of frame on the left. There is also a small window letting in a little bounce and natural light. Above is a fluorescent fixture and on the right a white wall. There was enough light bouncing around I didn’t need to use flash. The look and motordrive made enough of an impression, didn’t need a flash constantly going off. As you can see, the D4 and lighting worked out just fine. Would I have preferred using flash? I would have loved it but on this visit, photography wasn’t the priority so as I do often with my wildlife projects, it was put down for the bigger story. I shot a lot more than you see here and heard and in time, I’ll share more because Mike and many like him, have so much to share with all of us.