A2A Starts on the Ground
Staring out an open door upon an aircraft on your wing is a thrill and excitement I wish for everyone! Air-to-air photography gets your adrenalin pumping the moment the prop turns and it doesn’t stop until you’re safely back on the ground again. In between, you see your subject, that aircraft in your viewfinder where you must arrange the elements, select the light, use the color and find the gesture to make that one photograph a story of your subject. The time to learn all those pieces you need to bring together to make that successful click is not in the air where safety and cost are part of every heartbeat. You learn those things on the safety of the ground. And you prove and refine your ability to do so on the ground which is where and how you get the attention of the plane owner.
I was very fortunate to be associated with both (at the time) flying Super Corsairs. Starting in the hangar before they were airworthy, I spent time getting to know every angle of the Super Corsair especially F2G-1D #57. I actually had many static shoots with #57 and a number of A2A photo missions with it. It was the lessons I learned in the hangar and on the tarmac that aided in creating the A2A photos I wanted to tell its story. Putting the 24×30″ prints of those statics in the owner’s hands got me the access, the time with the plane captured the A2A.