Member Spotlight: Jake Peterson

Aviation Photography

By Jake Peterson

It didn’t take much to get addicted to Aviation Photography, what with the smell of avgas, the roar of the engines as they go zooming by, the sun glistening off of the plane’s wing and of course the cold beer at the end of a long day. Most importantly though, are the people and their stories behind the aircraft. Now having spent only a few years really working on my photography in the realms of wildlife and landscape, aviation photography was at that time alien to me to say the least. With one quick trip to Pylon Racing Seminar in 2009, the world of aviation opened up to me in exciting new ways I never imagined possible!

I learned at Reno that the planes had a life of their own and capturing all their characteristics was not only a challenge but also very entertaining. Shooting statics became a joy not only in capturing the light that was bouncing off of the fuselage but also in the geometric lines of the plane itself. Everything about a plane is designed for perfection and in many ways that is the same as a photograph.

I am a Nikon shooter and have in my arsenal every focal length from an AF-S 12-24 f2.8 to an AF-S 600f4 and use two D3 bodies. When working with statics I love getting close with an AF-S 24- 70 f2.8 but I also love using the 70-200 VRII f2.8 or 70-300 VR f5.6 to control the background.

I continually look for what I consider to be that perfect photograph, knowing perfectly well that there is no such thing. I learned at PRS the weight that these photographers have to deal with; slinging those 200-400 VR lenses around while panning with a plane going by at 200 mph is no easy feat. I also learned how essential post processing can be with the finishing of an image in order to truly capture the beauty of these planes, which spurred my desire to become better at my craft. PRS might have been the moment when I started in Aviation Photography, but it surely won’t be the last.


The Full article and more of Jake’s images in the August issue of ISnAP


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