Aviation Photograhpy!

The ultimate aviation
photobook!

 
 
 
And here we are.....after months of preparation our PhotoCrew would live an incredible milestone! It started just as another crazy idea “why not share our photoflying opportunities with other photographers?” and it grew into a project that is unique in the world of aviation: the Air-to-Air Academy. Most photographers who get a chance to fly for photos fiercly protect their chances, even obstruct others to do the same, or as one of our guests rightfully stated “rather shoot stingers at each other instead of sharing a chance”... And this is excactly what we did: sharing our fantastic flying dreams with other photographers. This first edition was anyway a big shot into the blue, with lots of pressure, unexpected changes and most of all... the coldest May-month we ever had!
Our first 'problem' was the fact that the interest in our project was far bigger than we ever hoped for, so we divided our guests into four groups. The mornings were used for an extended theoretical introduction with fantastic lectures of our friends who came from all over Europe: Daniel Rychick from Poland kept everyone fresh and sharp with a very good basic and detailed course on aviation photography, followed by so many great lectures: our PhotoCrew spoke about full props and moody light conditions, safetyinstructions onboard photoships and what to expect on a first photoflight. Not every day had the same lectures, but certainly all were learnfull and amusing! Rick de Smet explained us how to take pictures behind a canopy while Guy Putman amazed everyone with an travel back into the 1960's and the way it was done in a Fouga...upside down.
Kevin Jackson from the UK spoke about his photofligts from tankers and Reto Schneeberger from Switzerland – our chief photoflightplanner – made everybody just a little jealous reliving his photoflights with the Russian display teams. Of course the Academy was also about flying, and did we fly... The weather was really not with us those first two days, but we managed to get all photographers up in the sky to have a good experience. As the event run along our other project, the Photoflying Days, we were so happy to welcome many of our flying friends at EBZR.
The airfield of Malle, EBZR, is an absolute dreamlocation. This former reserve NATO airbase is located in the middle of a preserved nature parc, so the surroundings are like a green oasis. We were hosted by the local ACPK Aeroclub who did an amazing job in helping us out with so many little challenges. At the same time, also the annual Chipmeet took place, so absolutely no shortage on aircraft! Due to the bad weather on thursday and friday quite a number of aircraft decided to visit us in the weekend... creating a flightline on Saturday of more than 1,5 km!
Above any expectation, more than 150!! aircraft visited EBZR during those 4 days and almost half of them took to the skies over Belgium to pose for pictures. All students and guestphotographers had a chance to fly in the big Skyvan photoship, with an incredible big “THANK YOU” to our main sponsor Invicta Aviation who made it all possible.
Many of our guests had a chance to capture some really unique aircraft, as the Cessna Caravan, the Britten-Norman Islander Pollution-coltrol aircraft, the Seagull formation team, the OV-10B Bronco, T-6, Yak formations, the Victors, etc. etc. Despite the cruel weather several photographers still got a backseat ride in a formation providing them with another dynamic angle to produce air-to-air photos.
Our PhotoCrew was of course in the middle of the action, trying to accommodate everyone in the sometimes hectic atmosphere. But still we found some time to produce some new photowork that you can enjoy on this page. Altough I tell everyone very clearly that it is in the first place the experience that counts and not the subject aircraft posing for you the excitement was just a little bigger when we had a chance to capture two business jets!
All in all we had a truly phenomenal first edition of the Air-to-Air Academy, and the Photoflying Days became an instant classic in the European Fly-in scene. We were proud and priviledged to welcome and work with 81 photographers from 25 different countries!!! Many of them became friends, and only 5 weeks later some of our first time guests were with us when we encountered the ultimate F-4 and A-4 jets over Germany. Throughout 2010 we were able to provide many photographers of this first Academy a chance to shoot air-to-air pictures of the aircraft many tought would never be possible for them.....F-16, Apache, F-18, Gripen, Hind, Hunter, Mirage 2000 etc Needless to say that the Academy 2011 is something to look forward to!!
Here are some movieclips kindly provided to us by PlanesTV, more quality aviation movies can be found on www.planestv.com
Here's another nice video production, provided by Telemak.
And an in-cockpit video of Tony flying the OV-10 Bronco during the Photoflying Days provided by Peter Van Loey.

With a good spirit, teamwork, an incredible amount of goodwill and help from so many people, the Air-to-Air Academy became a memorable event. Our PhotoCrew would like to thank all those people involved one thousand times, and we hope to see many of you again in 2011. Special thanks to our photopilots and of course Tony de Bruyn in the Skyvan photoship, thank you APCK Aeroclub and the Chipmeet for hosting us at the airfield of Malle.

And of course thanks to all photographers who took part in this first edition. We like to pay tribute to you by showing some of your photowork here. In no way we can do justice to all that fantastic photos that were taken during those four days – unfortunately we don't even have a picture of every photographer – but as they say 'pictures show more than a thousand words'... almost true: air-to-air pictures show the dreams of many of you, and us!

 

 
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