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In January 2010, ‘Air-to-Air Academy – Volume 1’ was published by Eric Coeckelberghs (renown Air-to-Air photographer) where it was officially presented during the European Airshow Convention. The book was a pictorial overview of the many Air-to-Air photoshoots Eric and the Aviation PhotoCrew performed during the months and years before. The book included a wide array of aviation photographs, from light leisure aircraft till fighter jets and off course precious warbird aircraft. Thanks to the hard work of Eric, the photobook opened many doors within the European aviation scene, which provided even more photoshoots in the years to follow.
After the success of the first edition of the Air-to-Air Academy in May 2010, the idea was raised to make a new book featuring the spirit of the event; ‘sharing experience’. After a great 2010 season with numerous photoshoots, the first concrete steps were made, in the making of a new book. Publisher Nico Deboeck, the Aviation PhotoCrew and a handful of world-known aviation photographers teamed up together to make a book for aviation photographers, named ‘Aviation Photography!’.

The idea behind the first part of the book is to present a historical overview of Air-to-Air photography within the Belgian Air Force. Daniel Brackx, the reference in Belgian Aviation History, writes about the very beginning of aviation, where photo cameras and aircraft were in an early stage of development. This is followed by interviews and photographs from well known aviation photographers within the Belgian Air Force, from Guy Puttman (Red Devils photographer), Guy Truyens (F-104 pilot), Antoine Roels (experienced BAF photographer) to Stefan ‘Vador’ Darte (current F-16 pilot).

The historical part is followed by a presentation of the Aviation PhotoCrew and the Air-to-Air Academy, who they are and what they do. To illustrate the good cooperation, 15 international aviation photographers, who took part in the Academy, show their best work and tell how the Academy has helped them into their way of experiencing aviation photography.

Of course the photographical work of the Aviation PhotoCrew themselves cannot be excluded in the book. The ‘best of’ includes more than 50 pages of high quality Air-to-Air photographs from which many have never been published before. Dedicated photoshoots were flown, including the NATO Tigermeet, Wittmund Phantoms and Skyhawks, British classics like the AVRO Vulcan and the Meteor, Red Bull warbirds and many more. During the 100 anniversary airshow of the Turkish Air Force, a unique formation was flown with the leaders of the European display teams, guided by the Solo Turk F-16.

Included with the images are the photographical details about the photograph, like ISO settings, shutterspeed and aperture. This can inspire aviation photographers when performing similar photoshoots.

The biggest part of the book is the ‘tips & tricks’ section. Here many handy techniques and skills are explained and illustrated with conforming photographs. This can help photographers making the images they want. Many different aspects of aviation photography are included, from basic techniques through static aircraft photography in museums, airshow photography through photographing low level aircraft. From portrait, detail and cockpit photography to bringing a storyline into your pictures. Air-to-Air photography is explained with tips about photographing Helicopters, Props (including full propeller photography) and Jets. The weather can also bring you photographs to a higher level, from sunrise through a snow covered landscape till sunset and night photography. The book is concluded with some interesting tips on how to edit your photographs on the computer.

The book ‘Aviation Photography!’ was concluded by the end of July, and the printing was finished for the second edition of the Air-to-Air Academy which took place from August 18-21, 2011 at the airfield of Malle. During the event, the book was presented to the public for the first time and the many positive remarks were a motivation for the future.

The hardcover book has 260 full color pages, filled with stunning, high-quality images of which many have never been published before. The book can be ordered via the website and comes at a price of 35 euro + P&P.


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