Something different: Aviation Photography

Recently, a WWII-era B-17G bomber (a restoration effort of The Liberty Foundation) visited Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Colorado. I wasn't aware of the visit until I was doing yardwork and heard the deep rumble of four Wright Cyclone engines over the lawnmower. I saw the shiny aluminum bomber as it flew over my house and a quick Google search told me that the aircraft was on display - and flying paying passengers - ten minutes away. I dropped everything and headed over there for the full afternoon and then again early the next morning with my camera. The B-17G is such an iconic aircraft: streamlined, shiny, bristling with defensive weapons, and able to take a lot of damage and keep flying. The history of the aircraft and the stories of the men who served aboard them are fascinating.

I was pretty motivated to make photographs of the aircraft that were unique and captivating. In retrospect, I wish I would have brought along some of my old film cameras to photograph this airplane - some are older than this aircraft! I hope you enjoy these.

[Some of these images (and more) will be made available for sale shortly on this web site and at The Walnut Gallery. Some of the proceeds  for any sales of these photographs will be donated to The Liberty Foundation to support the further maintenance and operation of this aircraft.]

B-17G "Madras Maiden". Lots of people surrounded the aircraft, so I made some longer exposures that "ghosted" the people and let the afternoon clouds paint the sky. This exposure was about two minutes.

B-17G "Madras Maiden". The nose art was painted by aviation artist Gary Velasco. For this image I wanted a 1940's look, it's a little lower in contrast and has a slight sepia tone to it. 

B-17G "Madras Maiden". This photograph is perhaps my personal favorite of the set. I put the camera on an extended tripod and lift it up, with the shutter set to timer. I had to make quite a number of these exposures before I got one that was right! The "chrome" look in this image is slightly exaggerated, but the intention was to produce a stylized photograph that emphasized the reflections in the aircraft skin. I also wanted to be up close and personal to the cockpit, and this was about the best I could do under the circumstances.

Click here for information on purchasing a copy of this print.

B-17G "Madras Maiden", head on. The lighting and shadows worked well for this shot on the runway.

B-17G "Madras Maiden" lit by the setting sun at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Colorado.

Here's some great video footage of the flight of a B-17 from the cockpit, courtesy of Nick Murray.