1977 Great Lakes @KBZN captured by Z 9 / Z24-70f2.8

One of the great blessings of having two sons involved in aviation and photography is, when dad has that itch to shoot, they are more than happy to help. In this case, Jake knew I wanted to get out in the snow and photograph some aviation color to add to my aviation winter library and he knew just the guy to ask. I had met Jim last summer at the Three Forks Flyin, had dinner with him and his delightful wife. Jake works with Jim on various projects and knew Jim had recently acquired this gorgeous little biplane, a 1977 Great Lakes. Jake reached out to Jim and a week later we were driving over to KBZN for a great static shoot.

It was the perfect afternoon! Temps in the single digits, light soft and scattered, wind out of the west and the ramp we wanted to shoot on with a light covering of frost. While it’s white it’s not so thick so pushing the plane around into various positions for the shooting was simple. Jake selected the perfect aircraft for dad, great lines, red and killer strips! After towing the Great Lakes onto the ramp, the rest was pretty simple. Getting down low serves two purposes, the first is incorporating the snow-capped mountains in the background. Second, bringing prominence to the Great Lakes in the frame. Shooting with the Z 9 low was simple, no tripod required. I started by folding out the monitor but seeing the small details like putting sun perfectly on the rudder required my eye to the EVF. Yep, I was doing my normal, lying on the tarmac in the snow to get the shot. That always gets a plane owner’s attention and tends to give you more points for credibility rather then points for being nuts to lie in the snow.

Of course I had to shoot my “arse” shot with the tail wheel cocked, not straightened. I shot all angles with two different backgrounds so after we do the air-to-air photo mission I have a complete visual package for an article. And of course, after the shoot, I sent Jim a nice box of 22x prints from the Epson 900 as a thanks. Oh, and Jake, took him out to dinner to say thanks. Good times, good time!

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