Museum of Aviation: A Test In Endurance!

May 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

When it comes to photography, many people think us shooters show up to the gig, fire away a few photos and then rush home to Netflix and chill. 

WELL IT'S NOT LIKE THAT!!!! Sometimes, great photography gigs are days and days of hard work! Then even more days and days of processing and editing. However, it can all be very worth it.  See a gallery below. 

This past year, The Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia has been a tremendous photography client to have. The Museum (MOA for short) has sent me so many awesome gigs and many more have been scheduled throughout 2017. I've lived and grown up around the MOA for my entire life. It's one of the reasons I have a passion for my Aviation Art and Illustration. 

Well this particular assignment was something special. The MOA is currently building a new website and invited me to provide photography to help populate their site with great and consistent shots. They understood to reflect the ideals of this museum, they needed their displays photographed with love and respect, which I had in spades for these planes!! The museum has almost 80 aircraft on active display or in various stages of restoration. It took two full 8-hour days to capture all the aircraft and displays. It was a marathon and not a sprint. I had to capture all the aircraft in various ways to show the entire "character" of each aircraft. With SEVERAL images per aircraft, the MOA now has plenty of images in their library to populate their site and are even using the images in their marketing materials. It's does the ego - I MEAN HEART!! - good to know that a client is happy with what you delivered to them. They trusted my artistic vision and processes for these historic treasure and I had a blast doing it. HOWEVER, . . .

Now I'll be completely honest with you. I'm 6'3" and am north of 250 pounds!! That's a lot of human-meat to push around for 2 days. Hell, many shooters will tell you the physical discomfort of shooting a wedding they feel the day afterwards. That's why i always take a "wedding recovery day." However, I had to do the equivalent, 2 days in a row. I pushed through the first day, capturing a 5K race the MOA had going on that morning, then proceeded to start my photos of the aircraft displays. It was as simple as having a shot sheet and i started going down the list. In actuality, the first day was roughly 10 hours since I arrived early to get the 5K images. Lemme'Tellya!! I woke up the second day VERY sore, stiff, achy from head to toe, and with a HUGE blood blister on my toe which I dubbed, "Satan's Mark" since it hurt so bad. I sat there and pondered "why didn't I get in to photography in my 20's?" Ah well,. . . i had a second day's worth of shooting to do and just got up and got started. My son Alan, was nice enough to pause his video games and assist me - hey, I paid him $10.00 an hour. It was a big help as I usually have my gear bag and "dual-wield" my 2 Nikons for a shoot. Even though my gear setup is not TOO heavy, after a while, EVERYTHING is heavy. So his help was very appreciated. We had to go as efficiently as possible because we only had 8 hours on the regular scheduled open times for the MOA. So with the help of my son, a MONSTER Energy drink, and 200mg of Ibuprofen every few hours, we got through and completed the shot list. So we went home,. . . I went straight to bed - literally. 

Y'know,. . . I'd thought I was sore after the first day, the 3rd morning's soreness was Sofa-King awful. My blood blister had popped during the previous day and hurt like,. . . .well,. . . .Satan's Mark. So i slithered out of my coffi - I MEAN - bed and started importing my images in to Adobe Lightroom. I had thousands of photos to go through, like I said, I was very meticulous. It took a few more days of editing and compositing to get all the delivery files together. I even delivered specialty shots such as HDR processed images which the MOA was thrilled with. 

SO!!! Through all the time, pain, soreness, blood blisters, achy back and exhaustion; Was it worth it? 

Hell YEAH!!

To quote Chissy Miner, President and CEO of the Museum Of Aviation,. . . 
"David's masterful eye has brought new life to our aircraft and exhibits in our marketing efforts.  Not only is he an extremely talented photographer, he is an absolute delight to work with as well." 


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