Ever wonder how AOPA photographers produce those stunning images in AOPA Pilot magazine every month? It’s time to get the inside story from the photographers who have made aerial images their professional specialty. Mike Fizer, AOPA’s chief photographer, and Chris Rose, staff photographer, will talk about how they approach each new subject, plan aerial photo missions, and use both still and video equipment on Nov. 13 in a forum (AOPA and the Art of Aviation Photography) at AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach, Calif.
“My favorite time in a photo flight is after the takeoff when you look out and can see that all the planning has paid off and all you have left to do is the photography,” Fizer said. “Then the adrenaline starts pumping, and I like to close my eyes and take a few deep breaths to settle down and get my game face on. Even after doing it for all these years, I still get excited. It’s still challenging, and I enjoy the anticipation and the teamwork. “
Rose, who learned the craft of aerial photography from Fizer, said he’s experimenting with a variety of aircraft and new camera equipment to create unique images.
“The future for me is trying to be original and finding my own style. We’re experimenting with different photo platforms like the AirCam. And as cameras become smaller and the quality gets better we’re mounting them in different locations. We used to do photo shoots with only one still camera. Now it’s common for us to have multiple cameras in the photo platform as well as two or three more in the subject airplane.”
Fizer and Rose are featured in the November issue of AOPA Pilot magazine. The aviation photographers will present a lively and informative forum on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 11:30 a.m. that anyone interested in flying and photography can enjoy, regardless of their level of photographic experience or training.—AOPA Aviation Summit staff