For a year my http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/2012/09/04/epson-finish-strong-campaign/Dad was talking about this day. Going over details and details down to every rivet in the plane and letter in the contract. It was a long trek through lots of paperwork and constant revises of aircraft but finally on July 1st 2012 we went up in the skies and made history once again come to life.
The target for the day was to do a shoot that we had never before attempted. We were going to photograph the F2G-1D Super Corsair, of which it is the only of it’s model flying with the exception of an F2G-2 Super Corsair. Combined there are only 4 survivors left in the world. That wasn’t the tricky part or the new part. We were going to do the shoot Air to Air, still not new, with the objective of capturing shots not only of the plane but of the photographer inside the photo platform photographing the plane. Yikes! That’s the new twist. When my Dad asked me to be apart of this for none other than the Finished Strong Campaign For Epson. I was blown away and scared out of mind. How the hell were we going to do this? The first step was the planes. Amazingly enough the hardest part in most shoots, the photo platform, was the easiest to get a hold of.
[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/AVCAFF1142.swf, 585, 435[/swf]
The next challenge was the subject plane. With the idea behind the whole Ad as big, powerful, fast and beautiful no ordinary plane would suffice. After a long list of plane ideas they landed on the Super Corsair. With the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 engine powering this beautiful beast it was fast, new paint made it beautiful, and the fact that it is the only one of it’s model left made it unique. I won’t go into all the details about the plane in this post but you can read more about in a previous post I wrote in last January. Our good friend and pilot Larry Perkins was once again at the stick of the Super, no better place to be. With us for the shoot was our test pilot Scottie, Kevin pilot and owner of the Bonanza.
[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/AVF2GFT1015.swf, 430, 675[/swf]
5:15, the light wasn’t up yet. We were awake and waiting for the sound of the engine to turn over. The crews, the spectators and the pilots were for what was to come ahead. The briefing we had rehearsed the day before was buzzing around in my head as last minute checks. All gear was in place, planes were ready and the cameras were on. With a quick crank and loud bang the giant blades of the Super Corsair began to turn as the engine started up. The R-4360 was coming to life. We saddled up in the Bonanza and 15 minutes later we cranked over. The Bonanza didn’t need as long as a run up time as the Corsair did. Down the private air strip we went with the Corsair in tow we headed out to the Astraea Mountains. The temperature had cooled slightly and thankfully was below the 100 degree mark. It was enough to keep the air slightly less bumpy. The heat was a factor in the shoot. More heat meant more dense air which slowed the planes down and caused more unsteadiness with formation flying.
[swf]http://www.jakepeterson.org/swf_imgs/EPADSC0296.swf, 585, 435[/swf]
For 90 minutes we flew over the mountain range. From the East side to the West we made orbits around both covering every angle of the plane we could out of the starboard side of our shooting platform. Back, Forward Up and Down the Super Corsair was constantly being moved in order to get as many useable images as we could. The flashes were firing away and the cards were filling up. This shoot mattered more than any other, there was no other chance to get it right it was this morning or nothing. After 90 minutes of flight time, both pilots hungry and tired we headed back to home base. We had our debrief on the ground, uploaded the cards and did the one thing that we all were anxious to do, look through the images.
The results speak for themselves.
My Thanks to all those that made this possible: the Epson marketing staff, special thanks to Dano Steinhardt, Larry Perkins, Kevin Crozier, Scott Foster and of course my Dad and Mom for making this happen.
In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D4, 70-200VRII, Fisheye 16mm f/2.8D Autofocus Lens, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film