Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I took a different approach for my final. I've always been interested in documentary/photojournalism and decided that is how I wanted to shoot for my final project. I imagined that I was shooting for a newspaper. As commanded by Prof. Slade, if we had access to something cool, photograph it. And that is exactly what I did.

I've been attending air shows for as long as I can remember. My family would go mainly because my dad and my war veteren Great-Grandpa were obsessed with planes. I also have become slightly obsessed with them, too. My Great-Grandpa passed away two years ago, and every time I attend an air show, it is mostly in memory of him. That is my reason for going. The last two air shows were different - I wanted to know why other people were there. What brings so many people to these air shows? My reasoning has always been personal, but what about others? Is it because of family connections, obsession of planes, or pure patriotism? I was surprised to find many different stories at these air shows. It is amazing what stories you can find if you take the time to look around you.

Introducing the all mighty Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds will show up many times in this project because they were simply my Great-Grandpa's favorite planes to watch. I bet he got the best seat in heaven to watch these shows. One of the most fun tasks for me was to figure out how to make a plane look good while in the air. A lot of my pictures looked like the planes were toys floating space, but I finally figured out how to make them look like they were in action.

Spend a minute to take in the size of this plane. This is a hanger plane, meaning that it's sole purpose is to transport cargo. It is absolutely enormous. Also, this is one of the planes that my Great-Grandpa flew during his time in WWII. I was lucky enough to meet one of the current pilots of these beautiful cargo planes. We spent awhile talking about the plane and what got him started in flying. I found out his grandfather also was a pilot, which sparked his interest. How very interesting, indeed.

Just one of the many breath-taking maneuvers that the Thunderbirds can perform. Can you imagine the skill and preciseness the pilots need to complete this without hitting into each other? I cannot imagine the thrill these pilots experience. 

I met this young man while I was searching for some pilots to snap pictures of. He said that my camera was pretty cool and said that with my lens, I would be able to zoom in on the top of this building to see some snipers that were hiding out. I did, and sure enough - there were about five snipers up there. It didn't last long, because I didn't want to get sniped myself. I found out this young man, named Nick, has dreams of becoming a Thunderbirds pilot. He wants to attend the aviary program at UVU once he gets back from his mission. 

One of the best things during air shows are the parade of pilots. I was humbled to see how much respect and regard that the crowd held for these individuals. Some of the most enthusiastic crowd members were the youngest. Made my heart proud.

During air shows, many tributes are made to those who have lost their lives by serving our country. It is always touching to see the various reactions in the crowd. This particular man had been wiping tears for a good minute before I snapped this picture. It was obviously a very personal moment for him, and I can almost feel his pain by looking at this picture. 

Another show I attended featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, which are very similar to the Thunderbirds, but different enough that it is worth it to see both shows. I met this young man while he was walking around with his Boy Scout troop selling program guides. I stopped him for a bit and asked him if he had seen his favorite plane yet. He said no, but he really loved everything so far. I asked him what his favorite plane was, and he immediately said, "Blue Angels!" He pointed to their picture on the program guide and wouldn't stop talking about them. Luckily enough, I was able to capture the same Blue Angels plane formation shown on the cover later that day.