The trip to photograph Eric’s Clipper that I described here included a bonus (as if the flight wasn’t bonus enough). Eric had talked to another Clipper owner, Scott, and he had brought his plane across to Sonoma. Scott is not a formation pilot but Eric landed after the shoot with his plane and jumped in to Scott’s plane with Scott in the second seat. We orbited overhead until they joined up and then we got a bunch of additional shots.
Since it was a bit later in the day, the light had got a bit better. The colors of Scott’s plane were particularly receptive to the evening light and, while it was a totally stock aircraft and therefore not possible to get too vertical with (see the roof mods in Eric’s plane in the other post), we could still get some great shots. Thanks Dave and Eric (and Scott for bringing your plane).
Eric Presten is a guy who spends his career photographing other people’s aircraft. He is not so often the subject of the photo. Dave Leininger was writing an article on Piper Clippers and wanted some shots of Eric’ aircraft to illustrate the piece along with some details of the modifications it has and how Eric uses it. I was up at Sonoma Skypark on the day that Dave was visiting and he kindly allowed me along on the photo flight. A Bonanza was the camera ship so I took the second spot shooting over Dave while he was seated on the floor.
Dave had a publication date for his feature so I embargoed these shots until his piece had gone live which it now has. It was late in the afternoon so the light was getting pretty good. The Clipper is a cool little plane and Eric is used to formation work so makes a great pilot for bringing the plane in close. In addition, his plane has a roof that is modified to include a transparency which means he has good visibility upwards. This makes some shots looking down on the plane possible since he can maintain visibility of the camera ship safely while below us.
Shooting air to air is so much fun. It is impossible to avoid stopping shooting every once in a while and just looking outside to see the other plane so close to you. Of course, you are there for a reason so don’t spend too much time staring out of the door. However, never lose the enjoyment of doing something cool.