Friday, December 11, 2009

New Work: The Birdman

Russ Defusco for Discovery Channel Magazine (out of Singapore).

Since the Hudson River plane crash Russ said the phone has been ringing
off the hook. It may seem like big news now but Russ has researched this problem for over 23 years.

I spent time with Russ and his wife Debbie in Salina, Kansas back in August.
Russ is the leading expert on Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH).
They specialize in flight safety for civil and military aircraft.
We shot on location at the 184th Intelligence Wing of the
Kansas National Guards Smoky Hill ANG Range - the largest and busiest bombing range in the nation.
The schedule was pretty tight since Russ normally schedules the briefings, aerial surveys and training over a course of a few days this would take place all in one day.

We managed to pull off five different portrait lighting setups and shoot the two briefings. Unfortunately they only ran one image of the 2nd briefing and none of the lit portraits. I 'm not complaining I guess it was hard to compete with all of Russ's crashed aircraft merging with wildlife images. I had a great time and this goes up there as one of my top ten favorite editorial assignments. I learned so much about aviation and what happens when a bird strike happens the safety precautions, migration patterns, costs and lives. I could go on and on.

Thanks to Russ for his time and talent and a special thanks to the 184th Intelligence Wing at the Smoky Hill ANG Range. And a big thanks to Chief and Rip for carting around my gear and helping out with the logistics.

Below are some of my favorites along with a group shot.