Vantage Point: The aviation photography of Jon Pece
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Vantage Point: The aviation photography of Jon Pece

Ted's Fini Flight. An important military flying tradition is the “Fini Flight” - a pilot’s last military flight before retiring. In this case my friend Ted, on the right, is preflighting his aircraft during his fini flight. After the flight, the pilot is traditionally drenched with ice water and and sprayed down with fire extinguishers. Nikon D800, 24-70mm. Photo and caption by Jon Pece

As a military and civilian pilot you have a lot of access that many other photographers are not privy to. Any tips for gaining access to these kinds of shots? Do you have any advice for photographers looking to start with aviation and flight photography?

There is certainly a spectrum of options available depending on one's dedication to this endeavor. Aviation museums are fun places to shoot. One of my favorites is the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio, which has an outstanding inventory of interesting subject matter both indoor and outdoor. Some airports have great spots from which to photograph aircraft.

At LaGuardia in NY, the 'Landing Lights Park' is very close to the end of Runway 4 - just be sure they are using that runway before you make the trip. Bring a wide lens for some fun belly shots, as well as hearing protection. I was in Frankfurt Germany a few years ago and found an excellent spot just on the east side of the field packed full of photographers - that spot afforded a decent view of landing aircraft into a sunset.