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

Rampager Flight. F-18 Hornets, Rampager Flight with the lead proudly showing off his speed brake painted with the US flag. D800, 24-70mm. Photo and caption by Jon Pece

First, can you lead me through your history as a pilot? When did you first start working with photography and when did you start shooting from the air?

I became hooked on flying after my first flight - a ride on a DC-8 as a 5 year old - which was at the time the most amazing thing I had ever experienced. After that, I begged my parents and aunts for trips to the Tampa Airport so I could photograph the cool airliners of the 70's like the 707s, 727s, L-1011s with my Kodak Instamatic Camera. Thus began my passion for photography and flying.

During high school, my focus was to get the grades and participate in the extra-curriculars necessary to get into the Air Force Academy since this seemed the best way to receive an education and become a pilot. Through high school I continued my pursuit of photography on yearbook staff, spending hours in the black and white darkroom and rolling my own Tri-X film.