I find it ironic that there is little more than a simple latch that holds the Cessna’s door shut, as our plane begins to gain speed on the runway. Racing down the strip of pavement, the far to cramped cockpit begins to shake violently. I watch as the dunes and live oaks at the end of the air strip grow close. Just as it seems as though we were going to plow into these obstacles, the earth falls out from under our feet and that inevitable sinking feeling rushes over me. I watch as Hatteras Island is quickly reduced to a miniature model below me and the ocean blue engulfs the horizon. Swinging south out over the ocean we begin our journey to Cape Lookout National Seashore.
For me, aerial photography is a lesson in seeing. Planet Earth takes on a completely new and abstract appearance from the air and we are forced to cast off the shackles of our gravity induced view of the world. From the air, the landscape is always grand.
This image is one I made of the dune fields on Portsmouth Island on the north end of Cape Lookout National Seashore from around 700 feet up. This was taken from me pretty much hanging out the window of the plane. The speed of the Cessna in the air keeps the window open and with some will piloted 90 degree banks we circled around as I worked to pull together a pleasing composition at nearly 100 mph.