Aerial Photography

Means to an End
With all the traveling I’ve done since my very first flight to Sweden in 1966 from Los Angeles to Göteborg, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to assume that I love flying. Truth is, I really don’t. I don’t hate flying, but the only time I feel totally relaxed during a long-haul fight is when I’ve been provided with the rare opportunity to sit in business class.

For some insane reason, I just feel safer flying in that part of the cabin than in “monkey class”. Hm. Maybe “safer” is the wrong word. It’s more like I’m reasoning along the lines of, if life as I know is about to end, I just prefer sitting comfortably with a few cocktails in me when it’s time to go.

The big picture above was taken by a pilot friend named Peter. I don’t remember if it was before or after one of our many flights over southern Sweden where I was so preoccupied with photographing from the claustrophobically tiny cockpit, that I totally forgot how little I enjoy flying.

I don’t remember ever feeling freaked out when flying in the Diamond Star (pictured behind me) out of Sturup or in any of the Cessnas or beat-up bush planes I’ve had the dubious privilege of flying in during trips to Africa and South East Asia.

When it comes to being couped up in those smaller aircraft, I suppose I’ve always been so focused on filling my memory cards with new photographs and footage that I totally ignored any aerophobia-induced anxiety that might have been lurking in the shadows of my mind at the time. Yeah, it’s the classic idiom that as long as there’s a means to an end, the potentially dangerous distraction will triumph over the angst.