Welcome to the 2017 spring photo call at NAF El Centro. Twice a year the PAO Kris Haugh and the men and women of NAF El Centro invite photographers to a photo call of naval air operation. This opportunity allows photographers to capture images of flight ops up close and personal. Several aviation photography groups are invited to these photo calls and ISAP members had been invited to this annual photocall.
We’ve all had opportunities over the years to capture great images at air shows around the country, but being part of an event like the NAS El Centro/ISAP Photo Call is a whole other animal entirely. Your first clue is that even though you are all geared up with foam ear plugs and noise attenuating headsets when your subjects roar by you, it’s barely enough. The thunder from a F/18’s twin afterburners hits you in the chest like a drop kick as the aircraft scream by your lens and rocket into the sky. The sounds, the heat, the speed, the adrenaline, no, this is not just another air show. The photographers who attend this event and ISAP events like it are handpicked for their professionalism, their discipline, their experience in and around the exhilarating, but dangerous close in Flightline.
When it’s all said and done, and the thank you’s have been said, the photographers who had this opportunity will be flying home with some of the most incredible images they have ever captured, and with this group, that’s saying something. Events like this aren’t all about the noise and speed though, it might surprise you, but the opportunity to fellowship with people from all over the world who are dedicated to the same craft is probably the biggest draw. Early morning breakfast gatherings where participants brainstorm locations, lighting, and the gear they plan to use, tailgate lunches, group dinners where everyone is sharing the big ones that did not get away, that’s what makes an ISAP event like this so special.
On behalf of ISAP membership I would like to send our sincere thanks to The Blue Angels Demonstration team, the men and women sailors of NAF El Centro, The pilots, and flight crews.. may our images shows off your hard work and dedication to keeping America strong. And to NAFEC PAO Kris Haugh and his staff in accommodating the photographers attending this photo call and giving us all the experience of capturing naval air power in action.
Chandler Feagin • Debra Hale • Denis Rouleau • Ed Faith • Jeff Krueger • Craig Swancy • Stefan Seville • Jim Wilson
You can view additional images from this photo call in the April 2017 issue of ISnAP