Jim Sugar

My earliest childhood memories recall a mixture of airplanes and photography.  When I was 4 years old, my dad took me to the local hobby shop to buy a Jim Walker balsa-construction, rubber band-powered airplane.

That incredibly cool flying machine set him back 25 cents.

About the same time, my dad owned a black plastic Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera.  A mysterious lever on the top of the camera allowed the user to shoot “time-exposures.”

I was hooked.  Airplanes and photography became forever intertwined in my consciousness.  You couldn’t have one without the other.

Guess what?  The toys are fancier and more complex, but the process goes on.  In Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Outliers, he proposed that 10,000 hours is the minimum amount of time someone must spend to master a subject.  While I may, or may not, be any good at either aviation or photography, I have paid the price in terms of hours spent learning each craft.

And the process continues.  On the ground and in the air, moving or stationary, stills or video, things that fly and the people who fly them demand to be photographed.  I’ll probably go to my grave with one hand on an airplane part and the other holding a camera.

But I would not do it any other way.

www.jimsugar.com

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Mojave, California--Jim Sugar sits in the cockpit door of Space Ship One rocket ship during a Virtual Reality shoot of the aircraft interior for National Geographic's web site. Aviation engineer Burt Rutan designed the airplane.  Just a flew months earlier, Rutan designed the two airplanes--the White Knight & SpaceShipOne--which won the $10 million X-Prize.