In an interesting twist to an otherwise hum-drum week, the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
asked to use my photo and to quote some praise I wrote them in January in an upcoming issue of AOPA Pilot
magazine. The praise was for flight planning product they offer free of charge to all members. Apparently it's going to be used in an "annual report" article of some kind. This came from deep in left-center field and was a pretty entertaining surprise. (The software
, which I am still very impressed with as a benefit of being an AOPA member, only works with a valid member ID, otherwise I would suggest that anyone who has an interest in this sort of thing should download it and give it spin.) AOPA dispatched a freelance photographer for a scheduled "shoot" on Saturday; they wanted a picture of me "at my home airport," which happens to be Midway. I'm-too-sexy-for-this-Cessna / too-sexy-for-this-Cessna
Now, this photographer was an interesting fellow and it turns out I should almost be ashamed of having such a vain indulgence sent my way when you consider some of the subject matter of his professional portfolio
. Marc's done some impressive work in Chicago's inner city, documenting the plight of its homeless as well as its uplifting, legendary neighborhood blues music scene. He and I met at the general aviation ramp at Midway; Marc drove a VW van and had a friendly black dog, a shepherd mix i think, with him. I momentarily wondered if we were heading toward an airport police confrontation of some sort ("you don't seem to be hearing me, Lieutenant -- I do not
work without the dog
"), but he left the pooch to mind the van and observe the steady jet traffic working runway 4L, just on the other side of a nearby fence.
Marc spent about 45 minutes with me as we took some shots in a cessna cockpit I had access to, as well some others near enough to the flight line so that you could see major airline traffic trundling about in the background with me trying to meekly justify my place in the frame. I can only imagine that the surrounding environment is WAY more interesting on film than whatever glib expressions I brought to the part. Nontheless, I can't wait to see the pictures; if any ever become my property I'll post a couple here. Assuming the article in question will be online, I'll plan to link to that, too.
Photo-geeks: I don't have the hard details, but for the shoot, Marc was using a Nikon digital body SLR that had some ridiculously professional megapixel resolution value: 12 or 16M, I can't recall exactly. He shot with wide angle and telephoto lens bodies; I think at least one of them was from a standard SLR.