Air to Air Photo Shoot of the CAF Dixie Wing Douglas SBD Dauntless


Last week accomplished warbird and wildlife photographer, Moose Peterson of WarbirdImages.com sent us a great video taken during a recent air to air photo shoot. While Moose was at Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisconsin last month, he had the opportunity to perfom this air to air shoot, of the CAF Dixie Wing’s Douglas SBD Dauntless. The wing’s SDB-5 Dauntless is just one of only two airworthy examples of the type left still flying in the world. Moose’s camera ship for the shoot was Mark Todd’s 1945 North American SNJ-6.

1945 North American SNJ-6 owned by Mark Todd who is both an air show pilot and a pilot for Southwest Airlines.
1945 North American SNJ-6 owned by Mark Todd who is both an air show pilot and a pilot for Southwest Airlines.

In light of Moose’s obvious expertise, we wanted to know more about his interest in photographing warbirds.

WN:
How and when did you get into photography?

Moose:
I’ve been making a living with my camera since 1981, and working in aviation photography for five years.

WN:
How and when did you get into warbird and aviation photography?

Moose:
Five years ago, I got my start at the Reno Air Races.

WN:
What would you say is the basic rule of warbird and aviation photography?

Moose:
Be situationally aware at all times, for your safety and for the photograph.

WN:
How do you prepare for an air to air photo shoot?

Moose:
I have a checklist on my iPad that covers all that’s needed before the flight, starting with the gear needed and batteries to charge, the photo flight brief and the photos I want bring back. Then there’s getting in the flight suit, harness, and triple checking the camera gear. Lastly, I talk with the pilots one last time to go over the shot list.

WN:
What are the basic rules of air to air shooting?

Moose:
Safety! The photos are secondary. When working with great pilots, which I’ve been so fortunate to have, it feels easy (though its not really) to accomplish the photo mission.

WN:
What’s your most memorable warbird photo shoot ever?

Moose:
Hands down, the #74 / #57 Super Corsair shoot I did with Bob and Casey Odegaard in December, 2011. They said at the time, “You’ll never see this again,” and sadly they were right.

Taken during Moose's most memorable photo shoot, Super Corsairs, Race #57, an F2G-1D, and Race #74, an F2G-2 fly over the Arizona desert.
Taken during Moose’s most memorable photo shoot, Super Corsairs, Race #57, an F2G-1D, and Race #74, an F2G-2, fly over the Arizona desert.

WN:
These were two amazing aircraft that hadn’t flown together since the Thompson Trophy Race in 1949. It must have been a great honor to be invited to shoot those famous warbirds for their historic reunion. So, what’s your favorite warbird?

Moose:
Hands down, it would be the #74 Super Corsair.

WN:
Of course.

We thank Moose for taking the time to speak to us. If you are interested in seeing some more of Peterson’s amazing warbird photography, be sure to check out www.WarbirdImages.com. He also has a great photography website, and has authored an E-Book, Taking Flight – Your Start into Aviation Photography which takes full advantage of the electronic format with tutorials, slideshows, sliders, links and videos, illustrating the most effective techniques for improving your warbird photography efforts, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, and given its electronic format, the “book” automatically updates, so you should never need to buy a later edition. Be sure to check it out!

LIFT FEB 2020

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