thomasphoto60
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Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 8:49 am

In the wake yesterdays failed attempt to down an Akira 757 out of Mombassa via shoulder launched missiles, I am wondering if airport parameter security will get a whole lot tougher making photography all but impossible?

This is something that I have been fearing for sometime especially since 9/11. These weapons are certainly out there and relatively easy to conceal. I fear that yesterday's action in Kenya may mark the beginning of an end of our hobby. Certainly if it happens here or even in Europe our pastime will become just that....a thing of the past.

Food for thought....

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
Carlos Borda
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 9:29 am

I've been wondering about this one too these last couple days Thomas... it was always possible to do, but now that someone has actually went on and made an attempt on it I really think perimeter shooting might just become one notch harder to do then it already was before. The attempted downing of the Akira 757 will start to change the scheme of things in general here in the US I think. Especially with the holidays coming up and constant threats of Al Qada planning something big...

~Los
 
APP
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 9:32 am

To be honest Thomas, I'm surprised that this hasn't happened sooner. After September 11th I thought this would be the next step.
I know that in the US security has got tighter around perimeters, logic tells you that it is probably going to get tighter, but where will they draw the line? After all, I would imagine that if some one wanted to bring an airliner down on approach, they wouldn't need to be at the perimeter, they could be a couple of miles away, with a pretty comfortable getaway.
It's a quite worrying development. I don't know what the answer is to that, but Yes, I do expect things to become tougher for us all.
APP.
 
cicadajet
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 9:46 am

Yes, Thomas, I have been anticipating this problem since 911 as well.

Presuming the vile savages are not able to opt for something far worse.

These weapons have a good range if I am not mistaken, and given that photographers seem to fit into acceptable "profiles" for no good reason, you'll be able to write off far more than the immediate perimeter if there is a multiple or possibly even single successful strike.

From my personal experience, I do not see perimeter security as being very good at all. It surely looks like an open invitation -- for every kind of mayhem possible...... except photography....

of course planes have been fired at many times in many places... hopefully I am entirely mistaken. In any case, the hobby will sustain in the long term...but perhaps with ever more difficult adjustments and perhaps not for all of us.
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 10:13 am

Indeed, I do expect tighter security at most major airports not only in the US but Europe, Asia and Australia as well. LHR, CDG and others I am sure are very tempting targets for these pieces of trash.

I guess we will just have to test the waters over the next couple of months and pray that some airports like my beloved IAH do not go completely overboard.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
sunilgupta
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 10:38 am

I feared this as well; however, if you think about it, there is no reason for a subversive with a missile to be anywhere near the airport. In fact, if they were smart they would not be near the airport… it would just be easier for them to get caught.

We can only hope that the security people realize this and work on other means to minimize the threat.

Sunil
 
Alaskaairlines
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 10:46 am

Hope it doens't happen, sure would be a bummer, would have to go to GA photography then.

-Dmitry
 
bezoar
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 11:37 am

If airport authorities were REALLY smart, they would embrace photographers and hope that more of their kind would come around, especially those with whom they were already familiar. Aviation buffs provide extra eyes that are quite discerning, and their cameras could provide documentation if events go sour. Also, the presence of spotters would scare off those with evil intent. Of course, airport security will likely argue that terrorists will bring their cameras and look like innocent folks until they haul the missiles out of their trunk, and they can't go around searching every one who's out to spot. I would think they need only be concerned with folks that are off the end of the runway, however.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
 
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JeffM
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 12:25 pm

It hasn't changed for me here in Denver yet. Spent half the day on and around DIA, security just waved as the passed....

Jeff
 
tappan
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 12:46 pm

Y E S !!!
I have a 600mm lens with a 2x teleconverter and if I do not shave on the day I use this "missile looking" lens then I will be looked at as a terrorist. VERY sad!!
Mark Garfinkel
 
L-188
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 1:22 pm

They said on the news that missle have been shot at airliners 29 times in the past twenty years (Allegedly FBI source).

Most of the time it occurs in known war zones so it doesn't make the news.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Carlos Borda
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 1:29 pm

And how ironic now that more and more everyday since 9/11 it seems like we're living in a war zone around here... constant state of alerts and terrorism warnings everyday and threats of Al Qada planning big attacks that pale in comparison to what happened on 9/11.

~Los


L-188 writes:

>>Most of the time it occurs in known war zones so it doesn't make the news<<
 
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JeffM
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 1:41 pm

The first time it happens somewhere other then a third world country...Look Out!

Jeff
 
photopilot
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 2:43 pm

My how quickly we forget.

The American military shot down an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf a few years ago with a missle. It was all over the news at the time.

Oooops..... so sorry, we thought it was a threat. It didn't squawk the correct I.F.F. code or some such nonsense according to the Americans. It was an Airbus of some variant if my memory serves me correctly.

I guess we shall all see what happens in the future.

Steve

 
cicadajet
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 3:16 pm

nah..the American Navy accidently shooting down airliners won't effect the hobby anymore than The Soviets shooting down KAL 007 for violating their airspace.. different issue really.

Tom
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 3:19 pm

I agree Tom, these are very different events.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
aagold
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sat Nov 30, 2002 3:33 pm

This is a good topic for discussion as we have all felt the wrath of airport security and the police. Of course it varies from airport to airport and with each passing day, but it is threatening our hobby and certainly making it much more difficult for us to enjoy this hobby.

The most disturbing thing is that there is no way anyon can secure the safety of an airliner from a hand-held missile launch. I live about 12 miles from EWR in the approach for 22. Planes constantly pass overhead at less than 3,000 feet. Hand held missile launchers could be used from my backyard and be within acceptable range, and there is no way you can defend against that. We can only hope that their inherrent rather short range and inaccuracies make them miss as they did in Kenya. I've often thought that we, inoccents enjoying a hobby, distract the security and police from their real jobs because they are summoned when we are spotted by others to check us out. But the truth of the matter is, from what I gather from the recent news articles someone can park a car and within a matter of two or three minutes shoot at an approaching aircraft. I know from my experiences at EWR that it takes much longer than that for a police crusier to come and check us out. And, until they do something serious, like inspect every car entering an airport parking lot, there will never be any sense of true safety.

Reminds me of last summer when I worked a week at a government facility outside of Baltimore. Security officers stopped you at the gate and asked who you were there to visit. Mind you this was a building with several thousand governement employees. But they had no way of even validating that the name you gave them was a person at that facility. They inspected the car hood to boot. You had to pop the hood and let them look at the engine and open the trunk for them to see inside. They used a mirror to look at the undercarriage of the car. The procedures certainly give you the sense of security, but on the last day I had to laugh. I'd check out of my hotel and had my suitcase in the trunk. They asked me to get out of the car and open the suitcase for them to look inside. I unzipped it and opened the top lid. It was full of clothes and they just looked at it and said OK. I could have had a hundred pounds of some plastic explosive under a top layer of clothes and they would have never known. So, in reality, what good was all the extra secutiry? Not much at all.

The truth is that our society is open and based on freedom and personal rights. We have every right to expect to live our lives as we did before 9/11, but we can't forget the terrible calamity that day brought into our lives. It will, unfortunately, never be the same in our lifetime, but we have to continue to strive for our freedom and rights. I, for one, would love to come to some agreement with airport and homeland security that would allow us to enjoy our hobby and not distract those who have more important things to do. Perhaps designated areas and checkins with local authorities could be arranged, or even background security checks. But, the fact remains that there is nothing we will ever be able to do to guarantee 100% that an attack won't happen on our ground. It's unfortunate, but it's the world we live in today.

Art
 
2912n
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 12:59 am

Believe it or not "real" security has been aware of the threat of shoudler launched missiles for quite some time. On the positive side, it is more difficult to get these things into the U.S./UK etc than it is in Africa. (Not saying it is not possible, just tougher to do.)

I don't think we will be forced away from taking photos, but we may need to be prepared to explain ourselves a bit more, and in a mature manner, as opposed to some who have posted previously about "forcing them to arrest me" etc... Understand that if the police do contact you they have a duty to check things out. I would hope that every cop on a contact would be professional in attitude and in the way he/she conducts business, but I know that does not always happen. Or sometimes it is not percieved as being "the right thing to do." (ie...the "why are the questioning ME!!! I am not a terrorist.".....The only way to find out if you are something is to talk to you.)

I wish that many of the people here (the mature ones) could actually go with security (real police/customs/imigration/etc....not rent a cops) and see through their eyes ehat goes on. AAGOLD comments about the security not looking through the bags in the trunk. Is it a waste of time? Perhaps...But looking in the bag is only a part of the excercise....Watching a person as that bag is opened is sometimes much more informative than what is in the bag. You were perhaps annoyed or embarrassed or frustrated or maybe just bored. What would your reactions have been had there been C-4 in the bag?

Security forces do not have all the answers. They know that airliners can be brought down miles from the airport, bui the threat areas need to be researched. Joe Blow the terrorist may be able to only just use his missile. So the easiest place for him to use it is at the perimeter. So that threat is there. But the impact would be much greater if he could take it down over an area where more damage would be done. (The approach to my airport is almost all over residential areas and businesses...) It makes you think.

As photographers and aviation buffs we need to use common sense. As citizens we need to ensure that our governments use common sense.

On that note, I hope I made sense. Cheers. Tony
 
JBLUA320
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:26 am

Maybe I will fly jetBlue out to Denver, so I can photograph there. Newark is a mess.. JFK is alright, but the Halmar building can be a toughie sometimes.

*Cry* I HATE THE TRI STATE AREA!!!!!

Jeff- Im moving in with you!!  Smile

JK.. But seriously... I agree about the whole embracing of aviation photographers. A terrorist could easily imitate an enthusiast, just as easily as they could turn themselves into airline security and get inside airport perimeters.

Dont forget, they would be one funny looking aviation photographer if they had a bazooka launcher on their shoulder.

It comes down to common sense. Sadly, not enough people have it and we, the spotters, have to take the load.

So be it, so goes life.

JBLU
 
vir380
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:30 am

This situation does now present a very clear potential problem , in that all of us on this site could well be mistaken for "terrorists" or whatever..... ya see we all are guilty of trying our damnedest to get the "ideal spot " for that image !.. for example my local airport has a walk way which runs the entire length of a runway and not forgetting a viewing park which is not security screened , im pretty sure every airport in the world has an ideal spot for this type of threat !
What is going to happen now ? ... the way i see it going will kill our hobby full stop as there will a " no walk zone" of say 500 yards or more of any airport runway / approach / dept route .

I suppose i may be very selfish in my thoughts but it is going to ruin my hobby !

I do however understand totally the problem being faced...... It just boiles down to this : How can the security service of an airport or even the military for that matter police the whole perimeter of every airport ?

the simple answer is they cant ! ..


any more thoughts ?


thanks Tony







Moved away from this lost website to better things !
 
Skymonster
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:32 am

A few years ago, some group or other (can't remember which) launched a mortar bomb attack on terminal 4 at LHR, from a field very very close to one of the regular photographer's locations close to the end of runway 27L - the police even found the abandoned launcher in the next field to the one the photographers frequented.

Yes, the area was shut off for a few days and things were touchy, but it all returned to normal fairly quickly and it didn't really affect photography at other UK airports.

Mind you of course, we in the UK haven't gotten quite so hot-headed about this security stuff as the US has Big grin

Andy
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
CcrlR
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:36 am

I've been perdicting this would happen. I thought they would use a machine gun or something besides a missle to shoot it down. I still want to go spot and I still will with some more people. Sometimes people can be so suspicious and paranoid but others are used to it and don't care like at Midway. The police can still stop us and question us but I think this hobby will never end. the love for this is too strong with some people but it will stay.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
 
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Bruce
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 8:47 am

Can you believe that the Iraqis have shot at our planes patroling the no fly zone hundreds of times over the years since the gulf War. and each time they miss.

Hmmmm.........a really bad shot if you ask me! They can't hit anything!


bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
2912n
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 9:52 am

"Mind you of course, we in the UK haven't gotten quite so hot-headed about this security stuff as the US has "

I think this is because the UK has lived with the threat of terrorists for many years. The attack on LHR with mortars was the work of the IRA, and even though they planted bombs in all sorts of places the British public learned to live with the threat and the security it brought with it. (Police searching hand bags as people went into Harrods? Even of little old ladies....The IRA could be inventive when it came to couriers...) In the US we have not had to deal with something like this until 9-11. It will take time for us to figure out how to do security properly and for the public to accept it. (Of course learning from the Brits or Israelies would make too mcuh sense. It is fun to reinvent the wheel! arrghh)

How can the security service of an airport or even the military for that matter police the whole perimeter of every airport ?

the simple answer is they cant ! .. "

Spot on. No security, even in a totalitarian state, can provide absolute security. So you have to use common sense. Providing a designated spotting area where the public can be watched and controlled is one idea. But that can be limiting to us photographers. (I LIKE standing on top of the Queens Building and shooting arrivals....right into the sun. Musta been set up by a woman.  Smile )

As spotters, photographers, anoraks, it is incumbant upon us to promote our hobby and at the same time pay attention to security concerns. I hate the idea of spying on one another, but if I feel suspicious about the guy with the Stinger instead of a Sigma I will call someone.

Tony

"

 
joe pries
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 11:35 am

see the new topic i just started on arkia. not a good day

Joe
 
nonrevman
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:39 pm

This topic was my first thought upon hearing the news from Kenya. Here are the conclusions I made:

(1) The situation is going to vary from airport to airport. You will have a broad range of responses to aviation photography. In cases where there are established spotting areas, photography should continue unimpeded. The unfriendly areas will remain difficult as they have been for some time. I dont see every airport chasing off plane spotters.

(2) In airports where there is not a designated or accepted spotting area, but photography has been tolerated, you will likely have more visits from law enforcement and security. The result of the visit will depend on the person who approaches you. Hopefully, they will see how harmless a camera is, acknowledge this, and let you go on spotting and taking pictures. Likely, some phone calls will be made by people who wondering why you are lingering close to the runway. The more numerous the calls are, the less likely you will be allowed to remain in the area. If the calls are sparse, then it probably will not have a negative effect unless the police/security is on a power trip. Time will tell on this matter.

(3) A good point has been made about spotters actually being discouraging to a terrorist. If I am taking pictures and see someone suspicious with a weapon, I will call the police. However, I cannot do this if I am not allowed in the zone to see it. Plane spotters could actually be a great asset in preventing acts of terrorism. Perhaps this point should be mentioned to security and law enforcement.

(4) Even if paranoia takes over and all public land around the airport becomes off limits to spotters, there are many areas that are right in the approach path where it will not be easy to hinder an attack. Let's use SAN (San Diego) as an example. Even if they chase everyone away from the perimeter fence, all one has to do is rent a place right in the approach path. The planes come in very low. As a plane descends from the east, it basically comes down a hill that is full of private residences. You could stand on this hill and be just as close to a plane as you would be in Founder's Plaza in DFW. If I was the bad guy, I could take a shot at an airplane ON MY OWN PROPERTY. Likely, there are airports all over where there are private residences in the approach path. This would especially be true in urban airports like SAN, BOS, DCA, LGA, etc. How are you going to stop someone from trying this in their back yard?

Any intelligent person should see that a camera is no threat to a plane. So let's hope that there are a lot of intelligent people out there.
 
Carlos Borda
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:52 pm

As of this weekend the FLL view park lot is now closed indefinitely. For many years FLL lot was a well established "legit" spotting area, even providing ATC chatter in the parking lot for the spotters... things are not looking to rosey down in SoFlo now.

~Los

Nonrevman writes:

>> In cases where there are established spotting areas, photography should continue unimpeded.<<
 
nonrevman
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 1:59 pm

Carlos Borda,

That is a shame indeed. It is worse than I thought  Sad When DFW Founder's Plaza closes, you will know that the end is near.
 
jhooper
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:04 pm

Airports asked to review missile attack measures
From Kathleen Koch
CNN
Saturday, November 30, 2002 Posted: 3:50 PM EST (2050 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After Thursday's attempted missile attack on a passenger plane in Kenya, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration asked officials at U.S. airports to review measures to protect against similar attacks.

TSA spokesman Robert Johnson told CNN Saturday that the TSA notification went to all federal security directors (TSA employees who direct security at airports), who were then to notify security at individual airports.

Despite news reports to the contrary, Johnson said the federal government did not take any additional steps to counter the threat of portable missiles as a result of Thursday's attack in Mombasa.

Unknown attackers launched two shoulder-fired missiles at an Israeli charter flight as the Boeing 757 was taking off from Mombasa airport. The missiles missed their target and authorities later found two launchers and two unused missiles near the runway.

As CNN has previously reported, U.S. security officials met with airline executives earlier this month in Washington to discuss the possibility of shoulder-fired missiles being used against U.S. commercial airliners. It was one topic among many discussed at that meeting.

The FBI and the TSA first warned U.S. airlines and local law enforcement in May that such an attack could happen. The warning came after an apparent attempt by al Qaeda to shoot down a U.S. military plane in Saudi Arabia with such a weapon.

The TSA alert in May said, "there is no information indicating that al Qaeda is planning to use MANPADS [shoulder-fired missiles] against commercial aircraft," but it added, "the threat cannot be discounted."

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
jwenting
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Sun Dec 01, 2002 10:21 pm

As stated there is no viable defense against shoulder launched missiles except to fit every airliner with IR suppressing nozzles on the engines and IR countermeasures (flares, etc.).
Anything more would require clearing an area about 10nm wide around any possible approach path where the aircraft are below 10000ft and closing that area to all people except airport security staff.
For smaller countries that might mean abandoning the entire country (take island airports for example, on a small island the cleared zone would be larger than the island itself).
I wish I were flying
 
Guest

RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Mon Dec 02, 2002 3:18 am

So let's hope that there are a lot of intelligent people out there.

For the past 3 years I've been working for the airlines and at airports. I can assure you, there isn't.
 
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Bruce
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Ted Stevens Airport

Mon Dec 02, 2002 3:54 am

At the Ted Stevens Airport in ANC, they actually ENCOURAGE spotters! I was looking at their website and they nearly roll out the welcome mat for spotters.

Not that anyone would want to visit Alaska in winter!!!!!!!!!!! Although I'll bet late June and July would be awesome....


bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
donder10
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Mon Dec 02, 2002 5:07 am

Perhaps even more reason to create a worldwide photography association?
 
Alaskaairlines
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Mon Dec 02, 2002 6:17 am

Bruce, that is 100% true! I think it will stay like that always at airport with beautiful scenery, at least I hope so. Actually you can do nice shooting in the winter, right now we have no snow, it was 55 degrees last week and now theres not a cloud in the sky. I am very surprised with what the weather is doing, they wrote in the paper the last time it was 55 in Nov. was back in 1937.

So I am coming to a conclusion that we are drifting some place towards Hawaii, so look for nicer photos soon, nice snowy mountains with tropical waters.  Big grin

-Dmitry
 
jhooper
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Mon Dec 02, 2002 6:18 am

Well I'm heading out to IAH's spotting area right now, and it better not be closed!
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
TomH
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Mon Dec 02, 2002 6:59 am

For those who feel some sort of photographer's organization is in order I have a couple of questions. Who is going to pay for the background checks? Who is going to police the organization internally so that some level of discretion is practiced by the members? Not easy to do, fellas.

TomH
 
jhooper
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RE: Has Aviation Photography Just Gotten Tougher?

Tue Dec 03, 2002 12:44 pm

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.

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