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“AirCraft: The Jet as Art” At the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

Aircraft hanging from the cavernous hall seem ready to fly through the glass windows enclosing the exhibit. At the end of a hall in an exhibit area hang large photos of jet airplanes whose size give the appearance of being able to flying out of the picture. The National Air and Space Museum is awe inspiring and is a fitting venue for an exhibit of such a grand scale.

AirCraft : The Jet as Art is a photographic typology of jet aircraft as they are landing. Most photos taken from the vantage point of passing overhead. The most impressive photos are taken head on as if we where standing at the end of the runway and the plane was about to land on top of us.

The scale and detail of these photos are what initially impressed me. Against a white background the planes seem to jump out of the frame. The photographer Jeffrey Milstein photographed most of the aircraft near runway 24R at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Milstein’s challenge while taking these photos was to get the perfect lighting and position of the aircraft. Much research and patience was required for the capturing of these wonderful photos. To plan ahead for the picture Milstein would listen on his iPhone using an App that relays air traffic controls communications.

Milstein’s fascination with aircraft was fostered by growing up close to LAX. From his backyard he was able to build an inexpensive telescope to identify the aircraft. Later as a teenager he filmed aircraft with an 8mm movie camera at the Santa Monica AIrport. Eventually his interest in aviation grew and he obtained is private pilot certificate at the young age of 17.

The collection of 33 photographs depicts the beauty and incredible power of these large engineering wonders as they gracefully fly through the air. The exhibit is on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum until November 25, 2012. If you can’t make it to the exhibit there is a wonderful coffee table book which I highly recommend.

For More Information:

Smithsonian Air And Space Museum Exhibit

Jeffrey Milstein Photographer

Order the Book AirCraft: The Jet as Art


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