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Aerial photos of a legendary Alaskan Bush plane, the Piper Super Cub, in a classic Alaskan setting.

Last week I was treated to an aerial photo shoot by two pilot friends. We flew across Kachemak Bay from our hometown of Homer to spend thirty minutes flying amongst the dramatic mountain peaks and ice fields making up the Kenai Mountain Range. I’m always shocked by the majestic beauty of this mountain range that is just a ten minute flight from my house.

The weather conditions were ideal allowing us to make the most of the few short hours of sunlight we get this time of year, and topping it off was the company of a rising moon.

Aerial and air-to-air photos are certainly some of my favorite images to make. Something about the challenges of the quickly changing subject matter, the feverish search for the next fleeting moment of divine composition, the cold wind in my face, the entirely different perspective, the technical challenges of making a good photograph in these conditions. . . this is the kind of landscape photography that an outdoor adventure photographer can appreciate.

Some technical details for those of you that are interested – all the shots in the slideshow above were taken with a Canon 1D mark II digital SLR using a Canon 70-200 2.8L IS zoom lens. I typically shoot in manual exposure mode, occasionally aperture priority to give me the fastest shutter speed possible with my chosen ISO speed and aperture. I usually have the aperture at its smallest number in an effort to get the fastest shutter I can without pushing the ISO up too high. This day we had bright sunshine and a white plane on snow, this allowed for comfortable shutter speeds at ISO 250 and even allowed me to keep a slightly smaller aperture (5.6-6.3) giving me a little better depth of field. Looking over the EXIF data for a few of the shots I see I was shooting between 1/1,250th of a second to 1/5,000th.