At least a dozen times, I've closed in on a camera plane under the direction of world-renowned aviation photographer Paul Bowen
. Among more than 1,000 covers he's shot for magazines, there are dozens and dozens of his photos that have graced Business & Commercial Aviation. B&CA presented Bowen one of its 2009 Vision Awards in recognition of his more than three decades of exceptional aviation photography. He also was a runner up for an Aviation Week Laureate Award in 2009.
Photo Credit: Dave "Razor" Ryan, now Med Impact's director of flight ops, here in San Diego
Bowen has taken his stock photos of airplanes and leveraged them into coffee table books, greeting cards, calendars and calendars. He continues his profession into his early sixties with no sign of letting up. He's truly an "amateur" in that he does this for the love of it, but he's also a consummate professional because of the quality of his craft.
Now, he's expanding his business to include custom photo shoots for individual aircraft operators, a side line he calls "Air to Air Adventures". Naturally, he insists that his clients' pilots be certified for close formation flying to assure safety and to achieve the best possible photos.
Paul's special talent is anticipating changing colors in morning and evening skies for spectacular backgrounds. The photos he took of me flying Bob Pond's P180 Avanti over Lake Powell at sunset during thunderstorm season several years ago were stunning examples of his mastery of ambient light conditions. He also took some of my flying a TBM700 over Long Beach at and used fill flash to bring out the aircraft against a brilliant orange background.
Aside from all his professional talents, Paul and Gail Bowen are two of the most congeniable friends I have. These are two of the nicest people you'll meet in the aviation community, a group known for some really great personalities.
So, join me please on saluting Paul Bowen for earning the Lifetime Achievement Award from ISAP. Let's hope that he continues to work for years to come. He's tops in this field.