Frequently asked questions
Answers to the most commonly questions I get asked
Did you study photography?
I am completely self-taught and just follow my intuition and creativity when it comes to photography.
When I was young I experimented a bit with my fathers Minolta X-700 but I only started to become interested in photography after I aquired my first job as a pilot.
Capturing the scenes and unique views from 'up there' have been the biggest motivation to create my own style over the course of the last 15 years.
How can I become a 747 pilot?
There is no definite or easy answer to that question, since there are innumerable ways to become a pilot. Becoming a pilot these days involves high costs and no guarantees. Depending on the country you live in, you can try to join the Air Force or try your luck with a commercial pilot training, but those are costly and there is not always the chance of finding a job after you finish the flight training.
If you specifically want to fly the Boeing 747, you'll have to have a lot of flying hours before applying at an airline that operates 747's.
Most importantly though, its the long and difficult road towards that cockpit that you'll have to like and enjoy, not just the dream of flying a specific airplane.
What camera do you use?
The camera gear I use
- Nikon D850
- Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye
- Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8
- Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
- Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII
- Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6
- Nikon D800 / D200 / D80
- Tamron 17-55mm f/2.8
- Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6
- Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3
Shouldn't you be concentrating on flying, instead of taking pictures?
Don't worry, I only take pictures when it is absolutely safe and the workload is low. During long flights the autopilot is flying the airplane and we are always with at least two pilots in the cockpit. If time allows, I can easiliy take one or two photos without compromising my work as a pilot.
Another benefit of long-range flights is that we often fly with a so called 'heavy' crew, where one or two extra pilots are on board so everybody gets some rest time during the flight. During my rest period Im often able to take a few photos and sometimes Im just sitting on the jumpseat during landing and takeoff while the others are concentrating on flying the airplane.
How do you get your long exposure images so sharp from an aeroplane?
It took me nearly 10 years of practice, failures, experimenting and even more failures to master the techniques that I use today, and Im learning still.
First of all, you'll need a high-end digital camera with a sensor that can handle high light-sensitivity. Next, you'll need a wide-angle lens that is capable of large apertures to capture all the light it can possibly get.
Even though the 747 is flying with speeds around 940km/h ~ 500kts, deep space objects like the stars are so incredibly far away that the movement of the airplane is still negligible compared with those distant light sources. Lights on the ground are a different story though and they will often show as long stripes/lines with long exposures.
The windows in the cockpit are much bigger and of much better quality compared with those in the cabin, so I can easily place the camera next to the window and just hope the airplane doesn’t turn or shake during the exposure.
You can read more about the process in this blog.
I want to have your photos as a print!
Stay tuned, there will be an option to buy a selection of images as high-quality prints in the near future.
For commercial and/or editorial inquiries please do not hesitate to contact me through the 'contact me' form.
Oh, but can you just send me the high-resolution files so I can print them myself?
Sorry, the high-resolution files are not available.
Can I fly with you as a passenger? I'll be really quiet!
Unfortunately we are not allowed to carry passengers with us on freighters.
Are you going to publish a new book soon?
Stay tuned, lots of interesting things going to happen in the near future!
Visit my webshop
A small selection of my images is available as an Open Edition Print. Order the 2019 calendar or my award-winning and bestseller coffee table book Cargopilot.