My mission (5 minute read)2 November 2018
"We need to have people up there who can communicate what it feels like, not just pilots and engineers."
Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two men to set foot on the moon, made this inspiring quote regarding his monumental role in the American space program.
How true and pure to describe the tranquility of flight in general that can only be seen from high above by a handful of privileged pilots.
No matter what cockpit; from a small Cessna or a Boeing 747, or even a lunar module (though that view and experience must have been a million times more inspiring and overwhelming), the stars, the earth and our very place in the universe is visible in its full glory. I doubt any aviator or astronaut with an eye for the serenity of the universe would question that.
But putting those views and emotions into words, or other transferable means, is quite difficult if not impossible.
Ever since I first flew as a passenger at the age of two-and-a-half, I was instantly captured by the incomprehensible calmness of observing the world from above. Believe it or not, but I still remember fragments of seeing Iceland, Greenland and later on Washington-by-night from my little seat. My small eyes glued to the window while my young mind attempted to absorb as many details and impressions it could handle. Even my mother can testify to that flight and the effect it has had on me since (not to talk of my big teddy-'polar'bear 'Benno' that had to go through the x-ray machine.. I have never felt such fear in my early years. Poor Benno. But he survived the x-ray and accompanied me all the way over the Atlantic and back).
These views and impressions planted a seed that grew into the roots and foundation of my life now.
Today, with the untamable yearning to fly being more than fulfilled, I find myself extremely fortunate to carry one of the best cameras (Nikon D850) along to capture and document the Earth from above and sharing that with the world. To immortalize the pure beauty of mother nature, the Earth and all of her natural wonders in their full glory.
Even though some of my colleagues say my photos are able to tell their families at home why they are so compelled to this demanding job, I still haven't been able to make 'the perfect photo' to convey our passion for this job. And I never will be.
Why? Because even the best camera equipment doesn't do justice to the complete experience when seeing the world from above. It is transcending all levels of emotions and creativity, let alone those of one individual person.
Moonlight reflected in lakes and oceans passing by in timeless motion, the poetic show of the graceful dance a bright show of Northern Lights, glowing meteorites in their final moments showing all the colors of the rainbow where you're the only and last witness of its existence, the mysterious flickering fires in the middle of the Sahara at night, the easy and relaxed silence with a nice colleague, or the tear-evoking jokes and stories before after you hear the intense human struggles this person had to overcome to reach this seat as well. The total experience of being 'up there' simply cannot be captured in one shot, not even close.
This frustrating fact wont stop me from taking photos though, and it wont stop me from sharing my visions and passions.
I will let every image tell its own story and with all of these pieces of the puzzle fitted together, one can get a glimpse of the total experience I have during my precious moments in the darkest blue firmaments above.
If I can give the world a slight glance at the hidden beauty that I see while skimming the edges of our planet's atmosphere, conveying these emotions and perspectives in words and images, Im sure it adds something positive to the turbulent society we see today.
We all live on this vulnerable Blue Marble, floating through the vastness of space. Lets unite in the beauty and grace of the universe that show how infinitely humble and small we are compared to the grand scheme of things.
And in the meanwhile, have a good laugh every now and then while you spend time with the people that matter to you most. Kick out those who try to take you down or drain your precious energy.
Make passionate love, kiss, forgive, be grateful, listen to music that fuels your soul, laugh, get carried away by art, look deep into your loved one's eyes.. the only other place where the depths of our universal experience can be found.
The world is a beautiful place, let's make it a nice experience for all of us and for the generations to come
The best moments in life are not seen with the eye, but felt by the heart.