The art of flight

I had the privilege of flying yesterday morning over the city I currently live in, Santa Barbara. And this has been possible thanks to my good friend Julien Lecomte, who just had his license.

After a night of bad sleep, I got up at 6 AM, packed my photo gear and drove to the Santa Barbara airport, where he was waiting for me. After sneaking in the airport (you just open a small door with a card and you are in. I wish you could do that at LAX too!), we prepared the airplane (especially me), filled it with fuel and took off. By the way, don’t go to refill you car at the airport, it’s more expensive…

It was an amazing experience that everybody should try at least once in their life. Plus, I always wanted to be a pilot since I was a kid, and even if I wasn’t driving it was amazing just to be there. I was more worried the night before, but I guess it was only excitement. On the plane I felt like it was natural to be there. I’m thinking to get my own license right now…

Anyway! Too many words… This is the story in pictures. Better than words… But not even close to what is “flying”.

The Cessna that we flew onCessna HelixJulien preparing the CessnaCessna under the wingyes, gopro. Julien probably had crazy tricks and turns in mind. I’m glad that he didn’t do any!Setting up the GoproFuelingJulien fuelingFueling the second thank, rear shotFueling the second thankMy seatJulien drivingCommandsSanta Barbara right after take offCiao mamma shotMe and Julien chillingCool commandsSanta Barbara's mountainsI like photograph where there’s a big sense of composition, order, geometry. I like it when it is very graphic and ordered. This is why I’ve always wanted to shoot houses from above. We all think that our house is special. It’s big, small, it’s “bigger than”, it’s “nicer”. It’s ours… From above they are just  boxes. Big, small, red green or blue. They are just the same. 

House patternHouse patterns IIHouse patterns IIIHouse patterns IV


108 thoughts on “The art of flight

  1. Well done, you do it yourself flyers! I have had five air vacations (1968, 1979, 1980, 2008, and 2012 just a fortnight ago). I love everything except the other (mostly regular I guess) flyers who slam down the shutters! What on the splendid sunlit Earth is THAT all about? Does anybody know?

  2. Amazing photos! I am not a fan of flying but my husband is a Pilot in the US Army. He took me on a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and though it was extraodinarily beautiful and fun, I was ready to hurl when we landed. I learned that you either look in or look out, but not both back and forth hundreds of times in a 45 minute period.

    Anyway, you should definitely pursue your dream.

  3. I’ve had the pleasure of flying in those planes many times. They are great, no? I also liked the airplanes that landed on water! You try that once too!

  4. Wow! Really awesome… Especially the geometric ones.
    I recently read a blog from a guy who is learning how to fly a helicopter, with also some nice visual material, like video shot from a camera that I think he strapped to his head LOL! http://papa3tango3romeo.wordpress.com/ Maybe you like it :]

  5. Some great photos! Looks like it was a really enjoyable day of flying! Really liking the addition of the gopro on the wing using a suction cup, you were very trusting of that haha. Did you get any video using it?

    1. Yes, my friend Julien (the pilot) owns the Gopro. He said it was awesome. I didn’t have the chance of checking it out yet thou. I’ll do it as soon as possible thou!

  6. My ex-husband is a private pilot. He once took me up in a teeny-tiny plane. I am claustrophobic. I cried the whole time.

    Perhaps there’s a connection between that story and the fact that he’s my ex?


    Congrats on your beautiful work — definitely looks like you had more fun than I!

  7. Beautiful shots – I remember having a similar grin, the first time I piloted a plane (Piper Warrior). If I recall correctly, the grin took several days to subside… :-) Happy flying!

  8. Really great photographs! I loved them, especially the housing complexes! I know what you mean by the absolutely great feeling of flying! I went on an acrobatic gliding flight few years ago and it was probably the most amazing experience ever, and of course had my camera with me as well hehe. Hope I will be able to repeat it again soon!

    1. You are right, it’s a privilege. But I was mostly lucky, because my friend Julien has the flying license, so we just had split the fuel, and it wasn’t that much as I thought.

  9. Reblogged this on luvsiesous and commented:
    I am watching a program about aircraft during WW2.

    They just had the Doolittle raid, and then Midway.

    Aw for the days when everyone flew props.

    I hope by now, you realize, I love planes.

    And this blog has lots of great photos.


  10. Great Pictures, reminded me of my first flight. Quite an addictive experience it is, I’m not surprised you are planning on getting your license. Its one of the best experiences in the world.

    Good luck…!!!

  11. Those are amazing shots. I’m sure you have experience what most of us yearn to. Congrats mate. Thanks for sharing this. I think i’ll add flying an air plane on to my things to do before dying list.

  12. Hi!
    I liked your post – very nice pictures for your article and a great experience for you; no doubt, you will always remember on this day in your life …

    Greetings from Germany,
    Sunelly Sims

  13. Great Post! Tell your friend to be careful with that gopro! My buddy flies planes as well and actually lost his go pro after the 3rd or 4th time flying.

  14. Beautiful images, and a beautiful way of showing how flying really is an art, as well as the art that you can see from the air!

  15. Looks like you had a great time. My husband’s a pilot and we have a small Cessna that we fly around in on the weekends. You should get your license! (Of course, I tell myself that too!) The B&W shots were neat.

  16. love the shots of the houses. it’s always my favorite part of flying. when you get to see how everything is so symmetrical and organized. oh, and when you spot the houses that have pools.

  17. Great photos! I’m so happy when something flight-related makes it to the top! If you have questions about flying, I’m very happy to help (but your friend will probably be one of your best resources)! Don’t forget to enjoy the journey when you decide to get your license! Cheers, Up in the Air

  18. Hello, Your blog is great. Simple design and very useful, keep update your blog, I will frequently visit your blog.

    Anyway, visit my blog too http://www.blogohealth.com, may be there are articles that could be useful for you, do not forget to leave your comment, oke ^_^ …

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  19. Your post gives me idea of what to do as I am going to do gliding (which is different from flying small airplane) for the first time in the UK; possibly next week. I could do the same like what you did, fixing the camera on the underside of the aircraft, and do the time laps…

  20. Beautiful shots of the houses. I’m glad they are in black and white. You’re right, there is a lot of beauty in the uniformity. I want to go flying now!

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