Aviation

Licensing Flight Artworks aviation pictures

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Left to right: Recently licensed Flight Artworks scenes from the Phoney War and the Battle of Britain © Gary Eason

You will know already that you can buy aviation prints through the Flight Artworks website at www.flightartworks.com but I also welcome enquiries from publishers who are interested in using my work.

My photorealistic aviation pictures are regularly licensed either from me directly or, increasingly, through my gallery on the Alamy agency. You can see the latest purchases - for a book - at the top of this column. 

And it is not only publishers. I am also happy to talk to people interested in making ranges of aviation-related consumer goods. 

For the most part these are rights managed licences of the Flight Artworks, so prices vary widely depending on the particular use - but also licensing my 'straight' aviation photographs from airshows and elsewhere

On the subject of printing though, a reminder that all my pictures are made to order. They come to you fresh from the printers, and have not been sat in a storage box after being run off in batches. This applies equally to the photographic prints of aviation pictures and to the fine art prints, in a range of sizes. 

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 TO BUY PRINTS  of any of my works please visit www.flightartworks.com.

I do private commissions, for individual aircraft or bigger scenes.  To get in touch visit the Contact page on my website. Find Flight Artworks on Facebook, and on Twitter @flightartworks.


First Flight Artworks book published

 

 

 

Flight Artworks Volume 1 by Gary Eason
I am delighted to present my first book drawn from my growing collection of Flight Artworks​: 32 pages, available now in printed and e-book versions.

It contains captions, commentary and points of note – but the focus is on the images and they occupy most of the space. You can see some sample pages above and below. 

To preview or purchase the books please visit the Blurb bookshop.

I built it using their self-publishing software BookWright in 'standard landscape' size (25x20cm / 10x8in), in three formats from £19.99.

The production was straightforward if time-consuming. I lost count of how many times I thought it was done, then spotted something that was not quite right - which I suspect could become an endless process if you are not careful.

In fact it turned out that their existing software cannot properly reproduce it as an ebook without divine intervention by the Blurb support staff, so that is an ongoing project. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 00.27.55Am I pleased with the book though? Yes very. It was launched this morning, and when I went to look in my account for something a few hours later, I had already sold two. 

I'm afraid I can't do anything about the price: the fixed costs imposed by Blurb, including shipping, mean I barely get the price of a pint from each copy and I would have to sell a very large number indeed to cover the time invested in its creation. 

My son works in the book selling business and he will tell you (if only when he sees his pay slip) that for the vast majority of us, publishing and selling books is rarely ever going to be a get rich quick scheme.

The pictures I have used are not new, apart from a few I have adapted to fit the book design. In fact many people have prints of them hanging on their walls. And as regular followers of this blog will know, a number of others have appeared in print already in magazines and elsewhere. 

Also, as an aside, I am increasingly licensing them through my Alamy account – although I do not usually know where they will end up, because sales are reported to us contributors simply in terms of "Editorial magazine" or the like, and maybe not in a country or language I am likely to see. 

So what's the point of producing the book? Is it all vanity? 

Oh, come on – can anything beat sitting down with a cup of coffee on your most comfortable sofa, savouring turning the pages in a book of your favourite things? 

So when I say "first" Flight Artworks book published, will there be more? Oh yes.  

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 TO BUY PRINTS  of any of my works please visit www.flightartworks.com.

I do private commissions, for individual aircraft or bigger scenes. Publishers' enquiries are also welcome: many images are available already to license through the Alamy agency.

To get in touch visit the Contact page on my website. Find Flight Artworks on Facebook, and on Twitter @flightartworks.


Head in the clouds

 Ah, the magic of flight

One of the most important keywords in my catalogue of working pictures is "cloudscape". Searching on that term produces hundreds of images. 

Most - though not all (as we shall see) - are taken from on board aircraft. Yes fellow passengers, I am that sad soul who craves a window seat, preferably in front of the blurring hot exhaust from the engines, and spends much of the journey clicking the shutter button, pathetically trying to shade the lens against the reflections from the double windows. 

You might think I was mildly deranged; you probably would not think that I was working. But for me each flight is a photo opportunity and really there is no such thing as a bad view - in fact ironically, good weather can be the least rewarding.

I am talking about the backdrops for my aviation artworks. The air is the element in which I operate. The more altitudes and angles I have available, the better. Anywhere that passes for southern England, France or Germany is at a premium.

On the rare occasions that an airliner tilts to the side to any appreciable degree, revealing the landscape tableau below, I am in a frenzy. That said, it can mean a long stint in Photoshop getting rid of polytunnels, bright yellow rape fields, motorways and white vans in farmyards - I think I have complained about this before. 

It's all about the light

When I first began making the pictures I was severely constrained by the available canvases and had to confine myself to subjects that fitted what I had in store. Increasingly though it is the other way round.

If I need (say) largely clear air at 20,000ft over the Franco-German border, chances are I have it. I have a growing range of cloudforms and weather moods and it is not too much of a twist to layer these where necessary - combining and blending to build up the sky.

As always the light is the key. If it is supposed to be midday then long shadows are out; flatly lit white clouds at day's end just look wrong. While some tweaking is possible, it is a very uphill struggle to repaint an entire sky so it has to be more-or-less right to begin with. 

Situations now arise where I come back with a haul of skies and cannot wait to get stuck in. A recent trip to Edinburgh (for the Fringe) was a classic example - see video above. Such riches, there and back! I can become almost paralysed for fear I might waste a splendid slab of upper air on an inferior composition. 

Happily, it often works the other way round and an available cloudscape prompts a picture. And it does not have to have been taken up above. My latest creation uses a sky that I shot when squally rain was about to stop play at a 'bagels and baseball' knockabout in the park with some American friends. 

I have used it in a day-for-night way. I'll leave you with ... Bomber's Moon: 

Lancasters-at-night-FB

From elsewhere: Discussion of rules regarding photos on commercial flights 


Busy, varied week

Polphail: for sale

Everything this week from school prom ball gowns through beach huts, a poetry reading and the dropping of tens of thousands of poppies over central London, to a ghost village.

The ghost village - Polphail, in Argyll and Bute - you might remember from a previous post last November. I stumbled across this extraordinary place by chance while on a Scottish tour, and naturally made some photos of it.

These caught the eye of the SWNS news agency, who'd heard that the place was about to be put on the market. As a result my pictures ran alongside their news story in The Sun, the Mail online and odd blogs etc.

I made the photos because it interested me pictorially but I'm pleased that they kicked off the week by earning their keep too.

Boats

Being in Essex was a pleasant interlude as always. I spent some time mooching around on Mersea Island; buying scallops, admiring Dawn's new paint job and making compositions around beach huts.

And Wivenhoe Poetry Society hosted a very enjoyable double reading by Jane Routh and Mike Barlow. Enjoyed chatting with them about boats, and navigation, and Shetland.

Moving target

The overflight of Green Park involved the only Lancaster bomber still flying in this side of the Atlantic, PA-464 of the (misnamed) Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

_GE01554_blogIts role on Thursday was to mark the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial. This was a rather convoluted way to get many sackloads of symbolic red paper onto the sunlit green grass of the park, in which the memorial stands.

Photographically a tricky subject. A longish lens would be the obvious choice - except that the red ribbon of falling poppies predictably made quite a trail across the sky. So in fact I used the 24-70mm and ranged its zoom lengths to encompass the airborne scene, shooting on manual to manage the brightness.

In fact the hardest decision was where to shoot from. I knew the route would be in from the east, over the Houses of Parliament. I had no press pass for the ceremony itself - though in any case that did not seem the obvious choice, being directly underneath.

I checked with the excellent The Photographer's Ephemeris just to be sure and, at 1230 on June 28th, knew I did not want to be shooting southwards into the sun - although I did consider that, in fact, as so often, this might make the best shot - but in the end erred on the side of caution in my planning.

Once there, it was all too easy to confirm just how many trees there are in and around, um, Green Park. So I lined up alongside Buckingham Palace with a clear line of sight up over the foliage  canopy. I was happy enough with the shots I made, although with hindsight I reckon the best came from those who'd positioned themselves to the west, further down the track, catching the aircraft head on. Those who weren't lucky enough to be in a helicopter, that is!

Anyway all very moving. But not half as moving as seeing your daughter in a fabulous ball gown heading out to her final school prom.

 


Open

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Setting up

I am taking part in my first Open Studios, in Buckinghamshire. This is an annual event in many areas, in our case with two weeks in June during which artists of all kinds throw open their studios (or similar) to the public to come in and browse and, maybe, buy.

In my case, the 'studio' is an exhibition space created in the long conservatory at my friends Isobel and Andrew's lovely house: they volunteered the room and have been unflaggingly generous in helping set things up.

Mounting an exhibition is a significant undertaking in terms of the cost and time of printing and framing a number of pictures. In practice I've borrowed some of my prints from their owners' collections for the occasion. 

It is also an emotional investment, setting out your wares in such a bald fashion and being around to witness people possibly peer, frown, wince and leave quickly - always assuming anybody comes in the first place.  

Happily my first visitors have been interested, intrigued, chatty and apparently pleased with what they've seen. No-one has gone off with a big frame under their arm but I didn't particularly expect that: I think of it as chiefly a marketing exercise, and what people do go away with is leaflets explaining my techniques and referencing my website. 

St Paul's Thames panorama1-Edit_blog

Coincidentally, just as I was getting going, I sold online a 60in x 10in print of a River Thames panorama (above). I know it's a great image because I've seen its detail - but a significant shortcoming of websites is that they struggle to convey this with images that are such an awkward shape for screen display. 

So that's rather a leap of faith by somebody. I hope they are pleased with what they get. 


Pure sky

Robin ready for takeoff _GE02787_blog

You probably know that I have a thing about sailing, but my first love was flying. It's just that circumstances over the years made it less accessible. Less accessible but not inaccessible.

I was at John Lewis buying a vacuum cleaner (can I get some product placement dosh here please?) and emerged to the most fantastic late afternoon cloudscape as heavy rain showers rolled across the South Buckinghamshire landscape.

What has this to do with flying? Well, Booker airfield - properly, Wycombe Air Park (EGTB to pilots) - is just around the corner and I figured it would afford an open vista. Which it did, as you can see. The clouds really were something to behold. It is unusual to have a backdrop so dark that you'd think I must have walloped a hefty filter over it. But no, this is unretouched apart from standard tidying up.

The plane taxiing for takeoff, by the way, is a Robin DR 300-180R,  a French design made by Avions Pierre Robin. This particular one, registration G-BLGH, is used as a glider "tug" by Booker Gliding Club. In other words it tows sailplanes to altitude then releases them to realise their true function.

I made several photos over a cup of tea at the airfield cafe, then headed along the ridge a little way to the outskirts of Flackwell Heath and contemplated the landscape there. Eventually I made up a panorama of that view too.