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The Aviators | Personal Project | Aviation Photography in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

While I’m sure there’s a lot going on in the mind of a baby, I can’t claim to remember a single moment from that time in my life.  My childhood memories, however, are crystal clear and almost completely revolve around aircraft.  If I hadn’t been blessed with bad eyesight, I would have joined the ranks of Maverick, Iceman, Chappy Sinclair and Doug Masters as an ace fighter jet pilot slipping the surly bonds of earth and dancing on laughter-silvered wings.  There was literally nothing of greater importance to me than flying.  I remember being enveloped by awe when my father told stories from his days travelling the globe as a loadmaster on a C-130 Hercules in the Air Force, going to the Experimental Aircraft Association and to the end of the local airport’s runway to watch planes land and take off.  It was through my father that I met his co-worker Mark and his father Ken Corbett.  Ken was a pilot for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Lunda Construction.  My parents tell me that when I was a baby they loaded my sister and I on a MD80 jetliner to fly from Oshkosh, Wisconsin to Kansas City, Kansas.  I was too young to remember it and I don’t consider that my first flight.  Since memories are the very core of our existence, my very first flight happened because of Ken Corbett when I was 10 years old in his Cessna 185 Skywagon II.  Taxiing down the taxiway at Oshkosh’s Wittman Airport the day of my first flight, sitting in the co-pilot seat, feeling more anticipation than I’d ever felt is a moment I’ll never forget.  A lot happened to me as we bounced and jostled toward the runway.  I was so overwhelmed that I almost relive that moment more clearly in my thoughts than when I was actually there!  I remember Ken’s hands gently gripping the controls.  I remember looking up and seeing the sun dancing through the distorted plexiglass and illuminate his beautifully weathered face while he radioed the tower for clearance to take off.  I remember the smell of decades of flight that the old Skywagon had been through as Ken pushed the throttle to full and we lunged forward down the runway.  I remember the world around me squeaking, jumping, jostling, vibrating, shaking until Ken pulled the wheel back and suddenly that world went smooth and silent as we soared upwards toward heaven.  It was such an honor to be able to go to my hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin recently to photograph Ken and Mark together with their aircraft.  The Cessna 185 on the left is the very plane that took me for my first flight.  Mark’s Citabria Champion is on the right.

Dave Tuchscherer - I’ve had quite a few flights with Kenny over my lifetime. I also became addicted to flying and the stories surrounding it through interactions with Kenny and others like him (my father). I was blessed to grow up watching Kenny come and go from our runway in Mt. Morris in the a Citabria. What exciting times those were. I can’t believe that planes go over and today’s youth don’t even bother to look skyward!

Fantastic job on the photos. Planes I’ve flown in with Kenny when I was a kid. Citabria, Champ, Piper Aztec, 185, T-34, Super Cub, Skymaster. Now I’m blessed to have his son Mark drop by with his Citabria and pass on those same memories to my son.August 30, 2011 – 1:41 am

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John Shaffner and Joe Stewart | Los Angeles Photographer

Just had my second photoshoot with John Shaffner and Joe Stewart, the owners of Shaffner Stewart Production Design.  Together they design sets for shows like Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Conan and The Emmy Awards.  John is also the Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Emmys).  I originally photographed John for an editorial piece and he invited me back to photograph more images!  They are both incredible gentlemen and it was a wonderful photoshoot.

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Venice Beach with my Dad

My dad recently came for a wonderful visit from Wisconsin.  One of the days we headed down to Venice Beach for a nice walk along the boardwalk and then to the ocean front.  The waves were huge and it was such a beautiful day.  I’m very fortunate that I get to see my family often but it still doesn’t seem like enough.  I really wish I could do this more often with my Dad.

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Sometimes You Just Gotta Kick’em Off | Los Angeles Photographer

This series was photographed at the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California, just west of Los Angeles.  Photographed with my Contax 645 and Canon EOS 1V using New Kodak Professional Portra 400.

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