In this video, I document my experiences flying around the mountains and shooting aerial photos out the open window of my 1947 Cessna 120 in the middle of winter. The footage is accompanied with original music I wrote and recorded specifically for this project.
Shot during two flights last week, when it was clear and cold, and well below zero, I take you along with me as I preheat the engine, prep and preflight the plane, and then go on a 90 minute flight over the Chugach Mountains at sunset.
If you’re familiar with my work, then you know that I love shooting aerial mountain photos in dramatic winter light. This film gives you a first person look at exactly what I see when I’m up there, flying around with the window open and chasing that magical pink alpenglow.
I’ve wanted to make a video like this for years so that I can share the magic of what it’s like to soar around this magnificent scenery and watch the warm winter sunset light hit these peaks from up close.
As a musician, I’ve also been driven to create a piece of music that I feel reflects these experiences. When I began the editing process late last week, I got a little nervous that I wouldn’t have time to write and record a good enough song to match the stunning footage.
I even considered licensing an outside song for the project, but then realized that this is what I live for. This is why I play music and why I buy guitars and pedals and recording plugins.
I saw this as an ideal opportunity to mesh together everything I’ve learned as a photographer and trained guitar player & recording engineer. I also saw this as a way to push through my own fears and creative blocks, just like I tell you guys to do with your cameras.
As if often happens, as soon as I sat down and started coming up with musical ideas that matched the video, the creativity started pouring out. The entire composition came together pretty quickly, and I finished the basic track in a few hours on Friday afternoon.
Most of the footage was shot during two flights last week, captured with the Fujifilm X-T3 using both the XF 35mm f/2 and XF 50mm f/2 lenses. During the flight, I went back and forth, shooting stills and video, which was a bit of a challenge. Editing was done in Final Cut Pro X and the music was recorded in Logic Pro X.
This is pretty much my first non-tutorial video production, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It was a lot of fun to watch it over and over again while I was editing, so I hope you enjoy it!