Fear of Landing – This must be the Photograph of the Year

I have just a quick post for you this week (and I’m taking next week off to deal with life issues). But I hope you will all agree that this photo is worth a million words.

Australian Royal Airforce F/A-18F Super Hornet photographed by Nino Lo Giudice.

Isn’t that amazing?

But when I called it incredible, I meant that a lot of people honestly didn’t believe it and were convinced it was a Photoshop compilation.

I first saw it on Down Under Aviation News, who published a cropped version with a caption that the photo would undoubtedly stand as one of the most famous Australian aviation images of all time.

The replies were quick and judgmental.

The photo of the plane is superimposed over an unrelated image. i am photographer

People don’t even look at the plane. It’s not there.

Surely if this was real all the people on the roof are now deaf or dead as they would have been blown off the roof trust me

It’s good to see that someone can still think critically.

Apparently you lack a critical mind and knowledge about what is also allowed in big cities and what is possible in aeronautical engineering. May I suggest you go back to basics and do your own research.

It’s clearly super imposed.

I always find it amazing how quickly people attack the intelligence of people who disagree with them.

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Another photographer quickly came to Lo Guidice’s defense. David Kapernick was with Lo Guidice that day and took similar photos.

He explains in the thread that he is friends with Lo Guidice and that they took the photos from his porch. Lo Guidice brought beer and pizza, and then they settled in to watch practice flights for the air show. Kapernick posted a week later to say her photos had seen over 9 million views and counted on Twitter in the week after they first shared their shots.

The other photographers in the photos are on the Brisbane Story Bridge, which seems to be a popular spot for Brisbane airshow photography.

Meanwhile, frustrated by the reaction, Lo Guidice posted the entire sequence on Instagram. Note that the embedded version may take a moment to load here. It looks better if you click through. Instagram Embed isn’t the best!

Finally, a number of other Brisbane photographers have spoken out to defend the photo and the position from which it was taken. Unfortunately, I don’t know Brisbane well enough to recognize the flyover, but this video is said to be the actual cockpit footage from the flight that Lo Giudice and Kabernice photographed:

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The jet appears much closer to viewers than it actually is due to the foreshortening. This is a common problem in photography, where the size and depth of subjects are distorted within the two-dimensional image. This is often done intentionally, though I think the most common version I’ve seen is of a person pretending to be holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa or plucking the setting sun from the sky.

In these days of AI-generated photography and deepfakes, I think it’s important that we recognize the talent and effort that goes into real photos taken by a person with a camera without special effects. It’s amazing and exciting to know that a person could stand there and take that shot. And it makes me happy to know that it’s possible (albeit unlikely) that I could stand in such a place and see something like this, knowing my version would just be a blurry gray streak, smudged by a cloudy blur would be surrounded.

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This is not just a guess. I took some friends to see the Soviet cemetery at Ämari Air Base (more on that soon) and we heard two German Eurofighter Typhoons take off. A few minutes later one came back and knowing where the circuit is I should have been perfectly positioned for the shot. But when it came down to it, not only did I miss the photo, I didn’t make it out from under the pines in time to even try.

Luckily my friend Bernie Digman managed to take excellent photos as it passed overhead and gave me permission to share them with you.

German Eurofighter Typhoon in Estonia photographed by Bernie Digman
German Eurofighter Typhoon in Estonia photographed by Bernie Digman

I’m so lucky to be surrounded by competent people; I highly recommend this as a life plan.

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