Through The Lens

Mark Jessop

1. How did you get into aviation photography?

I went to my first Airshow in 1988 at the Bicentennial Airshow at RAAF Base Richmond with my Dad at the age of 13. As I had never been to an Airshow before it was quite an experience, many still believe to this day it was the greatest Airshow put on in Australia just due to the many different types of aircraft that flew. For me at the time two things stood out, Watching 3 F-111’s roaring around the sky and then closing with the “Dump and Burn” and seeing a USAF F-15C take off and hold low till some point down the runway and going straight up to 50,000ft! It looked and sounded like a rocket. At this show my Dad let me use his SLR camera and looking back on them somehow I got a few images which I think for my age and how much I knew of what to do that are still ok today.

2. Why aviation photography?

I have done a wide variety of photography over the years from Live Concert Photography of big bands like Midnight Oil to remote Wilderness Photography but I have always had a very strong connection with Aviation and Military Fast Jets. It wasn’t really till about 2005 that a friend took me to Temora Aviation Museum that something was ignited in me to focus on Aviation again. At the time I was right into video and started by doing that but it wasn’t long before I had a DSLR in my hand again. AS I love Fast Jets,Temora was the place for me even though it was a 5 hour drive each way. At the time they were in the process of getting the CAC Sabre back to flying condition but also had a flying F.8 Meteor, Vampire and Canberra Bomber. The Sabre still is for me the best looking and most photogenic jets we have in Australia, every angle just looks amazing. I spent every chance I could to get to Temora from then on to try and capture the history of this Sabre, in doing this over time some of the locals,museum staff and pilots saw that I keeped on turning up any time something jet related was on and slowly over the years built up life long friendships. From those days I have had many opportunities which I could have only dreamed about as a kid but it’s the many hours of hard work that only a few will ever see that has given me the chance to be considered for each opportunity. Doors just don’t “magically” 😉

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