The 2021 airshow season will be quite short and still full of uncertainties and complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, pretty much every airshow in Europe got cancelled. And this year is still uncertain. But I got to go to Florennes AB for their spottersday. The spottersday replaced the yearly Belgian Air Force Days that got cancelled due to COVID-19.
2021 will be the last year of Sr Cpt Stefan Darte callsign Vador as a demo pilot of the Belgian Air Force. He will be flying his F-16 Dark Falcon one last year to represent Belgium and the Belgian Air Force around the world.
It was a rather gloomy day when I was at Florennes AB. That usually is no recipe for good photos. But it is does create the possibility of vapor trails and vapor cones. Sorta likes this…
Before Vador started his solo display, he joined a Supermarine Spitfire mk.XVI for an historic commemoration flight. A remarkable display where the Dark Falcon is flying close to stall speed and the Spitfire at Vmax.
I am looking forward to meeting Vador again at the Sanicole airshow in September.
I’ve got a few dark and grungy shots from Shannety to share. She’s wearing an all black latex outfit. The bodice is from Lüllepop, the plenum is from Lady Lucie Latex and the accessories are from Westward Bound and Pandora Deluxe. All those years of collecting latex from the coolest designers everywhere is paying off. I can mix and match to create fun combinations.
We shot these photos on a pink background. Would you believe that?
The Belgian Air Force is replacing their almost 50 year old Lockheed C-130’s with new Airbus A400M transport planes. The 1st few planes have already been delivered. Belgium has ordered 7 A400M’s. As you read this, the 1st few have been delivered.
The Luxembourg Armed Force also ordered an A400M which will be operated by the 15th Wing Air Transport of the Belgian Air Force under a binational agreement. That means that the transporter will be based at Melsbroek AB in Belgium. Both the Belgian Air Force and the Luxembourg Armed Force can use the plane.
We got a closer look at the CT-01 of the Luxembourg Armed Force at the spottersday of the 2W TAC at Florennes AB.
The Belgian Air Force is saying goodbye to these beautiful old ladies: we are replacing our trusty Lockheed C-130 Hercules with brand spanking new Airbus A400M Atlas planes. After almost 50 years of service–the 1st C-130 came into service in early 1970’s–it is time for the C-130 to retire.
The demo at the 2021 spottersday at Florennes AB my have been my last chance to see one of these birds up close in flight. I have grown up with seeing them everywhere. Not just at airshows, but also in daily operations. One of the coolest memories about the C-130 I have, is their demo of dropping cargo at low level in full flight. It was really spectacular to see them open up the cargo door at back, decent to almost on the deck and drop bags of supplies. Back in in the days, they used that technique to distribute food and supplies on humanitarian missions.
That global health crisis forced me to put a halt on my photography. I am very happy that I can start working in the studio again. I’ve used the break in the action to come up with new ideas, fun outfits and cool combos. This is the 1st of the new stuff. Shannety and I combined the fluffies from Funki-B with a latex skirt from Atsuko Kudo and heels from Pleaser Shoes and we were of to the races.
When I see these photos, I wanna shout out: “She’s sooooooo fluffy! I’m gonna die!”. In case you don’t get that reference, go watch Despicable Me.
It ain’t easy to be a non-commercial photographer in the middle of a pandemic. Especially when you’re used to work with models Keeping 6ft apart, wearing mouth masks, government rules and personal safety–mine and my models’–sorta forced me to halt all studio shoots for 6 months.
One way out was product shoots for my friend’s webshop: SecretLittleCloset. Skirts, dresses, swimwear and earrings! Yes, you’ve read it right: earrings! I am always in for a challenge, so I built myself a little product studio and started working on it.
Shannety and I had bounced some ideas around. She wanted a series of photos where the earrings are dangling from a twig. I said I had some ideas with flowers. Off I went to the florist for a bouquet of roses and some orchids. I cut a nice twig from a tree in the garden. And I started experimenting. Dug up some tools and props around the house and carefully started to build a scene. Well, several scenes actually.
After a couple of hours of trying and tweaking, I finally had a setup that worked for me. Things became easy then. I finished the complete shoot in about 30 minutes. Here are a few of the final results of my hard work.
You can buy these and all other earrings I shot that weekend in the jewelry section of Shannety’s SecretLittleCloset.
The President of the U.S.A. paid a visit to Belgium to attend a NATO summit. And that usually creates a little buzz among aviation geeks because that means Air Force One will be in town. I’ve seen Air Force One a couple of times before but I never had a chance to photograph it.
I had a business meeting in the Brussels area today. And I had carefully planned the meeting so it would end right around the time President Biden would be leaving for Geneva. So I packed my photo gear and found me a spot at Brussels airport after my meeting was finished. Since I didn’t know from which runway Air Force One would take off, I choose a spot near the Skeyes control center to cover both sides of the Brussels airport.
I was fortunate: I captured a decent pic of Air Force One skipping of the trees as it left the airport.
This plane is actually a Boeing VC-25, the military version of a Boeing 747 and only 2 of this type are in service. Did you know that the plane only carries the call sign Air Force One when the US President is on board?
Shortly after Air Force One took the skies and headed for Geneva, a US Air Force C-32A took off.
I believe that is the plane that took the 1st Lady of the U.S.A. back home. I’ve read somewhere she would not be joining the President at his meeting in Geneva. It took US Secretary of State Antony Blinken back to home to Washington D.C.
Finally! After 6 months of inactivity, life returned to my photo studio! I can not begin to explain you how thrilled I was to have a real human in my studio again. One of my favorite humans too: Shannety. Millions of IM’s and countless hours on FaceTime can not compare to having her in the studio.
We shot the swimwear collection for her webshop. This is one of the shots we did. Shannety styled the outfit herself and we added a couple of house plants to complete the jungle look. Needless to say that we had lots of fun turning my studio into a jungle.
Check Shannety’s webshop at SecretLittleCloset.be for her complete collection of swimwear for this summer.
This series got me longing for summer! Bright yellow, flashy orange and fuchsia and rainbow nail polish. Shannety and I shot this series last year at the end of summer. Back when the COVID-19 risk was low.
As we approach spring again and the COVID-19 situation is looking up again, I can’t wait to have her back in the studio for more photo fun. As a matter of fact, I can’t wait to start working on all those ideas–in the studio and on location–we came up with during lockdown.
This calls for a hit from the movie Grease soundtrack… “Aaaaaaah! Those summer nights.” I guess it’s time for a little dance now.
I have updated my portfolio pages to display larger photos. I’ve made the thumbnails on the page overview significantly larger. It is a small but significant update. There is a trend to have large and full-screen photos in portfolios and I did not want to stay behind.
All 4 portfolio pages have been updated. Check’em out: