Talk to any fighter pilot from any era and they’ll tell you the only two planes that matter are P51 Mustang (propeller plane) and the F14 tomcat jet plane. TIME Magazine sent me on an assignment to photograph the last F14 to come off the assembly in Grumman. Suffice it to say it was very prestigious. Like all my assignments I always try to go a little bit further. So I got permission from the commanding officer to mount two cameras in the back with the weapons control officer. I used a NikonF with motor drive and 15mm lens, Kodachrome 64. at 1/250 at f/8. In a couple weeks you’ll see another P51 blog and see how many G’s I can go through.
My best friend, life partner, and one of the finest photographers I know tries to remind me that in the world of blazing speed and internet no one really knows how old you are and you don’t have to remind them. Never let it be said that I sometimes don’t listen to advice.
I was brought up in the West Village on Carmine Street. You were taught early in life, if you didn’t have anything good to say, keep your mouth shut. There’s a whole lot of truth to that, so what I’m about to say is not designed to hurt anybody or any company. I’m just trying to relate the old days with the new days. In the beginning of my career I shot with Leicas and Nikons. For all intensive purposes I shot Nikon from 1968 to 1984. In 1984, I signed a contract with the IOC and as part of that contract I had to shoot Canon and Fuji film, rather than Nikon and Kodak. The people at Nikon were the best; totally dedicated, great products, great service, great everything. Okay, I’m going on; let’s cut to the chase… A student of ours, Ann Raine, is a Nikon shooter. She purchased the NEW Nikon D3s, for the cost of a used Volkswagen. She had her new camera mounted on a tripod and it had a minor fall onto the carpet and two screws fell, out of the flash hot shoe mount. She returned it to Nikon and they took over a month to repair it and the repair bill was $500. I guess what I’m trying to say is I better listen to what my mother and father taught me and shut up. Where have you gone Dominick Bastello? (he headed the repair department at Nikon & was a wonderful human being, a very good black & white photographer who also taught me a lot about life and my photography.) I miss you