I've been enamored with aviation for as long as I've been alive. When I was very young, my mother would cut up fruit and vegetables in a big bowl and I would sit on the couch and munch, watching gun camera footage, vintage warbird documentaries or the national news showing the alien green balloon-necklace blobs of AAA from the Iraqi army floating upwards to down US aircraft, as the Gulf War raged half a globe away.
I remember clearly driving around NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach late at night with my father in the early 90s, looking for somewhere to watch the military jets do touch-and-go's, their afterburners like beacons in the inky sky. And then sadly, aviation was moved to simmer on the backburner. School got intense, I played travel soccer and picked up guitar, went to college to study English and music while playing in a number of bands, graduated and moved to NYC to play music with a phenomenal group of musicians.
When my main musical project ended, I found myself with the freedom to rekindle old fires. I was an amateur photographer having worked on the yearbook in high school, shooting landscapes for myself and not much else, but in the summer of 2016 I attended WWII Weekend in Reading, PA for my first airshow in over 20 years, and I brought my camera. The first sight awaiting me as I pulled in to the wrong side of the airfield was a Spitfire and a Mossie playing tail-chase low over the field. Hearing those Merlin’s wind up on their dives to show center sent chills down the entire length of my spine and awakened the ancient aviation eyes within me. I signed up for a ride on the B-17 “Yankee Lady” later in the weekend and at the conclusion of the flight, my old rekindled flame was a roaring inferno.
I had no idea what I was doing when attempting aviation photography but with the help of some veteran photographers I got a hold of the basics and hit the show circuit hard in 2017. What resulted was a number of incredible friendships, a new appreciation for photography, and a new respect for everything aviation, not to mention some pretty amazing trips to shoot some pretty amazing things.
I aim for my images and words to evoke the same curiosity and awe I had as a child, to inspire people to learn the history of these amazing airframes, and to encourage those who feel the pull to get involved with aviation, in whatever facet they feel drawn to.
I hope you enjoy my work, and don’t be afraid to find me on the flight line. Until then, clean ‘em up, green ‘em up!
- “scotch” nick