In February of 2005 I started out flying a toy radio controlled plane with a funky camera stuck on the top. I never got one picture and spent a lot of time climbing way too high in trees retrieving it. I met Grahame, an RC aerial photographer, on an internet forum and he mentored my aerial photography training from Sussex, England. His work inspired me and he flew the same plane I had moved up to.
Now, ten years later my experience is not one of flying toy airplanes but more like hunting with a Falcon. So much so that I call my specially modified plane Falcon 1. Early in the morning while the dew is still on the grass, and the sun just breaks over a mountain ridge, I may be standing on the edge of a cliff launching the Falcon across a canyon. The electric motor is quiet and completely still while the Falcon glides and the shutter clicks. It requires my total unwavering focus, and in that way is like active meditation. All that remains is to set up the landing and bring the Falcon gently back to rest at my feet, most of the time.
Next to aerial shooting landscapes, work-sites are my favorite subjects. In 2009 a bypass highway project started next to the lake right through Sandpoint. It is called the Sandcreek Byway and is a historic project not only because of it's size but for the 50 + years of community controversy over where to put it. I was providing pictures of the project in our local paper when the project engineering and construction company, Parsons RCI, Inc.hired me to shoot the project monthly. It became an intense learning and adventurous aerial photography experience. This project along, with publishing in my local paper became the springboard for launching a part-time and extremely enjoyable aerial photography business. Current rework of FAA regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles and the huge consumer Drone phenonomen have blurred the boundaries of continuing this activity in class G airspace. A complete portfolio of the Sandcreek Byway is available on my website along with many pictures of Sandpoint and other scenic areas on north Idaho. http:/www.calljerry.biz
There's some friends I owe much of my success to. I met Mike at the local flying field and he offered to flight train me. Mike is a full size aircraft pilot and teacher, a jet pilot, and an incredible radio controlled model plane pilot and trainer. A close friend, Ron, is a photographer and has mentored my photography skills and knowledge. GoTo www.ronbedfordphoto.com. James, another close friend, is an electrical engineer. I flight trained James and got him started in AP and he assists me with my flight electrics and wires my cameras. Goto www.maclachlanphotography.com. My wife Becky calls my plane 'the other woman' and is very supportive as long as I don't climb trees.
Jerry Luther joined Fine Art America on May 5th, 2011.