joshuagraff
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joshuagraff March 02, 2015
This is actually one of my favorites; catching the crew chief perched on the edge of the ramp with the horizon jinking in the background... it was a really good flight!
PRO
 
sweetpea72 November 01, 2016
Love this!! シ
 
Girovagando63 January 08, 2017
SPETTACOLO!!!!!!
joshuagraff January 08, 2017
thanks!
 
sandiemayriley June 17, 2017
Love your photography, it shows us what we would not normally see
 
iluv2shoot August 07, 2017
Great capture; love the angle and view!
 
fotosnapper September 13, 2017
Fantastic shot!
PRO
 
justduitsphotography January 23, 2018
Amazing! I love this photo!!
PRO
 
PONGO_57 April 20, 2018
Veramente una bella foto!
PRO
 
PONGO_57 April 20, 2018
A really good one!
PRO+
 
JM18Photography April 20, 2018
Congratulations!

Check Six



Flight between FOB Tobruk and Farah, Western Afghanistan; lots of bobbing and weaving as fast as possible. Italian CH-47...
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Flight between FOB Tobruk and Farah, Western Afghanistan; lots of bobbing and weaving as fast as possible. Italian CH-47
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Contest Finalist in Behind You Photo Contest
People's Choice in Taken from behind Photo Challenge
Contest Finalist in Aviation Photo Contest
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Runner Up in Adrenaline Rush Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Adrenaline Rush Photo Contest
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Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo on board an Italian CH-47 Chinook en route to FSB (Forward Support Base) Herat from FOB (Forward Operating Base) Tobruk in Bola Boluk, Afghanistan. Usually, a Chinook flight is fairly sedate, but, on this occasion, the Italian pilots were treating the flying brick like it was a stolen Ferrari. The rear gunner in this picture has the crew chief squatting beside him, both watchful as the threats in the area were rather high at the time.
Time
As I recall, it was around noon by the time we got wheels up. Shooting airborne while in Afghanistan was always interesting as a challenge as the birds are really dark on the inside and the sun is always glaringly bright and mixed with a heavy layer of dust in the air.
Lighting
The lighting was terrible, dark inside the chopper, really bright outside... this shot came to life in the post-processing.
Equipment
This was shot with my much abused Sony a77 and Sony 18-250mm lens; the usual setup I used to be ready for pretty much any type of shot.
Inspiration
I took this as part of the story of life downrange and one of the "Day in the Life" series I started putting together to give a sense of what it is like to be deployed.
Editing
There was a fair amount of post processing in this shot. I put the clarity all the way to the top, reduced shadows, and dropped highlights to bring out more of the details from the helicopter while maintaining the hazy view of the horizon. Boosting the red and orange saturation was purely for effect.
In my camera bag
My usual travel kit is the 18-250mm for the a77 or the 24-240mm for the a7r2 along with a Minolta 1.8 50mm that I can use on either body. While I was in Iraq and Afghanistan, keeping the kit light and easily portable was key. Because I travel light, I prefer a lens that is pretty damn good for just about anything rather than a bunch of extra weight for specialty glass; this means extra work for me, sometimes, to get the shot I want, but that is part of the fun. Back at home, I'll often add a Gorilla Pod and a flash to the kit, but the lens combination is still about the same unless I know I'll be shooting something in particular that calls for something special.
Feedback
This is one of those shots that comes from being willing to give it a go and just being ready. Honestly, there are plenty of shots taken while bouncing from FOB to FOB that went straight to the recycle bin; but, each failed shot showed me something a little different I should have done and I'd just keep hammering at it.

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