A passion for Aerial Imaging:
My fascination with aerial photography began at the age of 9. In 1967, my sister’s Father chartered a helicopter for a flight around the Queen Mary the day she arrived at her final berth in Long Beach, California. I had my camera with me but never got the chance to take a single picture. From the moment we took off, this psycho-pilot kept us pinned to the seat by the sheer centrifugal force of high banking turns and acceleration. Then came his “piece-de-resistance”, he climbed to about 500 feet directly over the stacks of the ship simultaneously pitched the nose down 90 degrees, and cut the engine. I will never forget my first encounter with a top-down view of a ship. In free fall, we plummeted straight down towards the belching smokestacks and would surely die soon! Then what seemed like mere feet from contact with the ship, this maniacal sadist restarted the engine and pulled out of the manuver. I remember running in sheer terror once we landed. Mom said I had a grin on my face from ear to ear as I sprinted towards her and my sister. That’s probably where I got hooked on the “bird’s eye view” that I so love.
Ten years later, after graduating from the U.S. Navy Shools of Photography, I found myself stationed on the U.S.S. Constellation in the Philippine Islands. Aircrew orders in hand, I was once again flying in a helicopter, camera in hand almost daily.
Over the next 45 years of professional photography, my opportunities for aerial assignments were few and far between due to the massive costs of “air-time”. The last time I flew in a sketchy little helicopter was in 2007 when I flew a mission for the Army Corp of Engineers over Bonneville Lock and Dam in Cascade Locks, Oregon.
And then came the Drone. A flying camera! Getting my Drone Pilot’s Certification became a priority shortly after learning to fly my first Mavic Air 2. The cycle is now complete, I started my career in Aerial photography and will end it with the same passion for Aerial Art. Only now I don’t have to get up at 4:30 in the morning for briefings and my wife's coffee is much better.
In between everything; I managed to squeeze out about 5 years to travel the United States, with my wife, in our motor home. While on the road; I was employed as a Park Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service and employed as a Senior Park Aid with California State Parks. I volunteered for our National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Dept of Natural Resources, Oregon State Parks, and Army Corps of Engineers.
While on our 5 years long hiatus; I acquired a large volume of Stock Photography documenting our magnificent State and Federal Lands. In many cases; I was afforded access to areas that the public can't get into. I was in a unique position. These entities received High Resolution Images and I was able to continue to build my stock portfolio. Many of these images have been featured in State and Federal Brochures. Ultimately; we came off the road and I landed here in Newport, Oregon, where I intend to stay. My Wife, a neurotic Doodle and I have a home (without wheels) a few blocks from the beach. Life is good!
It took me a long time to make it to Newport Oregon and I am so grateful to live and have the opportunity to create aerial Art of the Oregon Coast that I love.
I am now retired from “Assignment Photography” so that I can concentrate on personal projects. I love creating “Stock” images and videos. It’s always a thrill to see what others do with my images.
David Glenn RIgg - Newport, Oregon - 2023