Shane Cleminson

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Gary Air Show

My friend Jim often called to invite me on some crazy photo sessions. But it’s not often I got a call asking if I wanna go up in a plane strapped to the side of an open door at 14 000 feet and photograph skydiving in a few hours. So when I got the call, I jumped up and down like a goon and raced to get my gear packed. My heart rate was through the roof before I even got there.

As I watched the guys rehearse and photographed the plane, the reality of the hight, lack of a door and proximity of the stool I would be strapped to with my cameras, became a sudden reality. I’m a pretty tough looking guy I’m told, but I am not great with heights. I was nervous climbing hills at Zion National Park and here I was about to go flying with my feet hanging out the side of a plane. The crew had a good laugh as I sort of forgot how cold it would be in an open plane at 14 000 ft and arrived in jeans and a T-shirt.

Thankfully the adrenaline and the professional, yet hilariously fun men from the Golden Knights had me totally ok as we took off. The photos and the experience was incredible. These men are legends in my mind.

The men in the other planes too were amazing. At times during the air show the planes were within a few feet of touching and I never felt unsafe once.

As a bonus I got to have lunch with some Blue Angel pilots and photograph them preparing for take off.

I was pretty sad there was no Gary Air Show this last year, but I really enjoyed this show in 2016.

Here are some favorite photos from the Gary Air Show day.

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