One woman is behind the incredible aerial photographs of Lockheed Martin’s new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Liz Kaszynski is one of ten trained and certified aerial photographers employed at the Lockheed Martin, the aerospace giant responsible for developing the next-generation plane.
Their job is to fly in the backseat of fighter jets and capture photographs of aircraft in flight.
Kaszynski is the only female aerial photographer for the world’s most expensive fighter jet, the F-35.
Along with the F-35, she also captures and choreographs F-16s and F-22s performing incredible maneuvers mid-flight.
“Good shots just don’t happen, and communication is absolutely key. I spend the entire flight from the time we’re taking off until we land talking to my pilot,” Kaszynski said in an interview published on the company’s website.
Kaszynski works in a creatively demanding and extremely fast paced environment, but she must also physically train her body to be able to withstand the incredible strain that high-octane flying places on the body.
She is required to do undergo the same training as a pilot, short of learning how to fly the aircraft.
“They teach you about G-strain, which is how you strain to keep the blood up to your head while you’re pulling G’s,” she said.
Another unique dynamic she experiences during every flight is the weight of her camera, which becomes approximately 25-pounds under the plane’s G-force.
“You’re trying to hold it up, take the picture, G-strain, and keep your horizons straight,” Kaszynski said.
Like a movie director, Kaszynski calls the shots in her camera frame — except with everything moving at the speed of sound.
“You’re looking to get the dynamic action shots,” she told the Washington Post.
“You want them manoeuvring. You want them going vertical, popping their flares, showing the excitement of what fighter jets do,” she said.
Here are a few more of our favourites images shot by Kaszynski for Lockheed Martin:
Below is a video interview and footage of Kaszynski at work, courtesy of Lockheed Martin:
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