I love aerial photography - even more than I love golf. This is the Rees Jones-designed Burnt Pine Golf Course in the exclusive Burnt Pines Golf Club area of Sandestin Resort near Destin, FL. That's the end of the #2 par-four on the right, and the entirety of the #3 par-three on the left. After Rees' brother, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., redesigned another course in the resort, Sandestin became the only resort in the world with the work of both highly regarded brothers.
I was in a chopper when I took this shot, and my pilot had crashed his new chopper that summer. With the insurance payout - less deductible - he was able to buy this old bird that, I swar, strainted to get off the ground. In some high shots, we would revv it up and fly into the wind to get the altitude we needed.
Still, I love to fly and take pix. And as I noted in an earlier caption, I'm a real-estate-marketing consultant (nearly 80 projects "launched"), and I know that, since real estate is about location, resort real estate is about showing proximity to amenities - and there's no better, faster way to achieve this than the aerial photo.
I use a 35-70 Nikon "trombone" zoom so I can crop in the camera. This keeps resolution up and file size down. Later, I improve the crop in Photoshop. For a time, I owned a Gyro Stabilizer, a Stedicam for SLRs, so I could shoot in low light with acceptable sharpness. It's then, of course - early in the morning and late in the afternoon - that you get the warm, raking sidelight that reveals the landscape's contours and throws the long, dramatic shadows.
As for my friend and pilot Carlos, he finally left Ft. Walton Beach, FL, victim of a bad chopper and a worse marriage. A bitter custody battle with his ex-wife sent him to New Orleans where he made a living flying rough necks from Nawlins out to the oil rigs in the Gulf. During the BP oil spill, I watched for him on CNN, but he never surfaced. A great guy!
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