The lengths an artist goes to for their craft.
We talk to One Fine Print photographer, Paul Hoelen about capturing aerial landscape images over death valley in the United States. We learn that it takes lot of pre planning, dedication, persistence and courage to capture the incredible aerial landscape images he produces which become art prints for you to marvel.
Taken at 4 am doing pre flight checks with Captain Shel before embarking on a flight over death valley this image is a rare behind the scenes capture of Paul. Paul shares the story behind this photo and the prints that were the outcome of this journey. Portrait Photo credit: Taylor Glenn
From the photographer, Paul Hoelen:
It was super difficult and took many months to find anyone to fly me around the remote areas of Death Valley in the United States. I’d been dreaming for years about this region as an aerial photography destination, but most of the surrounding area is a no fly military exclusion zone as well as being notorious for horrendous flying conditions from the desert heat and thermal activity. After months of enquiries I finally found someone willing to take me up!
Here I am doing a super early pre-dawn flight planning with retired marine and legendary pilot Capt Shel in front of his trusty ‘63 Cessna Skyhawk. Shel has been flying for upwards of 57 years and knows the area like the back of his hand. Even so, the weather and winds are fickle out there and after waiting out some wind squalls for a couple of days, we finally found a good window!
In order to catch the first rays of light on the valley floor in Death Valley, we had to be in the air a good 40 minutes before – which basically means getting up at 330am on a freezing cold morning and flying in the dark. It’s even rarer again to find someone licensed and able to fly then, but again, Captain Shel was the man for the job!
I still don’t think I can put into words what it feels like to witness first light on this place. It’s like nothing else in the world…
The warm to cool colour shift is caused purely from the first light sweeping across the Basin, and is only possible to capture for a few minutes each day.
A big thank to my good friend and amazing US based photographer Taylor Glenn for jumping on this adventure with me and taking this wonderful documentary portrait.