Dave is an genuine outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, flying and photography. Living in western Montana provides him a great opportunity to do all of these things.
It is no exaggeration to say that Dave loves flying. He has been a pilot for more than 50 years logging over 5,000 hours in flight time. Early in his long career as a real estate broker (Bennett Realty), Dave decided to include aerial photos with each of his listings. Through the years, this experience honed his skills as an aerial photographer.
Today most aerial photographers use drones but, for an adventurous soul like Dave, taking pictures from a small plane is the way to go. Flying his 1956 Piper Super Cub, he has the option of taking the shot from any altitude. Most of his landscapes and floodscapes are shot from altitudes about 1,000 to 10,000 feet above ground level.
Snapping photos and flying an airplane at the same time makes it more challenging to frame a shot as the plane is constantly moving. To take shots like the giant ripple marks created by the great floods from Glacial Lake Missoula, Dave sets his super cub on a course, opens the window, and begins shooting frames. He takes hundreds of shots, flying at different times of the year, always looking for the ideal conditions just to get that one perfect photo. Dave uses a Nikon D800 camera. His main lens is a Nikon 24-70 2.8 and his telephoto lens is a Nikkor 70-200 2.8.
Dave not only shoots photos of the terrain, he also photographs wildlife from the air which can be extremely challenging. The more difficult part is actually finding the animals. Sometimes he just gets lucky. While shooting pictures of landscapes, the animals just happen to be in the right place at the right time.
Following are two great examples. The first is a pair of mountain goats he found on a rocky crag in the Cabinet Mountains located in northwest Montana. The second is just one of those incredible shots that occurred when Dave was photographing a glacial erratic in the National Bison Range in eastern Sanders County. As he flew up a slope to take his shot of the erratic, three bull elk just happened to be standing there. The snow capped peaks in the back ground are the Mission Mountains.