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Aviation Lifestyle Media

Paul Job is a professional aviation fine art photographer from South Africa. His company, the Aviation Lifestyle Media (PTY)Ltd is specialized in aviation fine art décor for both corporate companies and individuals. Paul is the only professional aviation fine art photographer using manual focus lenses to take my art photographs. We have conducted an interview with him.


What feelings or emotions did you experience each time you managed to capture a great piece of ground-static art? 
That is a great question, one that few people ask. I am still from the old school of photographers that believe that your subject must have an emotional connection with you, the photographer. I walk around the aircraft, looking at it and waiting for it to “talk” to me with reflection and light. Most of my static aviation fine art photographs are dark and mysterious. Sometimes you have got to know your aircraft to or figure it out.
With the darkness and reflections, the aircraft often reveals secrets that you otherwise never would have seen before in the day time. Yes, it is probably the erotic side of aviation photography. It plays with your emotions a lot of the time when you create something so special that people will want to see more of it. Yes, some people do not like my style of photography, but for the majority it does have appeal.

Do you touch up your fine art photos with Photoshop or any other editing software?
Most of the time I do as little editing as possible, just the normal things photographers do to make their photographs appear better, but in general, I don’t edit a lot on my photographs. Although, I was busy two years ago with an art series of photographs called, “Sun and Cloud” where I did do a lot of editing. With my static photographs or. as I call them, my “Reflective Abstract” photography, most of the photographs are just you see them, where as little as possible editing is required.

Who are your clients and how do they make good use of your specialized aviation photography skills?
Aviation photography is the backbone of the aviation industry. Without it, the industry would suffer tremendously. Aircraft and aviation services are sold or hired due to the right photograph of the product or service. My aviation fine art photography is more exotic and appeals more to the aviation corporate individuals out there that want “high end aviation art prints” on their office walls. Yes, my fine art photographs will be more appealing to the luxurious’ aviation lifestyle market, but you will be surprised how many ordinary aviation enthusiasts have spent a lot of money to obtain one of my art works.

What I have noted throughout my aviation photography career, however, is how little aviation businesses spend on correct aviation décor that represent the professional service that they want to provide. Many of them get it wrong over and over again. People entering an aviation office don’t want to see aircraft, they can see that in magazines, they want to see something different, something extraordinary. I give them the extraordinary to look at with my fine art photography.


Where do they publish your works of art?
In the past, my aviation photographs and articles were published by aviation magazines in South Africa and also publications internationally. These days it is not as important for me to have my aviation fine art photographs published in aviation magazines. I think one can have a greater reach and influence with social media than with magazines.

From air-to-air, ground-to-air, ground-static and remote photography, which is your favorite and which is the most challenging type of aviation photography for you?
I use manual focus lenses most of the time and find that photographing ground-to-air photography the most challenging. You have to work very fast with your focus and your focus must be perfect every time. Remember, if you are on the ground, the aircraft is moving in a 3 dimensional sphere, with variables change the whole time and it sometimes becomes confusing with a manual focus lens. I love the challenge the manual focus lenses gives me. I always say, you have never experience real photography if you have never worked with manual focus and film formats. My favorite type of photograph these days is my static fine art photography, as I said earlier, I love to spend time with the aircraft, getting close to it. My best art photographs come from these intimate, emotional moments with the aircraft.


Which are your favorite lenses for achieving your desired quality of aviation photography?
My favorite lens is an 8mm fisheye manual focus, f3.5 lens. When photographing aircraft one can get some amazing artistic photographs using it. The other lens that I just adore is my 800mm mirror lens, manual focus, f8 lens. Other photographers always laugh when I stand next to them with this lens; it is much smaller in stature than their long telephoto lenses, but when they see the final result, they always back off and respect fills the air. With the 800mm lens you can take photographs of aircraft that other photographers can just dream of.

Equipment-wise, do you think being a professional aviation fine art photographer is more demanding than the others?
No, it is definitely not as demanding as ground to air or air to air photography. Being a aviation fine art photographer is more about the photographic skill than the equipment used. Where I must admit aviation photography, in general, is more demanding than any other photography is in the split timing, the very expensive equipment used and the raw talent that makes one a good aviation photographer. For me, however, it is more of being able to spend time with the aircraft in the right conditions that is more demanding. Access to these aircraft in their hangers is sometimes more of an issue than anything else. To tell an aircraft owner that he has to stand around while I spend two hours around his aircraft is more difficult than actually photographing the aircraft.



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