The Day the Halifax Airport Shut Down a Runway for Me
One of the disadvantages of shooting film compared to today’s digital cameras was that you never completely knew the success of your photo shoot until you got the film back from the lab. So when I knew a difficult assignment was coming up, I would often enlist friends a day ahead to pose for test shots.
One such session was an assignment I had in 1986 for Air Canada’s En Route magazine. The idea from the art director was to photograph two company executives – Air Nova’s president and their executive vice-president – out on the runway at the Halifax International Airport at dawn, posed in front of a Dash-8 aircraft as the early morning sun lit them up with it’s golden rays.
As wonderful as that concept sounds, there was no guarantee that the day would dawn sunny and bright, of course. So I experimented with two things: 1) using a gradated filter to add some warm colour to the sky, and 2) an orange filter on a flash off to the side to simulate the rays of the rising sun.
Another problem was the early hour. I knew I could never get there for sunrise if I went home to Bridgewater, so I spent the night at the airport sleeping in my car. The day dawned overcast, so my emergency plan was put into action.
To get this shot, the airport had to shut down one of the two runways and, as you can imagine, I was under pressure to get the photographs done quickly. With a flash on a stand to one side and the gradated filter on the lens, I shot a couple of rolls of slide film, and hooray – it worked out well, thanks to the tests done the day before.
The photograph appeared as a full page on p.36 of the October 1986 issue of En Route, Air Canada’s inflight magazine.
FOR ME, PHOTOGRAPHY HAS BEEN A TICKET to the world, a pass to visit amazing places and meet extraordinary people. And, most of the time, get paid for it.
This gallery showcases a few of those places and some of the notable men and women I have had the good fortune to meet and photograph. Those people on these magazine pages range from my own kids (who make good models when needed) to our prime ministers.
Click on any one of the images below, and then use your left or right arrows to view the others.