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AirCraft: The Jet as Art

New York City-based photographer Jeffrey Milstein has always loved planes. “After I got my pilot’s license when I was 17 years old in LA, I would fly around the basin shooting 8-mm movies from the air,” Milstein tells PDN via e-mail. “I was always fascinated by the way things looked from above.” For his most recent project Milsten began experimenting by using a helicopter and a friend’s plane, photographing local airports like John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York City, and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, from above. Milstein used a Phase One with an Alpa setup and a Ken Lab gyro to get high-resolution images; at night he needed a higher ISO and switched to a Canon. “The images I got were fascinating, showing all the different interconnected circulation patterns (my first career was architect) of the cars trains and planes. You can see how complex JFK is with its planes lined up like toys, and how organically it has grown over the years. At night the tarmacs glow like they are covered with jewels.”

Milstein’s images are currently on view at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. “AirCraft: The Jet as Art” is comprised of 17 large-scale photographs displayed along The Gallery Walk, a pedestrian walkway in the Historic Terminal. The show runs through December 8, 2013. Milstein is also part of a group show, “High Art: A Decade of Collecting,” currently on view at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum through December 12, 2013.