This is the only photo I ever shot on film that I remember the technical aspects with absolute clarity - even three decades later. Photographers will understand why:
Handheld 300mm lens, wide open at 2.8, 1/15 second, Kodachrome II (ASA 25). We had just wrapped in the late afternoon and as Tom was getting out of the cockpit, I shifted my position to put the Flag behind him and asked him to hold for a second. He raised out of the seat, gave a quick thumbs-up…and this was the result.
Maybe it was the breathing technique that I learned when getting my Marksman rating, maybe an answered silent prayer - or maybe just dumb luck, but the original image was tack sharp, something you can’t tell from the second and third generation copies that are making the rounds. For the record, I’m crediting dumb luck which has been a frequent, though not always reliable companion throughout my life.
Tom has announced that “Top Gun II” is now in the works.
Fans are Spooled Up and anticipating a Sierra Hotel sequel.
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