As AIRheads↑Fly we are graced by the often many excellent press images put at our disposal. Publishing them is an almost automatic process, meaning we seldom get to talk with the men and women who have been right there, carrying whatever camera they have into the heart of the action. But for our brief focus on a Canadian rescue exercise that has changed.
Albert Law is a lifestyle & documentary photographer, an art director and a designer. More often than not the Vancouver, British Colombia native finds himself in the middle of the action, which can be anything from a surfboard manufacturing shop, to gorgeous artists “caught” in nature to a tough Quick Reaction Force hoovering into an area of operations.
Embedded with the Royal Canadian Air Force on a search and rescue exercise, Law made a series of pictures for the RCAF that included the one featuring our AIRheads↑Fly article From Canada: Men on a wire. AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger popped a few questions to Albert Law.
AHF: How do you manage to stay focused when you’re right in the middle of everything, with choppers taking off and troops running around?
Albert Law: “It can be challenging sometimes in these types on environments because my priority is to not interfere with what’s going on. So I’m constantly looking over my shoulder and scanning the space around me to make sure I don’t get in the way. A lot of times I find myself shooting using the LCD screen on the back of the camera instead of focussing through the eye piece – to avoid tunnel vision.”
AHF: Have aircraft and helicopters a special place in your heart when it comes to your photography?
Albert Law: “They are just a part of what I do as a documentary photographer. I had a large interest in aircraft when I was younger. I built a lot of toy model airplanes, but I never got around to getting my pilot’s licence or learning to fly. I definitely like flying and appreciate every opportunity I get, so in that sense I’m very lucky that my job pays me to do this.”
AHF: Does aviation photography give you extra difficulties, compared to the other work you do?
Albert Law: “When it comes to aviation photography the challenge is mainly working in small or confined spaces, which doesn’t leave much room to move or use lenses that aren’t wide angle.”
AHF: You’ve done many assignments, which one sticks more to the mind?
Albert Law: “One of the the more interesting experiences has been just that story with the Canadian search and rescue unit. I spent two days with the team doing a lot of different things, including being lowered by cable to the ground while the helicopter was hovering 60ft above the ground.”
AHF: What can we expect from you next?
Albert Law: “My next photography projects are mainly a continuation of what I’ve been doing the past few months. I will be doing more photo assignments with the military, and on the personal side of things for myself I will be doing photo stories on people I find interesting. They are usually other artists, craftsmen and musicians.”
© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger