Evert is born in
|EJ in front of a Red Arrow Hawk Together with his Jose and the pilots|
He visited many Airbases and Airshows around Europe.In
the early 80's his interest was more to operational bases and aircraft but
at the end of the 80's this changed into Airshows. Not aircraft on the
ground but in the air were they belong, that's why his love for Display
Teams became enormous. "That's real flying" he says and ďIím
going to fly with these menĒ he said at the age of 15 and everybody
though: shure you go, they thought heís crazy. But he did it. Also the
other action acts at Airshows became his favourites. So he spend a lot of
time at Airshows, mostly in
|Jose want's to try it also, hhhhmmm don't think so. When EJ is flying Jose is watching|
In the late 80's he started to publish some of his material, mostly for the British Red Arrows and the Snowbirds (the best of the best he says) and several Airshow programs in the USA. In 1991 he became his first flight with the Snowbirds and did some work for them which they used in there brochures and media kits. In 1993 he did his first flight with the Red Arrows after four years of publishing for them and since then he's doing a lot of there published material (posters, calendars, ect).
|Canadian Air Force Snowbirds Royal Air Force Red Arrows|
If he gets offers from others to visit a team or base, if its at the same time when the Reds are in the area he's going to the Reds. He is free to do so because it's not his living, he works at the biggest public transportation company in the Netherlands: conneXXion. So he is a free-lance photographer and he takes pics of things he likes. And his free days are limited, so there is not much time left after all these Airshows. He is working for many years with Nikon camera's (Nikon D300 & D200)
RAF Red Arrows
Since then he flew more than 250 times in militaryplanes and displayteams, and he is going on. We asked him how it is to fly with these teams, you see a big smile on his face and he started to talk. Itís very heavy, the G-force go up to 7 and sometimes up to 8,5 by the Red Arrows and youíre not allowed to wear a G-suit, in the back-seat you have a stick aswell and itís connected to the one from the pilot. A G-seat inflates so it could hit the stick and thatís very dangerous. So you must pay attention when the G is coming, if youíre looking around for a good shot or changing a film you could end up with a blackout. With 7 G youíre body, camera, arm, head ect, ways 7 times itís normal weight and all your blood is leaving your head. At this moment you must breath hard and tightening all your mussels, if not you get ďtunnel visionĒ (you see trough a small tunnel, less view) or a blackout. Believe me, those men are working very hard up in the air. Think about that when youíre laying in the grass at an airshow and look up in the sky.
Republic Singapore Air Force Black Knights F-16 Falcon
He made an official Red Arrow CD-rom with UGA/Media. He
also made several other CD's, like an Airshow series and a SkyFlash special,
US Air Power I, F-16 special and published many pictures in aviation
magazines. He could do more articles but than he must right the articles but
he doesn't like writing "I'm a photographer not a writer" he says. My first team ride was a media flight with
the Snowbirds over
|High G turn in a RSAF Black Knights F-16 USA Patriots|
A few questions asked to EJ:
Is it hard to concentrate on taking photographs
during high-G manoeuvres? Yes very but
the will and passion must be there otherwise it wonít work.
Is it bumpy up there?
Yes sometimes you move around like a car with 100 m/ph on a rough road,
you could break a arm in there. So bumpy can it be.
Did you ever get sick?
No, never had the feeling, so Iím very lucky. Itís mixer of
feelings, hard and aggressive and the most beautiful view in the world, I
What are the biggest challenges to doing your work?
Trying to take pictures never took before in the most weird angles. Not
the straight and level shots.
What are the biggest rewards? Itís my passion and the
greatest honour for me is when a team uses my pictures and the Red Arrows
are using many of them. A
pictures in a magazine is nice but your photo as protocol poster with a
team is a crown on my work. In 2004 I became a Red Arrows Fellowship Award
and that is for me the greatest reward ever. In 2007 the RSAF Black
Knights asked me to do work for them that was an amazing reward aswell.
What is the most exciting assignment you have
A few years ago we did a practice for the Jubilee Flight of the
Queen. The Red Arrows together in formation with the Concorde, this was
How do you co-ordinate many planes at once so that you
get the shot you want? No co-ordinate,
they do the flying and I shoot, we follow the formation during a display
with a spare plane flown by ďRed 10Ē and then we take the pictures.
Sometimes we do a set-up flight for some photoís and then we do a
co-ordination brief before we fly.
Are you a pilot yourself?
No, I did a Dutch F-16 test but Iím a little colour blind, so no flying
for me, but I flew a Red Arrow Hawk and a Snowbird Tutor and even had my
hand on a F-16 stick. So I had some superb moments.
Everybody calls you ďEJĒ?
Years ago one Red Arrow pilot found the Dutch name to hard and called me
ďEJĒ, so thatís how it started.
Do you have some tips for photographers who have a chance
to fly and what about equipment?
Every camera will work, the non
professionals could have some problems with the shutter above 3 to 4 G'S
also the smaller Nikons and Canons. But on your first flight you won't the
camera at 4 or more G's hold it on you leg or on the dash, it will get
very heavy. The big heavy ones could interrupt the equipment of the plane.
The best lens is specially the first flight a zoom from 35/85 mm, here you
have more room to play. At this point that's more important dan superb
quality from a standard lens. In a formation, look and look every where
are planes. Find the right views for the shot you like.
Can't look through the camera? try with out looking, over the shoulder or so. Never use a high F-stop (above F-8) first most lenses are at the best at F8 and above you could get dirt on the canopy on film aswell. Place camera as close as possible the the glass, so you have less reflections, you biggest nightmare. Don't look to long through the camera, could make you sick. Remove your camera beld , dangerous, could touch the buttons. Don't drop things, film/lens caps ect. Only 1 camera and 1 lens on the first flight.