Behind The Scenes At The National Museum Of The U.S. Air Force Dayton

In December 2022, I was privileged to join several other fellow aviation photographers at the National Museum Of The United States Air Force in the parking lot at 6 am. We were there for a pre-open photo meetup, to start at 7 am. Once the museum staff unlocked the door at 7, we gathered in the gift shop to hear policies for the next two hours. I’ve never had exclusive access to the Air Force Museum. Join me as we go behind the scenes at The National Museum Of The U.S. Air Force.

There were more than 20 world-class aviation photographers from all over the country who were allowed in the world’s largest aviation museum. The experience was one-of-a-kind. They let us into the aerial catwalks to photograph the two galleries that hold the oldest aircraft. I have been seeing these planes from the ground for my entire life. I finally had a view from above.

Shooting Behind The Scenes

We had unrestricted access to the entire museum except for the space exhibits. Those were off-limits due to lending restrictions set by the Smithsonian. We could go anywhere within the four buildings at this amazing Dayton aviation museum. In a moment, we were about to get behind the rope access to all of the aircraft on display.

One of the coolest things was going under the ropes and behind the barricades to photograph often unseen parts of the aircraft. This was awesome because I often create artistic aviation photos that focus on angles and perspectives. I love these aerial photos!

Around this time I was feeling less than excited about photography. I was in a rut and had few prospects to look forward to. Then, this came along and reinvigorated my passion for photography. Being outside in the cold with the other photographers ignited the fire to create images. For this, I am grateful.