North, to Alaska!

Tim Hodgson
Director of Video and Motion Media

BlackWing recently made a trip to Anchorage for our client Alaska Air Cargo. Our task — capture photography and video footage of both their new Boeing 737-700 freighters recently put into service and their impressive staff that works to keep them full and on schedule at this busy hub.

In order to pull this shoot off, careful planning was required for our days at the airport where all the activity took place. The planes’ schedules can vary due to weather (severe and unpredictable) as well as other factors. And trying to catch the planes landing can be tricky, with winds changing the scheduled runway at the last minute.

We were fortunate to have a super-accommodating client, and an extremely helpful and enthusiastic Operations Staff from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport who made our task so much easier. In our scouting, we had amazing access and were whisked from end to end of the airport, seeking the best locations to shoot takeoffs and landings. Our driver even raced down a taxiway paralleling a runway in our Ford F-150, in an attempt to get some great shots of a takeoff. (We lost the race but did get some good shots!)

To capture the load/unload process, we had the use of a cherry picker and scissor lift. Those things are safe (I’m told...). But if you have even a touch of acrophobia, you might want to pass — they get pretty high. But it does make for some compelling imagery.

After two days of scouting and two days of shooting, we got what we came for and then some. It didn’t hurt that the days were long (sunset in Anchorage that time of year is at 11:30pm) and that we lucked out with the weather. Even though it sprinkled a little, the sun was out more often than not — which was especially rewarding when our group ended the shoot with a great rooftop dining experience in downtown Anchorage.

Stuart Isett, Photographer

Behind the scenes