Makensy + Richard's Wedding

On October 25th, 2014, Richard and Makensy became husband and wife at the Jefferson Davis Memorial historic site, in Pembroke, Kentucky. As always, it was an honor and greatest pleasure to have been able to capture this epic day. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Long. 

Steven + Anica

It was an exciting day in the Clarksville area to photograph this young fun lovable couple, which are due to marry early next year. They gave me the great pleasure to capture this day and turn them into forever visual memories. Here are several shots from yesterdays session. 

Just a couple of months to go

Time keeps ticking over here. The more time passes, the more I am reminded that I'm surrounded by the best people imaginable. This deployment would not be the same without many of the soldiers I have had the greatest pleasure to know. Because of them, time keeps flying..... and so do I. 

Enjoy today's portraits, and have a wonderful day. 

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Going on month number four

I'm not much of a blogger ( as you can tell by my monthly post.. ), but I am however, a photo taking fool. I Love LOVE photography, and being out here in a third world country, gives me the advantage that the normal eye does not get to see. I guess, in a different perspective i'm consider lucky? Or not... Either way, I love posting new photos of the things I see. Plus, its always gratifying to give lovely portraits of my mates, for the families back home to see and enjoy.
 

So here I am, doing the two things I truly enjoy, while saving our country's freedom. Murica!!!!

So here I am, doing the two things I truly enjoy, while saving our country's freedom. Murica!!!!

Here is a canyon that I fly through when leaving Jalalabad to Kabul, over highway 7. 

Here is a canyon that I fly through when leaving Jalalabad to Kabul, over highway 7. 

Being a helo pilot in this country has its challenges. One of them is the unpredictable weather that occurs throughout the year. This month is the beginning of the windy season and thunderstorm activity all over the country. It can be a good day where the day ends short, or, getting stuck somewhere. 

Being a helo pilot in this country has its challenges. One of them is the unpredictable weather that occurs throughout the year. This month is the beginning of the windy season and thunderstorm activity all over the country. It can be a good day where the day ends short, or, getting stuck somewhere. 

Our days are random, and for the most part, I've become accustomed to early shows, sometimes a few hours before the sun rises. I can't say they are my favorite, but I do enjoy watching the sun come above the mountains as I start my day.  

Our days are random, and for the most part, I've become accustomed to early shows, sometimes a few hours before the sun rises. I can't say they are my favorite, but I do enjoy watching the sun come above the mountains as I start my day.  

And the sun has risen :-)

And the sun has risen :-)

U.S. Army Specialist Anguish, Blackhawk mechanic, preflights and pulls a fuel sample, ensuring no decontamination is in our fuel system. 

U.S. Army Specialist Anguish, Blackhawk mechanic, preflights and pulls a fuel sample, ensuring no decontamination is in our fuel system. 

Fuel sample complete sir!

Fuel sample complete sir!

Off we go

Off we go

Photo op for our families back home. 

Photo op for our families back home. 

So for anyone who understand the airspace system, please know that helo's in this country are not hot cowboy'ing it around the country. We still follow rules and regulations and operate just like we would back home, while entering into different classes of airspace. Here we have a Dash-8 on short final to Kabul International Airport. ( FYI You can barely understand the ATC operators )

So for anyone who understand the airspace system, please know that helo's in this country are not hot cowboy'ing it around the country. We still follow rules and regulations and operate just like we would back home, while entering into different classes of airspace. Here we have a Dash-8 on short final to Kabul International Airport. ( FYI You can barely understand the ATC operators )

Here is a CH-47 helicopter from Columbia Helicopter's industry. They concentrate on moving supplies all across the country while assisting with military movements. I will say, I am quite impress with the amount of work this guys do.  

Here is a CH-47 helicopter from Columbia Helicopter's industry. They concentrate on moving supplies all across the country while assisting with military movements. I will say, I am quite impress with the amount of work this guys do.  

C-130 rolling down the strip or in this case, landing. 

C-130 rolling down the strip or in this case, landing. 

Specialist Blechman and Sergeant Crocker give their meanest face.

Specialist Blechman and Sergeant Crocker give their meanest face.

So the U.S. Army flies these! I still can't believe it. I believe my ride has arrived. 

So the U.S. Army flies these! I still can't believe it. I believe my ride has arrived. 

Not as confertable as my blackhawk, but it will do. 

Not as confertable as my blackhawk, but it will do. 

Lastly, a group of guys all decided to shave their heads for a great cause. Richard "Bubba" Forte, a young 8 year boy, who is fighting liver cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, has been inducted as an honorary enlisted soldier, through the "Make a wish" foundation. 

Lastly, a group of guys all decided to shave their heads for a great cause. Richard "Bubba" Forte, a young 8 year boy, who is fighting liver cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, has been inducted as an honorary enlisted soldier, through the "Make a wish" foundation. 

Guess what month it is?

As the month comes to a near end, I sit in front of my computer and think to myself, what can I post for the photos of the month blog? I have a multitude of images saved in my hard drive that I've chosen very carefully. I've also began to take an understanding on Time Lapse photography, which I find very interesting and neat to the eye, not to mention time consuming. Never the less, I do it for the love of the art and documenting moments I will forever remember. Here are some of my favorite images of this month, enjoy.

Our schedule is far beyond from being consistent. In fact, our days can sometimes be as early as a 3 am show. Regardless of the time of day, or the weather, we come to work with the intent to provide our 'passengers' a guarantee ride to their destination. That being said, before that wheel comes off the ground, we spend hours pre flighting, running the aircraft up, ensuring all flight controls are checked and engines are working properly. 

Our schedule is far beyond from being consistent. In fact, our days can sometimes be as early as a 3 am show. Regardless of the time of day, or the weather, we come to work with the intent to provide our 'passengers' a guarantee ride to their destination. That being said, before that wheel comes off the ground, we spend hours pre flighting, running the aircraft up, ensuring all flight controls are checked and engines are working properly. 

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One thing I do love about this country is the terrain and the unpredictable weather it creates. From a photographer's point 



Going on month numero dos.

It's been two months since I posted to my blog. So, without any further a do, these are the moments I capture through my lens. The people in these photos are of those who sacrifice their lives for our country's freedom.
 

Apache pilot smiles for the camera as he finishes his shift, and ends his day with a beautiful evening sunset shot. 

Apache pilot smiles for the camera as he finishes his shift, and ends his day with a beautiful evening sunset shot. 

Steve's last flight in Afghanistan flies next to another UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during a mission to Kabul. 

Steve's last flight in Afghanistan flies next to another UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during a mission to Kabul. 

SPC Howard from A Co 7-101 station out of Fort Campbell, KY, waits outside the aircraft on the passenger terminal, to render respect for VIP's en route to our aircraft. We are, what people consider, taxi cabs of the skies. 

SPC Howard from A Co 7-101 station out of Fort Campbell, KY, waits outside the aircraft on the passenger terminal, to render respect for VIP's en route to our aircraft. We are, what people consider, taxi cabs of the skies. 

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This is the MI-26, THE worlds biggest helicopter built by the Soviet. This monster can sling a CH-47 Chinook, with no problem!

This is the MI-26, THE worlds biggest helicopter built by the Soviet. This monster can sling a CH-47 Chinook, with no problem!

What a view! Morning flights within the valleys of Afghanistan sometimes make you forget where you are.

What a view!

Morning flights within the valleys of Afghanistan sometimes make you forget where you are.

Out here we fly in a flight of two Blackhawk helicopters, that is mostly compose each, of two Pilots, two crew chiefs and one commo operator. In other words, this is how we roll.  

Out here we fly in a flight of two Blackhawk helicopters, that is mostly compose each, of two Pilots, two crew chiefs and one commo operator. In other words, this is how we roll.  

Beautiful capture of an Apache helicopter right as the sun was attempting to hide behind the mountains.

Beautiful capture of an Apache helicopter right as the sun was attempting to hide behind the mountains.

I love off camera flash, so I always make the effort to pull my little strobe and take some interesting portraits of my fellow peers. Ladies and gentleman, meet Mr. Jones, a UH-60 Blackhawk Pilot serving the big U.S. of A!

I love off camera flash, so I always make the effort to pull my little strobe and take some interesting portraits of my fellow peers. Ladies and gentleman, meet Mr. Jones, a UH-60 Blackhawk Pilot serving the big U.S. of A!

Love me some black and whites. This was an early morning shot of Specialist Gibson, a door gunner in my unit. 

Love me some black and whites. This was an early morning shot of Specialist Gibson, a door gunner in my unit. 

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"Hog45, line up and wait runway 03, advice when ready for take off"

"Hog45, line up and wait runway 03, advice when ready for take off"

Snow never stopped us from running up, checking our flight controls, de-ice systems and engines. Ok, maybe that day we didn't take off, but our aircraft were definitely ready in the event weather cleared up. 

Snow never stopped us from running up, checking our flight controls, de-ice systems and engines. Ok, maybe that day we didn't take off, but our aircraft were definitely ready in the event weather cleared up. 

It's not safe until you put a reflective belt, and safety glasses. 

It's not safe until you put a reflective belt, and safety glasses. 

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Now on days that we DO fly, I sometimes manage to capture beautiful sunrise images of the pilots pre-flighting their aircraft. 

Now on days that we DO fly, I sometimes manage to capture beautiful sunrise images of the pilots pre-flighting their aircraft. 

Part of my day is doing what we call here in Bagram, the Kabul 500. Essentially, this town is about a fifteen minute flight from our base, where we go back and forth times FIFTY, pretty much an all day and sometimes all night event. Yet, sometimes, when the smog or smoke from all the houses below, is all blown away by the wind, we get this beautiful clear sky of Kabul City. 

Part of my day is doing what we call here in Bagram, the Kabul 500. Essentially, this town is about a fifteen minute flight from our base, where we go back and forth times FIFTY, pretty much an all day and sometimes all night event. Yet, sometimes, when the smog or smoke from all the houses below, is all blown away by the wind, we get this beautiful clear sky of Kabul City. 

So here's an image that I just love. The crew chief in this photo is SPC Womack, and to describe this moment, you have to understand that flying with gunner windows open at below zero temperature, plus 120 knots of wind velocity, can make even the most daring person, pretty much COLD. Mr. Owens here is warming his brisk fingers via this small heater vent.

So here's an image that I just love. The crew chief in this photo is SPC Womack, and to describe this moment, you have to understand that flying with gunner windows open at below zero temperature, plus 120 knots of wind velocity, can make even the most daring person, pretty much COLD. Mr. Owens here is warming his brisk fingers via this small heater vent.

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Each flight ends with a post flight, and on this image, 1LT Brooks ties down the blades with four tie downs. 

Each flight ends with a post flight, and on this image, 1LT Brooks ties down the blades with four tie downs. 

SPC Blechman, a crew chief and maintainer keeps those aircraft flying! When something goes wrong with the aircraft, you better believe I am asking her expertise for help.  

SPC Blechman, a crew chief and maintainer keeps those aircraft flying! When something goes wrong with the aircraft, you better believe I am asking her expertise for help.  

A rare image of myself that was taken by a buddy of mine. God, it feels so different to be on the other side of the camera! lol

A rare image of myself that was taken by a buddy of mine. God, it feels so different to be on the other side of the camera! lol

Meet Mr. Johnson ladies. He's a single young good looking man with the brains of a genius, that only a helmet this big can keep him leveled. Any inquiries please reach him at 867 5309 eee nine...

Meet Mr. Johnson ladies. He's a single young good looking man with the brains of a genius, that only a helmet this big can keep him leveled. Any inquiries please reach him at 867 5309 eee nine...

Here's a different perspective. 

Here's a different perspective. 

And here's my door gunner's perspective. I think I like theirs better. 

And here's my door gunner's perspective. I think I like theirs better. 

Darul Aman Palace, or King Palace was gutted by fire in 1969. It was restored to house the Defence Ministry during the 1970s and 1980s. In the Communist coup of 1978, the building was set on fire. It was damaged again as rival Mujahideen factions fought for control of Kabul in the early 1990s. Heavy shelling by the Mujahideen after the end of the  left the building a gutted ruin.

Darul Aman Palace, or King Palace was gutted by fire in 1969. It was restored to house the Defence Ministry during the 1970s and 1980s. In the Communist coup of 1978, the building was set on fire. It was damaged again as rival Mujahideen factions fought for control of Kabul in the early 1990s. Heavy shelling by the Mujahideen after the end of the  left the building a gutted ruin.

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The UH-60 Blackhawk made by Sikorsky has never looked so good, that even its own shadow portrays awesomeness.  COWS!

The UH-60 Blackhawk made by Sikorsky has never looked so good, that even its own shadow portrays awesomeness. 

COWS!

Meet SPC Clarke, my console operator. He flies every day I fly and for the most part, he does a stupendous job assisting our VIPs that board our aircraft. 

Meet SPC Clarke, my console operator. He flies every day I fly and for the most part, he does a stupendous job assisting our VIPs that board our aircraft. 

Too cool for school Mr. Peete.

Too cool for school Mr. Peete.

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My lovely Papa Bear given to me by my beautiful daughter. This poor bear has over 1000 combat hours. 

My lovely Papa Bear given to me by my beautiful daughter. This poor bear has over 1000 combat hours. 

Manas Kyrgystan

Transit Center at Manas is a U.S. military installation at Manas International Airport, near Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Here, we will spend anywhere from one day to several days waiting for a plane to board, and take us to the land where we shall call a "home away from home". 

 
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En route to Afghanistan

Saying good bye to your family is never easy, and knowing that you will be leaving them for several months, going to a country where war is consider a way of life, is never a warm feeling either. My travels began with a hug and a kiss to my love ones, then I boarded a plane to my first destination and refuel stop in Leipzig Germany. During my first stop, my comrades and I waited while our plane re-serviced. I sat in my seat and realized how much I missed Germany. Once upon a time, I was stationed here.