Aktuğ Ateş: My interest in aircraft started when I was six. The aircraft landing at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul used to fly above our neighborhood and I watched those magnificent birds with enthusiasm. My desire to become closer to them increased day by day and turned into a passion. As a photographer himself, my father gave me a camera as a gift and so I decided to take photos of the aircraft. I enjoyed that very much and I have been pursuing this hobby with the same level of excitement ever since. I started to improve myself in this area by learning basic photography techniques such as composition and lighting. Since we did not have any internet in those days, I used to buy aviation magazines, observed the angles used in the shooting of air vehicles and tried to do the same. By experiencing the shooting techniques, I endeavored to achieve the best in time. One should try different techniques, lenses, light and weather conditions in this hobby and see the results. In that way, one may achieve capturing successful images and step towards being a professional.
Aktuğ Ateş: The recognition of this hobby in the Russian Federation started at the beginning of the 2000s. I have been continuously carrying out photoshoots in the Russian Federation since 1998. During our photoshoots, we frequently gather with our young colleagues interested in this hobby. I share my know-how on basic techniques and other methods with them throughout the shooting. Many aviation photographers who newly started to enjoy this hobby often ask me various questions during the photoshoots, and I enjoy sharing my experiences and know-how with them either in written or verbal form. Besides, I wrote two books in Turkish and Russian that cover technical information on aviation photography as I believe such written work would be quite advantageous for beginners.
Aktuğ Ateş: In 2007 and the following years, Domodedovo Airport in Moscow organized a spotting day by gathering many aviation photographers on the apron. Numerous airports in the Russian Federation followed the Domodedovo Airport and frequently launched such spotting activities. These collective photoshoots enabled the authorities to become acquainted with the photographers and to ensure the controlled and safe execution of this hobby. Today, we are in continuous contact with the authorities. In this way, we enjoy photoshoots on the apron and capture beautiful images while the airport authorities gain a photography archive built by professionals. Nowadays, with the popularity of social media, our work is closely followed by airline companies, airports and airshow organizers. In particular, airline companies often invite us to photoshoots with various themes and based on our mutual trust, we often exceed their expectations and transform our experiences into wonderful frames.