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  • Richard Mark Dobson

So why Aeronautica?

Updated: Jan 28


I've always been a sucker for aeroplanes and ships....


The evolution of a business. Or rather I might say rather, the NO evolution of a business to date, and now is the time to create one. Yes this is where I make some changes. It's all about focus....


What follows is what I wrote to a friend this morning. It's a rather personal summary of my photographic career to date......




In the beginning


Why the name Aeronautica bla bla bla…..First of all it starts with my romantic retro notion of the exotica of aviation past and present, ships, oceanic travel.   Adventure. Gung ho pursuits.  


I want Aeronautica to evolve into a website that speaks of man and machine. Heroism.  I think of documenting the bush firefighters of Australia.  Or the Canadian Mounted Police. Canadian Coast Guard. Larger than life graphic images of the hardware of war and peace. Man and machine. Stunningly photographed. As an example of what I mean, here are two of my images from the Cape Town Fire Services. I still derive great satisfaction looking at them. One can almost hear the rotors snapping through the air....


(i think I will add them to my website shop, give people the option to purchase them)


Kazan Helicopter. Silvermine Nature reserve, Cape Town, South Africa. 2003.




"Young leading cadres have risen up by helicopter. They should really rise step by step". Deng Xiaoping

I see great portraiture potential in the subject of army officers, police sergeants, ice breaker crews in the arctic.  Russian chopper pilots in the Caucuses. etc etc…. Canadian Mounted Police.  US Marines.  Navy. 


BIG PLANS


I want to turn Aeronautica into a visual entity that inspires, educates, illuminates, reveals those magnificent men and their flying, sailing, hovering, rolling machines. The subject matter is endless.


Ultimately the subject matter is endless. I think of;


  1. Canadian Coast Guard Operations

  2. Indian Military

  3. Australian Bush fire Fighters

  4. Oil & Gas workers.

  5. Railway personnel

  6. Artic Search and Rescue Teams

  7. Custome and Excersize

  8. Cargo Shipping Crews

  9. Firefighters.

Here are some images I shot around the Johannesburg Fire Services in and around 1998. Some of the most interesting times of my photographic career. To witness things like this up close is what makes been a photographer such a privilege.


I spend an awful lot of time on the Facebook group WW2 In Original Colour. Not because I am war junky, but simply because the images I see speak to me in a nostalgic way. When men were men, and flying by wire was an art. Not like today with all this computer flying assisted technology. But don't get me wrong. I still get goose bumps watching a squadron of F/18 Hornets fly by, as I did recently, with the Malaysian Airforce practicing for the Langkawi airshow.



A Grumman TBF-1 Avenger is refueled by flight deck personnel on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown (CV-10). 1943 / left: right: A Curtiss SBC-4 Helldiver and a flight of Grumman F4F Wildcats in a 1941, War Games...

To Sum it Up


Aeronautica has to become my escape portal. The ultimate goal is to create a business that allows me to get paid to indulge my Raiders of the Lost Arc fantasies. I can indulge all of my childhood dreams for swashbuckling adventure, meanwhile surrounded by magnificent men and women going about on their wonderful machines.


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Aeronautica Ltd

Unit 701 Royal Commercial Centre, 56 Parkes Street, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong