Aviation photographer Justin de Reuck has had a passion for aviation for as long as he can remember. His love for photography took hold some 25 years ago. He says: “I got my Private Pilot’s License when I was 18 years old, did my national service in the SAAF, and then worked as a professional photographer from 1991 – 1995.”
Needing something more solid in his life he studied Electrical Engineering. Photography became a hobby, but his passion for it was never far from the surface.
“A few years down the line, I couldn’t resist the call of the lens any longer, and once again flicked the switch of my professional photographic career.” Since he started out in photography everything has changed, my darkroom has been replaced by a PC and he still reminisces about the good ol’ days of film, how exposure and darkroom techniques were so hard-core and unforgiving. “The truth is… they were… but I much prefer the digital age. I will never regret those days in the darkroom as it taught me more about photography and light than digital ever will,” says Justin.
After doing some wedding and corporate photography for a while, in 2006 he decided that aviation photography was something he really wanted to pursue. Aviation photography was a huge learning curve and for the first time, he was forced to use shutter speeds that he would never have dreamt of doing handheld.
But after hours and hours spent on the sides of runways practicing, it all started coming together. “Forums and online galleries became my outlet for my photos until an editor of a local magazine called me up one day looking for me to go and cover and shoot a story in Cape Town. The rest just started to fall into place after that. Make no mistake, I still need to go and make things happen, stories and photoshoots don’t normally just fall in your lap. Being a fine art wedding photographer didn’t really help me much in the beginning as far as aviation went but now I’m able to blend the creativity of that genre with my aviation work.