For reasons I don't fully understand, most of my life since the last year of high school has been tied in some way to aviation. That's thirty years - or almost a third of the time that's passed since the Wright brothers first flew one hundred years ago today. And for almost as long (thirty years, not one hundred!) I've been interested in photography. The very well-known photograph of Orville piloting the Wright flyer for that first flight in 1903 was taken with a 5x7 camera (which brings this somewhat on-topic). The Library of Congress website (note 1 and note 2) has some interesting information on the subject of photography and the Wrights. Apparently the Wright brothers found great interest in photography, using both 4x5 and 5x7 formats and the glass negatives of the day.
"That the Wright brothers truly delighted in photography and did not use it only as a means to document their work is revealed in a lecture Wilbur delivered in 1901 before the Western Society of Engineers. Using lantern slides of his gliding photographs to illustrate his talk, Wilbur discussed the difficulty of capturing a moving target on film-and detoured into a brief discussion of the pleasures of photography:
'In looking at this picture you will readily understand that the excitement of gliding experiments does not entirely cease with the breaking up of camp. In the photographic darkroom at home we pass moments of as thrilling interest as any in the field, when the image begins to appear on the plate and it is yet an open question whether we have a picture of a flying machine, or merely a patch of open sky.' "
On this day which marks the centennial of flight, it might be interesting to inquire what aviation-related large format photographs you have and suggest that perhaps you share your favorite in this forum. I'll ante up my own photograph at my homepage and admit right off that it may be a bit abstract. If you hadn't seen the Wright Memorial, you probably would not recognize the subject matter. But it works for me, both compositionally and symbolically.
I look forward to seeing and reading your responses.