GHOSTS OF GLORY

Arthur Me­bius’ Pho­tog­ra­phy Of Lost Air­craft

Jetgala - - CONTENT - Pho­tog­ra­phy by Arthur Me­bius Text by Ka­t­rina Bal­maceda Uy www.arthurme­bius.com | www.dearsky­book.com

“THERE WAS NO LIGHT SO I HAD TO BRING IT MY­SELF… GET­TING OUT WAS NOT EASY, TOO, AS IT WAS TO­TALLY DARK”

FOR PHO­TOG­RA­PHER ARTHUR ME­BIUS, WHAT YOU LEAVE OUT OF AN IM­AGE IS JUST AS IM­POR­TANT AS WHAT IT SHOWS. “I like to cre­ate a small his­tory in a pic­ture; you can see how it started and prob­a­bly imag­ine how it will end,” he says. The mo­ment in be­tween is what your cam­era cap­tures. He calls this a “one frame story” — a tale frozen at a de­ci­sive mo­ment, just like the images shown in the comic books he loved to read as a kid.

Me­bius’ For­got­ten War­riors and Tupolev 142 ‘Bear’ series hint at his past and fu­ture, too. Al­most 20 years ago, he had to de­cide on a ca­reer, and there were two things he wanted to be — a pho­tog­ra­pher and a pilot. Hav­ing cho­sen the for­mer, he now wants to in­cor­po­rate avi­a­tion into his per­sonal pho­tog­ra­phy projects.

To pho­to­graph fighter air­craft for For­got­ten War­riors, Me­bius trav­elled to Al­ba­nia with avi­a­tion en­thu­si­asts. The dra­matic light­ing was un­planned — the air­craft were parked in tun­nels, and Me­bius had to bring his own lights and work hur­riedly to cap­ture the images. The Tupolev 142, on the other hand, was in­ci­den­tal, spot­ted at an airfield on a trip to the ghost town of Pripyat in Ukraine.

Me­bius al­ways liked air­craft, though he prefers the non-mil­i­tary ver­sions. He is fas­ci­nated by the Tupolev 134, which was orig­i­nally de­signed for train­ing fighter pi­lots but is now used as a jet air­liner. “It has a beau­ti­ful ar­row shape and the sound is just amaz­ing,” he says.

He is cur­rently work­ing on a photo series on North Korean civil avi­a­tion, which will go on ex­hibit in May in his home, the Nether­lands. Me­bius will also pub­lish a book, Dear Sky, us­ing pho­tos from the series. Mean­while, he also shoots ad­ver­tis­ing pho­tos and videos for cor­po­rate clients, and has won pres­ti­gious prizes, in­clud­ing Cannes and New York Fes­ti­vals awards.

“I HAVE BEEN TRY­ING TO PUSH MY PER­SONAL PROJECTS IN THE DI­REC­TION OF AVI­A­TION”

Three Shenyang J-6 air­craft, the Chi­nese-built ver­sion of the Soviet MiG-19 fighter jet, in a tun­nel in Al­ba­nia

A Tupolev Tu-142, a mar­itime re­con­nais­sance and anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare air­craft de­vel­oped in the 1960s Me­bius saw images of aban­doned fighter air­craft in Al­ba­nia on­line and de­cided to see them for him­self

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