Aviation Week Photo Contest Offers Rich Tradition (1992)

by Michael O. Lavitt
Jul 19, 2016

We have just issued our call for entries for the 2016 Aviation Week Photo Contest.

As Aviation Week & Space Technology celebrates its 100th anniversary, we approach the 24th Annual Photo Contest. So for nearly a quarter of our history, the world’s top aviation photographers have been vying for the title Best of the Best.

I recently went back to our first photo contest issue -- the Dec. 28, 1992, issue of Aviation Week. A lot has changed, but much remains the same.

In 1992, digital photography was in its infancy. Most shooters mailed in slides and paper entry forms. We made the switch to accepting digital entries around 2005. By then, most of the photographers who entered the contest had already abandoned film. It was a pain for them to convert their images to slides and mail entries to us.

So what has stayed the same? Well, excellent photography for one thing. Looking back at that 1992 issue, I see photos that capture the energy and joy of flight just as our photographers do today. Other publications and websites offer aviation photography contests, but I have yet to see one that matches the quality or variety of Aviation Week's.

And speaking of photographers, some of the names in that early issue are still familiar today. Mark Usciak’s shot of the shuttle Endeavour lifting off just a few feet above the launch pad on Mission 47 was a runner-up that first year. He went on to submit winning photos in 1995, 2001 and 2015. Work by Erik Simonsen and Ted Carlson was also featured in that issue.

So after you’ve browsed this old issue and maybe some others -- the photo issue is always the last or penultimate issue of the year -- consider entering the 2016 Aviation Week Photo Contest or recommend entering to an aviation/aerospace photographer in your organization.


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