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  • Writer's picturePhoto DK

The resurrection of Photo DK,

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

It's been a lot of years since Spencer and I started Mach 3 Imaging. At the time, we were heavily involved with volunteering for the photo department at AirVenture and our worldwide network of aviation photographers was growing. Then suddenly, mass layoffs hit the EAA and after a few years of struggling, they decided to go in a different direction, one that did not include the majority of the veteran volunteer photographers, including me. So I bid them adieu.

At about the same time, my wife and I packed up all of our "worldly" possessions and moved to my cabin in Northern Michigan (for those wondering, I'm still a troll, yes I live under the bridge). Soon after, we started the construction of our new Log Home. We are currently in year three of the build, yes slow but going well. This is a photo from last winter.

The logs look so majestic with the snow

Living in northern Michigan has in a way, brought me back home. I grew up in Lansing and as a kid, we always spent our summer weekends at the lake. Early childhood we went to Lake Montcalm, a small lake where all the traffic drove in left hand circles, but big enough to learn how to water ski. In 1963, my parents bought the property where I've built my log home on beautiful Pickerel Lake, after a rain soaked week of camping in Canada (Maybe I'll pass along some of those stories later). It wasn't until the early '70s, when my parents sold out of Lake Montcalm and we started our weekend outings to Pickerel Lake.

After college, I moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and started work at Rockwell International, Collins Avionics Group. That become my first real exposure to aviation. I was already involved in amateur photography, but got deeper involved when I became friends of Dave Johnson, owner of Photo Pro. Photo Pro quickly became the store of choice for local photographers. Through Dave, I met another long time friend, photography nut and aviation buff, Phil High, who also owns Philip's Diamond Shop. Soon there after Phil and I would be cruising the skies in his Cessna C-172M (N1368U) named Virgil. Phil paid for my Introductory Flight, which started me on my path to get my Private Pilot's License. I bought my first airplane, a 1951 Cessna C-170A. It didn't go very fast, but flying around low and slow was a dream I couldn't believe I was living. When my kids were young, we'd take it from Cedar Rapids to the cabin, landing at Harbor Springs, with a gas stop at Oshkosh.

Sunday morning at the Marion, IA fly-in

Flying shortened the trip to the cabin from an 11 hour drive, to a 5+ hour flight. Still too long for just a quick weekend visit. So, I started looking for something bigger and faster. It didn't take me long to settle on my 1959 Piper Comanche 250, 4 place, retractable gear, and 180 MPH. Now the cabin was only 2.5 - 3 hours away and no more stops for gas. This was definitely the life.

Phil High was to blame for a lot of things, which included getting me involved in volunteering for the EAA in the photo department. This allowed me to mix flying and photography, what a rush. So for 28 years we made the trip to Oshkosh for our annual adventure. For the first several years, Phil and I would drive up and stay in his RV (Erv). Then I started flying up in my C-170A and when Spencer got older, he and I would flying up in the Comanche. We both worked as volunteers, until they chose to go in a different direction.

Also, after 40 some odd years of working for Rockwell International, Rockwell Collins, and now Collins Aerospace a UTC company, I am finally retiring in February. As the next phase of my life draws near I decided that I needed to get back to my love of photography. As part of that, I felt blogging about some of my interests might be an enjoyable way to expose my friends to my photography, some flying (even though I no longer have an airplane), and the beauty of Michigan. Also, I thought it would be a good way for me to meet new friends and help keep all of my friends up to date on my adventures.

For several years I've always thought it would be fun to fly to every airport in Michigan, taking photos, and writing a book about the adventure, dedicating at least a page to each airport. Unfortunately, I no longer fly and wow are there a lot of little airports in Michigan. So instead of writing a book and to give myself some focus, I'm going to start by blogging about airports in Michigan as well as other Michigan attractions around the airports and probably a few other unrelated things. I probably will never get to every airport, but I'll see just how many I can visit. First on my list will be my favorite little airport in Harbor Springs (MGN). Stay tuned for my blog on Harbor Springs coming up soon! For a sneak peak, here is an aerial view of Harbor Springs

Harbor Springs, Michigan

Till then (insert your favorite aviation related saying here) and stay safe,

Photo DK

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