Blog

The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Official Communications

Hello photography friends, I just wanted to take a moment to reiterate that all official communications with J. David Buerk - Photography are through myself (David; hi!), and only through my official contact channels and social media profiles. If you encounter any profile that you are unsure or suspicious of, claiming to be me, or conducting business on my behalf, immediately cease communications and please report any suspicious behavior like this to my email, david@jdbphoto.com.

Why I’m Bringing This Up

Although I haven’t received any reports of impersonation, I was recently contacted on one of my official social media profiles by a new, blank profile bearing my name, asking for basic information, which is why I am disseminating this cautionary message.

Official Lines of Communication

Below I am listing all official J. David Buerk - Photography communication outlets and social media profiles; please only interact with these lines of communication (and please Like / Follow / Subscribe / etc if you don’t already!):

Website:
jdavidbuerk.com
NOTE: My old domain (jdbphoto.com) redirects to this site.

Email:
david@jdavidbuerk.com
NOTE: My old email (david@jdbphoto.com) still works! In fact, both emails are the exact same account and inbox. I also accept PGP encrypted email; ask for my key.

Phone:
703.609.3226

Client Galleries (hosted by SmugMug):
clients.jdbphoto.com

Facebook:
facebook.com/DavidBuerkPhoto
NOTE: This URL was changed to mirror my other social media URLS on March 5th, 2019; the old URL (facebook.com/jdbphoto) does not work anymore, as Facebook does not allow masks or redirects.

Twitter:
@DavidBuerkPhoto

Instagram:
@DavidBuerkPhoto

YouTube:
youtube.com/channel/UC4mMZNPzpyd_mTlGbNMzkJw

LinkedIn:
linkedin.com/in/j-david-buerk-59803b8/
NOTE: Not regularly monitored; please direct messages to david@jdbphoto.com.

Google+:
plus.google.com/b/116097680376046332431/116097680376046332431
NOTE: Google+ is shutting down April 2nd, 2019; read why here.

Snapchat:
@DavidBuerkPhoto
NOTE: I am not presently active on Snapchat; this profile is not regularly monitored for snaps / messages - please direct all communication to the above email / phone number / social media profiles instead, but feel free to follow in the event I do begin using this profile.

Personal Accounts

I also have personal accounts at many of the services above, and others not listed; I do not use my personal accounts for business purposes, and if I am contacted for business on one of my personal accounts, I will always direct you toward my email, phone number, website, and / or social media profiles listed above. If you encounter an account seemingly impersonating me, either a personal or business account, or to conduct business or not, please notify me immediately.

Thank You, My Fans

Old Rag Mountain, August, 2018.

Old Rag Mountain, August, 2018.

Finally, a thank you to every one of you who follows my photography, shares my enthusiasm, and introduces me to new people who will enjoy my work for years to come. Without you my work would be much less vibrant and diverse, and I appreciate your diligence in ensuring security and authenticity.

Thank you!

-David

AirlineGeeks.com

A Planespotter’s Dream Gig: A Look into the Life of an Airport Photographer

This morning, AirlineGeeks.com features a profile of me, highlighting my aviation photography, and giving a glimpse into what it’s like when I cover large-scale corporate events.  I invite you to read the full article on the AirlineGeeks website by clicking here or the article preview below.

It is an immeasurable honor that my photography has inspired a profile to be written about me and my work. I’m proud to work so closely with so many people at Dulles International and Reagan National airports, amongst the Airports Authority, the airlines, and their partners, all of whom work hard to keep the DC airports operating smoothly, and welcoming passengers the whole-world over.

I especially have to thank Ryan from AirlineGeeks for shadowing and interviewing me during the Air India inaugural a few weeks ago. I also must thank Airport Operations; without their skilled assistance, I would never be able to cover airfield actives with the depth I capture. Finally I must thank my many partners in the numerous PR, marketing, communications, and media departments and outlets I have worked with over the years - it is because of their efforts on many projects that my photos have been presented to a global audience.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me in growing my career to where it stands today - today marks a true milestone; I can’t begin to describe how honored I am to be receiving such recognition, and I am excited to learn the next heights my career will take. Thank you!

2016 Dulles Day Plane Pull and 5K / 10K on the Runway

Dulles Day 5K / 10K On the Runway

In 1993 Dulles International Airport held the World's very first Plane Pull, a charity event in partnership with Special Olympics, that began a phenomenon of other plane pull charity events worldwide.  In 2013, Dulles added a 5K (and in 2014 a 10K) to Dulles Day.  While technically the 5K / 10K is a separate event from the Plane Pull, it is always held on the morning of as the newest annual part of Dulles Day.  Each year 2,500 participants are able to run on R/W 1R and return to the Start / Finish via T/W K.  It is one of Potomac River Running's most popular runs, both because it offers the unique opportunity to be a pedestrian on an airfield (and run under the wing of a United 777), and there is no other run of that distance which offers a perfectly flat venue other than a track.

In previous years I've been on the ground for photos (thank you to Airport Operations for always providing me with speedy transport anywhere I need to go), but this year I was in the helicopter circling the event to capture new angles and promo photos I haven't gotten for this event before. In contrast to the other photographers at the event who are tasked with capturing each runner's photo, my assignment for the Plane Pull each year is to document the entire day and capture marketing photographs in a photojournalistic manner.

Thanks to an unexpected, last-minute delay of the race start, I was able to capture some great photos and video footage of the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center before the run got underway.

Also visible is Washington Dulles International Airport's Concourses and Terminal, ATCT, VMF, and R/W 12/30.

Huge thanks to Bussman Aviation and all the fine folks in Dulles Airport Operations who make aerial photography and the entire day possible!

If you're looking for the video footage, scroll to the bottom of this blog post.

Dulles Day Plane Pull

The Dulles Day Plane Pull is a Summer festival suitable for all ages, and is great for families and aviation enthusiasts alike.  There are food vendors, games, giveaways, booths and displays, demonstrations, a classic car show, ARFF and Mobile Lounge rides / tours, live music, and ~50 private, vintage, and military aircraft on display, but the main attraction is the Plane Pull itself; ~100 teams compete in pulling a FedEx 757 or a United A320.

The first pull to kick off the day every year is always the Special Olympics team.  This year they had a little help from Superman!

Another notable team is the Fairfax County Police Department.  Dulles's property crosses over between Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, and many of the teams that compete are police and sheriffs offices in the surrounding communities.  The police community is already a tightly knit brotherhood, and that family is brought together every year with this friendly competition amongst neighboring jurisdictions.

Something of my own tradition I've begun since I began documenting the Plane Pull in 2013, every year I capture an aerial portrait of Eero Saarinen's famous Dulles Main Terminal Building.  This year’s Plane Pull was overcast - excellent for pictures of people and scenes, but not the most flattering light for glamour shots of buildings.  The iconic Main Terminal Building is seen here with ongoing construction for the Dulles Metrorail Project entering the bottom of the frame, including excavation and two cranes.

For 10 straight years now eyes have been on the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office; the team with an outright dominant reign as the Dulles Plane Pull's fastest.  They successfully defended their title for the 10th year in a row, with a time of 4.872s; 2016's fastest pull, however just short of setting a new Plane Pull record - a record of 4.753 they set in 2015.

The Dulles Day Plane Pull is also a planespotter's / AVGeek's dream; ATC does their best to route as much international, heavy, and otherwise interesting traffic to the nearby center runway.  Guests are encouraged to bring their cameras, and it's common for folks to come just to grab a lobster roll and planespot alongside the taxilane the entire afternoon in anticipation of spotting a jumbo like Lufthansa's 747-8i or Air France's A380.  This is completely in addition to the static private, vintage, and military aircraft on display.

Once again, I have to thank Bussman Aviation and all the fine folks in Dulles Airport Operations who make aerial photography and the entire day possible!  I rely on these fantastic folks to get me from A to B in speedy fashion, and what I do wouldn't be possible without them!

Video Footage

Here is a collection of the video footage I captured at this year's annual 2016 Dulles Plane Pull benefitting Special Olympics Virginia. Still photographs are my main focus, so this is content I captured between the still photos I captured to document the day.

Rose Corps

Rose Corps, a synth-pop solo project, burst onto the DC music scene earlier this year with the release of their first single, “Frosted Glass;” an icy track with ambient warmth and rich vocals.  Aeron, the singer / songwriter and synthesizer player behind Rose Corps, brought her background in dancing to the streets of DC for a sultry nighttime photoshoot.

Rose Corps is currently producing her next single, expected to release later this year, but for now you can listen to “Frosted Glass” while enjoying Aeron’s pictures.

I can’t encourage you enough to go follow Rose Corps on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reverbnation, and most importantly, go buy “Frosted Glass” on Bandcamp to help support Aeron’s new music career.

A big thank you to Patrick and Rupeng for being my human lightstands in a short-notice pinch!

SOARING - A Short Film by J. David Buerk

Recently I accompanied my friend Ellen up to Connecticut to help her buy a new car - a metallic green Nissan Xterra.  In this case, one of only two green Xterras for sale on the East Coast.  After buying the car, we convoyed back down to Blairstown, New Jersey, a small township roughly 60 miles West of New York City.  Blairstown is home to Blair Academy, a prep school, and Blairstown Airport, a single runway public use airfield that is a base for Jersey Ridge Soaring, a glider business owned by Ellen's parents.

It's long been a dream of mine to get a pilots license and learn to fly an aircraft recreationally.  I flew twice that day; my first flight was scenic, and the second was an actual flight lesson where I was on the stick most of the flight - my first time actually flying an aircraft!

Without further ado, I present to you a short film I assembled from the bits of footage I gathered that day.

For months Ellen has been begging me to come and try flying in a glider, and for months I've told her, "aircraft are supposed to have engines." I've been in small aircraft plenty of times; mostly helicopters, but even a hot air balloon, which of course isn't powered.  If anything, I finally realized gliders are safer in that you can actually steer them.

My first flight was scenic, encompassing the photos and video footage you see here.  My second flight, after gaining just 500AGL, I was told, "Ok, follow the tow plane!"  Basically as soon as we were off the ground I was given control of the aircraft.  There were only two instances where it was a bit too much and I gave back the controls (beyond departure and landing); once while getting kicked around during towing, and once when a thermal became a bit too strong for my (lack of) skill level.

I'd managed to find and get centered in a 400ft/min thermal, gaining over 1,000 feet in altitude, before the updraft mixed with the crosswind was getting too dicey for my own inexperienced comfort at the controls.  That's a pretty solid thermal to latch onto, and a far cry from the first flight, which hardly had any thermal activity, lending itself to a short, ~40min flight.  The second flight was a little under an hour long.  What threw me off the most during my stick time was the lack of feedback through the stick, as well as how much movement it had available; at some points it felt as if my legs were in the way of the stick.  Also, there was the slight delay for inputs which also befuddled.  I found it interesting that the gliders' airspeed is in MPH instead of knots.  Both flights we were towed up to 2,500ft before releasing, and reached a max altitude of ~3,500ft on the second flight.

Glider aircraft are also called sailplanes because of their similarity to sailing a sailboat; wind currents are your friend, but you must know how to use them.  Flying in the sailplane feels like flying in a sky kayak.

I skipped over it, but immediately after buying Ellen's truck, we all got dinner at a Texas Roadhouse in Connecticut - Alyssa had driven over from Woonsocket, Rhode Island to catch dinner with me and my friends (you should have come flying with us!).  After dinner, we departed for Blairstown for a weekend flying, which you just read about.

Gliders are definitely something I will be doing again, though I find it ironic that I still have not been up in a single-engine airplane.  I can't wait to get more flight time in!