Just read about a great-looking recent book in one of my favorite regular columns, Patrick Smith's weekly "Ask the Pilot." Jeffrey Milstein takes the large-scale, portrait-style photos of aircraft seen here and in the book "AirCraft: The Jet as Art" released a few months back. It's basically a catalog of his recent touring gallery show, one I'm sad to have missed.
A pilot himself, Milstein photographs approaching planes near one of LAX's inbound runways with a large-format Contax digital camera. He then strips the background to white in Photoshop, giving his images the stark, scientific tone which allows the unique beauty and power of their subjects to come through.
Anyway, for the aviation nerd in your life, you can't find a better coffee-table tome. I gotta get one myself. —John Mahoney