Popsci.com Exclusive: John Carnett Photo Gallery – April 2006

Popsci.com Exclusive: John Carnett Photo Gallery - April 2006

by John B. Carnett

Dr. Xiaohui Fan of the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory is standing at the base of his telescope in Tucson. The idea for this picture came to me as I was driving up the hill-as graphic as the image turned out to be it was never published because Dr. Fan was just too small in the frame.

by John B. Carnett

This is one of the first FA-22´s that was delivered to the Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV. I photographed it in a hangar with 30,000 watts of strobe lighting. The temperature that day was 110 degrees F! The pilot was fully suited up so I only had 10 minutes to make the photographs once he was in place. He´s holding a green strobe to mimic the heads-up display.

by John B. Carnett

I made this picture of Peter Garrison over Mojave, CA. He built this plane by hand from the ground up. Mike Melville, one of Burt Rutan´s test pilots, flew as my chase pilot while I shot out the cargo door-I had a strobe light on the interior of MELMOTH 2 triggered by a radio remote device in my aircraft. Peter´s good friend Stephan Wilkinson, who flew with Peter, said just prior to the shoot that he had told his wife that he wouldn´t do air-to-air flights any more due to the high crash rates- but we all made it!

by John B. Carnett

Paul McCready, CEO of AeroVironment, is holding the first model that he made of the Gossamer Condor. This is an outtake from the shoot-he just stopped looking at my camera and began reworking the lines on the model. Paul is a genius. He was talking to me about the Condor like it was the day he made it, over 30 years ago.

by John B. Carnett

This is a radar cross-section test rig at Lockheed Martin´s Marietta, Georgia plant. PopSci wanted us to make a picture that would not give away the size of the room. The lighting, lens selection, and frame of the picture are all designed to make it next to impossible to figure out how big the room is.

by John B. Carnett

This is the FA-22 undergoing full-engine afterburner testing at Lockheed Martin´s Marietta, Georgia plant. I very much wanted to make this picture even though both Pratt and Lockheed initially said it was too dangerous. But we eventually got it set up. I was on my belly, wearing double hearing protection, behind a large concrete wall with my camera system tied down with sand bags. The pilot started to crank up the engine and once he hit the full afterburner, it became clear just how stupid I had been. Nothing-I mean nothing-can describe the sound that baby makes.

by John B. Carnett

Here´s Red Team from Carnegie Mellon working on the first Hummer entry in the DARPA Grand Challenge. I really fell in love with the way that large black curtain draped in the background of this shot.

by John B. Carnett

I think people either love this picture, hate it, or just don´t get it. It´s a portrait of a man who invented a system that morphs aircraft wings to move like bird wings. I wanted to morph his body in a similar way, and this weird grassy field did the trick perfectly.

by John B. Carnett

This image was made at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, MD. I spent nine days and nights watching the trauma team in action. It changed my life forever-I drive much slower now and have given up all dreams of owning a motorcycle.