July 21, 2024

Standing at the end of a runway, Jeffrey Milstein captures images of aircraft moments before landing. Carefully positioned and using a high-resolution digital camera he photographs them from below as they streak past at speeds up to 175 miles per hour. A professional photographer, graphic designer, and architect, Milstein’s trained eye and steady hand produces images of pristine clarity, 33 of which are currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. In this photographic analysis, or typology, the neutral background and precise symmetry focus attention on the design, color and symmetry of each aircraft: razor-sharp lines reveal technological complexity; spread wings evoke the form of birds. The arrayed images bring to mind a scientific study of pinned butterflies. Elegantly distilled, each of Milstein’s super-sized prints seem to pull you into the air, as though you’re going along for the ride.

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