Friday, March 29, 2013

Pilot, aerial photographer offers free public seminar

The Niagara County History Center is pleased to offer a free, instructional seminar offered by area pilot and aerial photographer Richard Gallagher from 10 a.m. to noon April 13.

Gallagher has entitled his program, “Aerial Photography: How It’s Done,” and is inviting anyone with an interest in flying or photography, that might like to see how these two activities can be joined to create an interesting hobby or career.

Gallagher started flying in April 1950, while a senior at DeSales High School, at the old Ray Lee Airport on Lincoln Avenue in Lockport.

He credits most of his flying knowledge to George L. Graf, owner of Graf Field, located at the current site of Willowbrook Golf Course in Wrights Corners. Gallagher holds a commercial pilot’s license with flight instructor rating.

He has performed aerial photography both locally and in the Warren, Pennsylvania for approximately 23 years, before retiring in 2008. Much of his work was for the Town of Lockport where he worked for Floyd Snyder for 20 years. He got started developing and printing photography while stationed with the US Army in Germany. His current airplane of choice is a 1946 Piper J3, which is kept at Smith Field in Cambria.

In his free seminar, Gallagher will include information on the types of cameras and aircraft that are usually used, as well as other variables such as camera settings, time of day, locating “assignments” and more. He is also bringing many large format aerial prints of local scenes that he has collected over the years from his own photography business.

Students are welcome to bring their own cameras to take shots of some of Gallagher’s materials. He explained that even novice pilots could use aerial photography to help “build time” and experience towards earning a higher license or rating.

Space for this seminar is limited so prospective students are asked to call early for a reservation in this free class. The class will be held at the History Center, 215 Niagara St., Lockport.