Monday, April 7, 2014

Kennewick, Washington: Pilot, photographer wins awards

 David Wyatt of Kennewick takes aerial photos while flying an airplane.

This multitasking talent snagged him three first-place photo awards recently.

He flies his Cessna regularly above the Tri-Cities, capturing the lofty landscapes of the Mid-Columbia region. His photos are usually shot in the more remote airspace areas of Eastern Washington, he said.

"I can maneuver the airplane with my left hand while shooting photos with my Nikon in my right hand," he said. "My airplane does not have autopilot."

Wyatt won his recent awards at the international Professional Aerial Photographers Association competition in Las Vegas last month.

The winning photos are:

-- Canyon Gold, which received the judge's choice award for best scenic aerial. The photo provides an aerial perspective of the Palouse River Canyon, downstream from Palouse Falls.

-- Fingers of the Jolly Green Giant earned the people's choice award for best artistic aerial. The photo depicts the dramatic contours that blanket the rich green of spring wheat near Walla Walla.

-- Wallula Gap earned the individual judge's choice award. The photo was shot last year looking over the Twin Sisters, two pillars ofbasalt rock off Highway 730, two miles south of Highway 12, and Port Kelley along the Columbia River near Wallula.

"Judge Debbie Cruikshank, from Portland, selected the image as her choice of an outstanding image from all categories," Wyatt said.

Wyatt has been a pilot for 26 years and operates Loftics Aerial Photography.

Wyatt's aerial photography prints will be on display at Sharehouse in Richland through June. Select prints are available at other local businesses including Allied Arts Gallery.

These recent awards join a plethora of other aerial photography awards he's won during the past 10 years.

Story and photo gallery: