Ghosts in the Machine

1992, was strange, painful, wonderful and exciting year for me. In 1992, I bought my 300mm f/2.8. In 1992, I started learning to fly, and on December 20, I soloed. I can still remember that cold, grey morning; we shot three touch-and-goes on runway 35, and then Phil, my flight instructor, got out of the plane and told me to do three more. I remember how much better that Cessna flew with just my 150 pounds aboard. When I was done, he did the shirt tail tradition. I don’t know if non-pilots know about this, but when you solo the first time, your instructor is supposed to cut off your shirt tail and “hang it up to dry.”

The middle part of my 1992 was occupied by spending time with a very beautiful but somewhat troubled young lady who believed in spirit photography. In May, I photographed a quadruple fatality (my famous “Funeral Crash” photo that published around the world), then came back to the office to soup film and give something to the AP. That’s when she came in and asked to see my film, because she wanted to see if there were ghosts or spirits in my photos.