Russell Munson

At age 14 while printing a photograph in his basement darkroom that he’d taken of an old mining town near his home in Denver, Russell Munson had a pivotal moment. Looking at the print late that night he felt as if he had just learned to speak, and knew then that photography would be his life.

Aviation had also captured his imagination since childhood, and he learned to fly in an Army flying club after graduating from college with a graphic design major. Combining these passions when he set out to make a living in New York City, he did advertising and magazine photography that focused on aviation. He also bought himself a Super Piper Cub and became, as he puts it, “his own patron” by making photographic art in the sky.

Munson likes to photograph the magic of sun-lit clouds from his airplane as well as unspoiled earthly spaces seen from a low altitude so their figuration appears both realistic and abstract. This portfolio of images that follows offers a sampler of flying machines and heavenly views above and below.

—The Editors

RUSSELL MUNSON has done advertising and magazine photography focused on aviation throughout his career and is devoted to making art in the sky. He lives in New York City and the Hamptons.