2015 Photo Contest Winners Are A High-Flying Bunch

Not only do they take great aviation and aerospace photos, but many of this year's winners have impressive aerospace and defense credentials. See their work and read about their backgrounds.

One of my responsibilities as director of editorial content production at Aviation Week is managing the Aviation Week Photo Contest. I tell our judges that sitting in on their evaluation of the finalists is the most fun I have at work all year.

The winning entries in each category are always stunning, and this year’s winners are no exception. Some of the images that don’t make the final cut are almost as impressive. I don’t envy the judges having to make the final decisions. You can view all the finalists here.

But what really impressed me this year are the aviation and aerospace chops of the winners themselves. You can read their bios here. To whet your appetite, here’s a high-level view of their qualifications:

Christopher Miller, whose shot of the Confederate Air Force’s B-29 FIFI at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture 2015 was judged Best of the Best, is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.

Brent Beck, who shot the watery landing that won First Place in the General Aviation category, made his last flight as a U.S. Air Force U-2 pilot in early December.

Jin Nakashima has served as a co-principal investigator on experiments that flew on both the space shuttle and the International Space Station. This year, he won Second Place in the Space category with a night launch photo.

Andras Mihalik, who won First Place in the Commercial category with an image of two sea planes beneath the aurora borealis, is an air traffic controller in Hungary and the third controller in his family.

Angelo Bufalino had three winning photos in the Defense, General Aviation and Commercial categories this year. His day job is captaining a Boeing 767 for FedEx.

Johnson Barros works in the Brazilian air force and took Third Place in Defense with a photo of four Black Hawk helicopters flying in formation above the Amazon jungle.

The other photographers who won this year have outstanding backgrounds as well. So please enjoy their work, read their bios, check out the galleries for all four categories and share your opinions about this year's photos.

Finally, we sought entries in a fifth category this year, Selfie. Our judges didn’t feel there were any entries of sufficient quality to offer a prize in this category. But we did shift the entries to different categories such as General Aviation and Defense and considered them there.

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