2021 Aviation Week Photo Contest: The Winning Photographers
Best of the Best
Aldo Wicki has been a winner in the Aviation Week Photo Contest’s defense category many times, but this is the first time his work has been judged Best of the Best. He joined the Swiss Air Force in 1990 and is now a lieutenant colonel. He flies the F/A-18D Hornet and flew F-5 Tiger IIs and BAe Hawks earlier in his career. He also trained as an aerial photographer with the air force and Pilatus Aircraft. He writes and publishes aviation books, reports and photo albums privately and on behalf of the Swiss Air Force.
First Place, Defense
Amit Agronov began taking photographs at age 13 and had a photo published in an international magazine three years later. He documents the Israeli Air Force’s activities, aircraft and personnel. His passion takes him to different locations around the world to photograph international exercises, air shows and more. For the past 2.5 years, Agronov served in the Israeli Air Force as an aerial photographer for IAF Magazine. His photos have been published in major Israeli and international media outlets.
Second Place, Defense
Oren Cohen is an Israeli-born photographer who first picked up a professional camera while traveling in South America. A former software engineer, he left information technology to work as a full-time photographer. In addition to taking great aviation photos, he specializes in underwater and dance photography. This is his first time competing in the Aviation Week Photo Contest.
Third Place, Defense
Yissachar Ruas was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and has been shooting photos since his mother handed him his father’s Canon AE-1 at the age of 8. He began shooting professionally at age 13. Ruas shoots worldwide commercially, with a passion for military aviation. He has flown and photographed missions for the U.S. military service and those of Israel, Colombia and NATO partners.
First Place, Commercial
Eric Adams is content manager and photographer at Joby Aviation, based in Santa Cruz, California. Before joining Joby, he had a 30-year career in journalism, contributing features and photos to Wired, Vertical, Popular Mechanics, Gear Patrol and other outlets, and serving in senior editor positions at Men’s Health, Popular Science and Air & Space/Smithsonian.
Second Place, Commercial
Marty Wolin is a freelance photographer who specializes in aviation and fire photography. He won first place in the Commercial category in the 2020 photo contest. He has worked for Combat Camera at the former Norton AFB, California, and for Lockheed Martin as a photographer at Ontario and Palmdale, California. His photos have been featured in many photography and aviation publications. In addition, he has taught photography at various schools and other organizations. His work is available at instagram.com/eyefolio_photography
Third Place, Commercial
Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren is a commercial and editorial visual content producer. His love for all things airworthy has led to a passion for capturing compelling images and sharing engaging stories about aviation. His work regularly appears in newspapers and magazines and with podcasts. He won the Best of the Best and Second Place, Commercial awards in the 2020 photo contest.
First Place, Space
Erik Kuna is professional aerospace photojournalist for supercluster.com and a photography educator for kelbyone.com who is passionate about aviation, astronomy and spaceflight photography. His goal is to create images that help educate and inspire people about the aerospace industry, our Milky Way Galaxy and beyond while also motivating folks to learn more about the beauty of space. With more than 25 years of experience, he has always been into photography and photojournalism, but his passion for spaceflight photography was ignited in 2015 by seeing the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster land successfully at night.
Second Place, Space
Michael Seeley lives in Melbourne, Florida, and is a co-founder of We Report Space. Seeley is also a professional fundraiser, serving as the president of the Health First Foundation.” He is an occasional contributor to National Geographic. He won first place in the Space category in 2019.
Third Place, Space
Ben Cooper has been photographing rocket launches for 20 years, with nearly 300 on the books to date. After working for publications including Aviation Week and SpaceflightNow in the 2000s, he also shot for NASA in the final three years of the space shuttle program and has since taken a large share of official launch provider photos at Cape Canaveral during the last decade. Cooper attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2003-08. This is his ninth time placing in the annual contest since 2008. His work can be seen via his website, www.LaunchPhotography.com
First Place and Third Place, General
Jim Koepnick is a Sigma Ambassador and independent digital journalist specializing in aviation, sports and travel photography. His current freelance clients include Sigma lenses, Plane and Pilot Magazine, Our Wisconsin Magazine, Ripon College, Old Glory Honor Flight and the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau. Previously, he was chief photographer at the Experimental Aviation Association for 28 years. He was responsible for much of EAA’s air-to-air photography for its five publications. Koepnick has photographed more than 10,00 aircraft while on air-to-air missions and supplied over 550 cover images while at EAA. He has won Best of the Best twice.
Second Place, General
Andrew Zaback has always had a passion for aviation. He started his freelance photography career covering space shuttle missions while attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Since 2011, he has been working as a photographer for the Experimental Aircraft Association, covering the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. His work has appeared in many publications around the globe. He holds a private pilot’s license and enjoys being around airplanes as much as possible.