NustyR – Touch the sky

I’ve been following the photography of Martijn, better known an NustyR, for quite a while now. It’s not that I have a specific interest in aircrafts or aviation photography, but the amazing images of nusty get me excited and surprised every single time. The machines we see as soulless humps of metal bringing us from A to B, he brings to life as if they were mysterious birds. The passion for his photography shines true in every single picture, and that’s why it was about time we showed you a little bit more of his amazing work and ask him about his passion and motivation.

“Doing half the job and not putting yourself out there a 100% doesn’t bring you anywhere.”

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Is this a hobby that got a bit out of hand, or is it more to you?

Nice question: When you e-mailed me it was just getting out of hand but in the meanwhile I’ve received an offer to connect with the number one aviation photo agency: Airteamimages.com. I’m expecting a lot out of this! (In the meanwhile, nusty received a contract with airteamimages.com.

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

What does an ideal day of spotting look like for you?

For aviation photography the weather / light is the most important. In this case, when a special plane fly’s by it’s a welcome bonus, but for me a detail (this is the big difference between a photographer and a spotter).

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Luckily I can plan my days myself. (Officially I work between 0600-1400 even though it takes longer quite regularly). For my job I drive to several locations in the Netherlands, three days a week. When it seems the weather co-operates (mobile broadband connections on the laptop are a blessing from above) I drive on to Schiphol Airport or another airport and I take pictures as long as it remains good photo weather. Often I go photographing on Saturday morning during the sunrise. In June that means getting in the car before 4am…! My partner often has to work on satuday, so I’m not ‘missed’.

“there’s no such thing as an ideal photography spot for aviation photography.”

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

What’s your ideal photography spot?

The one with contra-light, LOL! No, there’s no such thing as an ideal photography spot for aviation photography. The number one enemy in aviation photography are the heat waves. In the summer you can hardly shoot horizontal with a 500mm prime (my default objective), except for early in the morning.

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

In the winter, with a cold, clear wind blowing from the north-west, you can reach kilometres ahead without losing any quality. Recently I got the new 2.0 converter mkIII by Canon. Because of this I now have 1000mm with working Autofocus available, so that opened up a whole new set of spots. Globally you can find me in a big circle around Schiphol airport, from Castricum, via Krommenie, Ijburg, Zevenhoven, Roelofarendsveen, Lisse to Noordwijk aan Zee.

How often do you do this a week?

The average is two times a week.

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Are we too cheeky when we say that you have to be a bit crazy to be an aviation spotter / photographer?

Yes, that is bold. If you really want to do something perfect you always have to be a bit crazy. Doing half the job and not putting yourself out there a 100% doesn’t bring you anywhere.

Is it important to have a big objective, or is it just about what you do with it?

The photo / action requires a big objective. You look at the sky and spot a perfect photo moments a few kilometers ahead and you want to capture it. With all respect for the 100-400mm zoom by Canon, but it just doesn’t cut it (but you won’t find that out until you’re at home).

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

What kind of gear do you use yourself?

Since four months: The Canon 1DmkIV and as default objective the 500mm f/4, quite regularly I put a 1.4 or 2.0 converter in between there.

As second set the old 5D with 70-200 f/2.8 are always within reach. If it’s really important I borrow the 5DmkII from my girlfriend as well.

The 100-400mm I only use when hunting for contra-light captures, straight up. In that case the 500mm is just too long.

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

What is still on your wishlist?
The 800mm f5.6, even though I started doubting when they raised the price with €2000 all of a sudden. Because my idea was to put €200 aside every month for four years.

Compared to other photos of aviation photographers, yours have something magical, something that also attracts people who aren’t crazy about airplanes. Any idea why?

I think a lot of spotters see the airplane as central subject. The light and the backdrop / clouds / vortexes are what make the difference.

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

Airplane photography by NustyR

About Arden de Raaij

Front-end developer, Photographer and co-founder of cfye.com, originally from Amsterdam the Netherlands but currently located in Lisbon, Portugal.