Paul Bowen, a commercial photographer based in Wichita, Kansas, has been shooting aerial photography since 1972. He is credited with over 1,000 magazine covers and countless advertising campaigns. In 2008 Business and Commercial Aviation Magazine honored Paul as only one of three recipients of its Vision Award. ISAP, the International Society for Aviation Photography, awarded Paul The Award of Excellence, their highest honor, for “a lifetime of outstanding contributions to aviation photography”. In 2013 Flying Magazine listed Paul as one of the “51 Heroes of Aviation”. Paul was also inducted into the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s International Hall of Fame.
Paul shoots from various airplanes while flying in tight formation to achieve his desired shots. He is often perched in the open tail-gunner’s position of a World War II B-25 bomber, strapped in thousands of feet up. His headset and microphone connect him to the B-25’s pilot, and the pilot relays directions to the crew of the airplane Paul is photographing. As the target plane gets closer, Paul directs them with hand signals.
Paul is best known for his vortices aerials, which capture the spinning currents of air produced at the tip of a moving airplane wing, revealed in clouds or fog. His four coffee-table books, Air To Air, Volumes I and II, Air To Air Warbirds, and Air To Air Mustangs and Corsairs have gained critical acclaim, along with his annual calendar, Air To Air Warbirds.