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Two fighers in action.
THE STORY BEHIND THE IMAGE: Photographer Hans Berggren
Shooting airplanes at extreme speeds - double the speed of sound (Mach 2)
Hans Berggren is, among other things, an expert at taking action shots. Recently, Hans had the unique opportunity to photograph military airplanes while in the air, with the JAS Gripen as the star of the show. We caught up with him to ask how this unique shoot took place.

How did you get permission to photograph these airplanes? It's a pretty closed and secured environment.

"I don't only work with still photography but also with film. It was through an assignment by the Swedish Air Force to film these planes that I had the opportunity to also photograph the stills."

What did you want to capture in these images?

"I have not only shot the JAS on this job but also the Hercules and the radar planes for example. So, the important thing for me was to portray that these planes represent much more than just military symbols. They are also strong symbols of speed, precision, cutting-edge knowledge, protection, teamwork, cooperation, school and education and engineering. Inside these planes is one of Sweden's foremost achievements in terms of technology."

Tell us something funny that happened during this assignment.

"We departed from Lidköping and the weather was terrible that day. Rain was just pouring down, a real downpour. But that is no problem for an airplane of this capacity. They just had to fly to where there was better weather, to Gotland or out over the Atlantic which was the case here. It was like a mini side-trip."

How does this type of shoot take place, on a practical level?

"It involves quite a huge amount of planning on the ground first. We only flew for perhaps 2.5 hours, but the planning beforehand was considerably longer because we had to decide on angles, motifs and to avoid misunderstandings, technical glitches, etc. It's very expensive to make mistakes in this situation. Partly because the plane itself costs a lot to operate, but also, there is an enormous team involved, perhaps 20 people besides the pilots, for example, the flight leader, ground staff and mechanics."

Are you in a JAS plane during the shoot, or how does it work?

"No, I am in a Hercules, the military's largest transport plane. After take-off, when it's time to shoot, they open all the doors and loading ramps. For photography, this gives a better end-result than photographing through a window. I am hooked onto a harness so that I can go forwards and take shots through the open doors and the loading ramps. The harness reaches exactly to the edge of the ramp so I am kept inside the plane and don't fall out. It's very cold, but it's such a cool feeling!"

Is there anything specific to think about when photographing airplanes?

"Yes, take photographing the propellers of the Hercules plane, for instance. Here, I think it is important to work with as long a shutter speed as you dare to get the propellers in a blur of motion while at the same time the rest of the plane stays in focus. If the propellers are sharp and are in focus, you will get the impression that the plane is standing still in the air!"

Isn't it difficult to get permission to add these photos to your archive at a stock agency?
"It wasn't actually that complicated. I got the approval with the simple explanation that the secret parts of the plane are not visible on the images. They also thought it was reasonable that some new images were made available for everyone's use without restrictions. This way, they also had the opportunity to check through the images that were being released for use and they could make sure that they were happy with those images."
Look at all the images from this unique shoot
Children playing in street.
Girl with a guitar.
An ox and people in a field.
Dog in the driver's seat.
Blue frog.
Not just Scandinavian photography: From poison dart frogs to a rainy day in New York
We are proud of our Scandinavian photographers and place a lot of focus on promoting photography from Scandinavia. But the breadth of our collection is much larger than you probably think...

In order for you to be able to find what you're looking for, we have carefully hand picked the image collections from different parts of the world. In this way, you get an inspired range to choose from and you even get to see other images that you perhaps didn't even know you were looking for. All our photographers have their individual expression and regardless of whether you work with editorial products or advertising and information, at Johnér you will find a rich variety of imagery. You will also find that little extra thing that stands out and moves you.

New Year's resolution...
Woman exercising.
Man on a spinning bike.
Group exercise at a gym.