David Manning is a Captain flying Boeing 737s for the largest airline in the world. He is also a published photographer, having photographed freelance for local magazines and newspapers.
Through my association with editors, I was hired to illustrate a local celebrity’s book with my photography, which was a unique experience allowing a peek into the world of commercial photography.
As a child, I remember always seeing my late grandfather chasing the family with cameras. He was the family’s documentarian.
Later I found out that he was a portrait photographer in Brooklyn in the 1950’s. I began to photograph both out of curiosity and out of a desire to know him and spend time with him.
In high school, I was shooting for the yearbook and school newspaper, which had the added benefit of breaking me out of my shyness and encouraged me to ask questions of total strangers, boosting my confidence around people. My camera, a Pentax K1000 with a 50mm lens and Tri-X (which we processed and printed on campus), was a constant companion for a few years.
After college, I flew jets in the military for several years, and photography was lost to the technical demands of aviation. I now regret not pursuing photography in earnest during that period of my life, because I saw so many things that were truly unbelievable.
When I began traveling during my commercial aviation career, post military, I had a strong desire to share my experiences around the world with family and friends. I returned to photography as my chosen method to communicate small moments in time and place.
I love looking at photographs of exotic places, but I’ve found that I prefer to make photographs of my own which ask questions, as well as provide answers.
My desire has always been to find an interpretive audience, whether that audience is my own family, or strangers viewing my images.
I try to evoke an implicit, rather than explicit, sense of place, but that sense is always be filtered through my own experience.
I prefer to work in black and white, allowing a greater sense of shape and form, although some subjects are about colors themselves.
Some of my greatest influences include Daido Moriyama, Anders Petersen, David Alan Harvey, John Stanmeyer, and Steve McCurry.
About the images: This is from my series about Hawaii, which I traveled to over a three-year period.