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Meet Deon Mitton – Pilot, Photographer, Professional Weekender

Once I became a pilot

After I earned degrees in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, I spent many years working and saving to obtain my Private Pilot license in 1993. The fascination with aviation and photography came from a young age. It grew into a passion, which, once I experienced the aerial views, I wanted to share with the world.

I spent many years in corporate America, practicing my trade in the high tech industry, while flying as a hobby. Later I earned my helicopter and commercial pilot privileges. Once I traveled to Alaska, I was instantly fascinated with bush flying and specifically operating seaplanes in the remote wilderness. I spent a few years designing my “dream job” – it really was about defining a lifestyle. I set a goal of living and working on tropical islands and wilderness locations, such as the Alaska bush, as a seaplane pilot. 

What I do 

I earn a living as a full-time commercial seaplane pilot, following the sun to tropical islands, and the far north of Alaska.

How my photography hobby took shape

Although some of my work is now published in printed media and online, I still look at it as a hobby. I love to travel to remote parts of the world, and always use these opportunities to capture images of these amazing places. My photography assignments are a result of word-of-mouth or social media.

It started with the sharing of aerial images from all my flying. I would bring some sort of camera on every flight, in the hopes of capturing something unique, interesting, and worthy of sharing with others.

I kept on learning how to capture light, and in a way that it represents what I see and experience. Still photography is especially challenging, because you have one opportunity to tell a story. Capturing emotion with still images is difficult. The ultimate reward is if someone relates to the emotion I am trying to share. 

In the world of moving images, video offers a very powerful platform, and it is a very rewarding medium. It requires a whole different set of skills to complement each other.  With moving images, the power of the accompanying soundtrack is by far the most significant element. In recent years, I’ve continued to grow my hobby into the production of short films and documentaries and narratives, telling the stories of people and places I see along my travels.

The dream

I love to travel to remote wilderness parts of the world. I dream of telling stories by means of producing documentaries and narratives, in an effort to motivate the next generation to pursue a career in aviation. Learning about cultures and their lifestyles along the way, I’ll be sharing uplifting stories of everyday people and their lifestyles in remote parts of the world, and how aviation enables and connects people across long distances.

For more from Deon, find him on:

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