Last year, the United States Library of Congress declared the 1986 classic Top Gun culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant enough to be preserved by the National Film Registry. Any fan of the film surely remembers the scene in which Maverick and Goose fly canopy to canopy, and while suspended in the air, pull out a Polaroid to make a seemingly incredible photograph:
The bit is clearly a cute moment of comic relief in the fast-paced action-packed flick. However, the fictional feat begs a question of any inquisitive photographer: would something similar to the shot created in Top Gun be possible outside of Hollywood? Moreover, would a shot made in those conditions be anything worth looking at?
Curious, photographer Blair Bunting got in contact with the California based Patriots Jet Team as well as Planet Unicorn Productions to find an answer once and for all to the long speculated question:
After an afternoon of soaring through the sky at high speeds, Bunting finally managed to get the shot he was seeking (although he nearly broke his collarbone in the process). Whether or not the final image came out as expected is almost secondary in this elaborate experiment. The experience of watching a dedicated photographer snap the shutter upside down thousands of feet above the ground is certainly worth watching and surely provides for a shoot Bunting won’t soon forget.
“Is the shot possible? Yes…and no. We got a little bit of a photo from it, but there’s no chance that Goose had anything that turned out halfway decent.”
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