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December 2, 2013updated Dec 20, 2023

Best Private Jet Photography of the Year

By Chris Boyle

Private jet booking service has announced winners of its 2013 Private Jet Photography Awards.

The winning images from’s Private Jet Photography Awards 2013 have been announced. The competition marks the 50th anniversary of the first private flight when Lear Jet traveled from Wichita, Kansas in 1963.

Entries came in from across the world in five categories: Air, Crew, Detail, Ground and Speed. José Maria Ocana’s photo in the Crew category was also the overall winner.

The competition’s judging panel included aviation and travel photographers such as Jessica Ambats, Craig Easton, Tom Mackie, Paul Bowen and Nick Meers. Condé Nast Traveller’s Caroline Metcalfe, Alamy head of content Alan Capel, fotoMAGAZIN editor Manfred Zoller and BizJetBlogger editor Alud Davies also had a say.

Here are the winning photographs:

Crew Jose Maria Ocana

Category: Crew (and overall winner)
Photograph: Marseille Airport, France. March 2013
Photographer: José Maria Ocana
What the photographer said: “I was the captain of this flight – I love to combine my two passions. The camera was on a tripod behind the seat, using a remote trigger. Close to the ground, the lights move faster and create longer light trails.”
What the judges said: “There were a few cockpit shots in this category, but this image was by far the most compelling because the interior light is well balanced with the exterior.” (Tom Mackie, travel photographer)

Air Jim Koepnick

Category: Air
Photograph: Dawn over Lake Michigan, Wisconsin. August 2012
Photographer: Jim Koepnick
What the photographer said: “The actual shot was not planned, but I was in radio contact with my photo pilot partner. I wanted a clear background and to show the lake below the aircraft. Photographing a Lear Jet from behind is a classic that creates a great shape.”
What the judges said: “I like that the jet is going away from the camera and flying off into the sunset. The image evokes emotion.” (Jessica Ambats, travel photographer)

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Details John Ford

Category: Details
Photograph: Palomar Airport, San Diego. April 2013
Photographer: John Ford
What the photographer said: “I call this ‘The Board Meeting’. This was a spontaneous shot. We were only about a hundred feet up when I spotted these jets. My first thought was that the CEOs were inside, talking on their cell phones to each other without having to leave the aircraft.”
What the judges said: “Great angle – shows the photographer has taken time to get a more unusual take, they look like they are chatting to each other. The white against the black removed any fussy distractions.” (Alan Capel, head of content at Alamy)

Ground Nick Gleis

Category: Ground
Photograph: Van Nuys Airport, Los Angeles. September 2011
Photographer: Nick Gleis
What the photographer said: “This shoot almost didn’t happen due to rain. But I saw the clouds clearing and I knew there was going to be a spectacular sunset. I knew this shot was going to be a rare opportunity – and it was.”
What the judges said: “Stunning lighting, made by the carefully-balanced light inside the cockpit – well done.” (Nick Meers, travel photographer)

Speed Carlos Pereira Vargas

Category: Speed
Photograph: Juan Santamaria International Airport, Costa Rica. October 2011
Photographer: Carlos Pereira Vargas
What the photographer said: “During Costa Rica’s heavy October rains, most aircrafts use runway 25, which allows great panning with a really wet runway.”
What the judges said: “I love the drama in this picture, with the Lear speeding up to take off, and with the background out of focus adding to the drama.” (Alud Davies, editor of BizJetBlogger)

See more private jet photographs at

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