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Cleared Hot! An Exclusive and Personal Photographic Journey into the U.S. Air Force
About The Collection
Veteran photographer Nicholas Price spent 18 months with the U.S. Air Force men and women in an attempt to capture
on film the strength and courage of American service members. Price,was granted unprecedented access to take over
8,000 photographs and cull from that collection the 60 black-and-white photographs, which mark the 60th Anniversary of
the USAF and which have been obtained by the Library of Congress.
"Cleared Hot!" is a U.S. Air Force command used to approve an action -- typically, the release or drop weapons.
Other subjects in the Cleared Hot Collection and Exhibition include:
1. Combat Warrior
2. The Face Of The Airman
3. Hardware & Equipment
4. The Home coming
5. Red Flag - The Ultimate Game
6. The Battlefield Today - B-52 &F22
8. Pride & Joy - The Military Family
A Personal Message from Nicholas Price about the Cleared Hot! Project.
"There has been much talk about access being the secret of success in this project and yet though important in terms of obtaining these photographs this was not the making of the project.
I was not looking for the only opportunity out there and never approached this subject lightly and over a weekend. I went into this with my eyes open to the military universe and had to close my ears to the outside world.
It meant stepping off the world of push and shove, cat and mouse into a sanctuary of order, pride and courtesy. A place in which sacrifices were the norm and not so unique.
I had to take a year out of my life to get this done, a year in which I found myself turning turn down my most lucrative business opportunities and a host of commissions to get the job done and still those apparently huge sacrifices paled into insignificance when I saw men and women putting themselves in harms way at a moment’s notice, whether they were taking advantage of billions of dollars of technology to protect themselves or using their feet and hands to get the job done.
This moved from a fascinating project into a journey, one for both myself and those I was documenting. I was embraced as an outsider in their world, as my mission was soon clear, I was not a day tripper looking for jets, the so called shock and awe, I was not here to photograph the roar of high tech but the people that made that roar happen, those that made the cogs on this huge machine turn, use my artistic talent to capture theirs. To find out why pay was not the motivation and why a fellow human being was ready to put on the uniform and make a commitment to his or her country and fellow man without regard for their own safety.
This was an awakening for me and I trust when you look at these faces and the associated scope of the missions it will be for you too."
These are images that will be meaningful to every American who loves their country and are grateful for the remarkable men and women who serve.
- General (Retired) John P. Jumper, Chief Of Staff for the U.S. Airforce
Recognition & Links
B2 Spirit Refuel
The B2 "Spirit," an American bomber with "low observable" stealth technology, refuels at an Air Force Base.
Price captures the power of an F-15 fighter jet as an airman -- seen underneath the afterburner -- tests its engine.
A group of U.S. Air force men and women line up to receive ammunition for a training exercise before deployment. The lineup, seen at an unknown location in the Nevada desert, is in the shape of a question mark.
Man's best friend holds a special place within the U.S. Air Force and is instrumental in detecting bombs and booby traps. This K9 is pictured wearing protective goggles. Shortly after the picture was taken, the K-9 team was deployed to Iraq, where it assisted in a convoy support mission. One of the K-9's reportedly rescued an airman from the aftermath of a roadside bomb explosion.
The U.S. Air Force stages a mock rescue operation during a training exercise at the Nevada Test and Training Range in the desert of southern Nevada.
Price used light and shadow techniques to capture the beauty and elegance of the F16 fighter jet The F16 jet has become a symbol of America's military might.
This unnamed "Honor Guard" is seen protecting the American flag. The female service member symbolizes the growing presence of women and minorities in the U.S. Air Force. Source: Nicholas Price