Photography by Ian L. Sitren

The Salute

Honoring a great man, Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Robert “Bob” J. Friend. And I am very honored as well to have stood next to him when I shot this photograph of him saluting during the National Anthem at the Reno Air Races 2017.

This graphic was displayed on the 18x10ft high definition screen over the Memorial Services for the Colonel at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The beautiful painting of the Red Tail P-51 Mustang by aviation artist Stan Stokes.

19-1740 PSAM Bob Friend memorial graphic v1-sm copy

Some behind the scenes info… I was going to be right next to the Colonel while he was introduced to the huge crowd in the grandstands at the beginning of the race finals. I wanted to be inconspicuous so I had put my Fujifilm X-T1 camera on my shoulder with the Fujifilm 16-55 f2.8 lens. It also made for a smaller and lighter package than the other cameras I had brought along for the races.

The National Anthem started playing and the Colonel raised his hand in salute. Only a couple of feet away from him, I brought the camera up, looked through the viewfinder and fired maybe two or three frames and brought the camera down. I saw the photo through the viewfinder and knew I had shot, for me anyway, a photo of a lifetime. For the Memorial Service, his daughter Karen specifically asked for that photo to be displayed. Afterwards she said “This is how I want to remember him”.

 

4 responses

  1. Beautiful Ian. We are going to do something about the memorial in the next beacon. Can you send me the higher resolution image like this one and maybe a few other images. I will let you know about text. I am getting much better but need to stay out of this heat. Working on art projects at home until late September. Thank you

    Sandra

    >

    July 13, 2019 at 12:06 am

    • Thank You! Will send them over the weekend.

      July 13, 2019 at 12:08 am

  2. Enjoyed reading behind the scenes info. Capturing the essence of the moment. Congrats!

    July 13, 2019 at 1:47 pm

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