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Cloud 9 Photography Popular Pictures as determined by web site visitors and voters
(Cloud 9 Photography pictures can be voted on by clicking on the 'green thumbs up' in the upper right corner of the picture)
Congratulations. You've discovered CLOUD9PHOTOGRAPHY.US, the world's definitive source for people with a discriminating demand for original, high resolution, big, awesome, detail rich, quality images of historical and modern military and civilian airplane pictures for sale.
Since all prints come with a money back guarantee you risk nothing. This is because the sale is not final until you see, inspect, and accept the print(s) you bought from us.
If you want to buy unique, uncompromising quality, military airplane pictures, from pre-World War I to modern aircraft, plus airliners, helicopters, business jets, warbirds, and many others, you've discovered paradise on the Internet.
We also feature a formidable collection of wildlife pictures, historical reenactors, ships, landscapes, engineering feats, statuary, historical places, and other subjects.
PHOTOGRAPHY FOR PERSNICKETY PEOPLE is our motto. We passionately pursue perfection, and we often achieve it. The average person is not picky enough for us and does not know how good a Cloud 9 print is. We sell only uncompromising quality, and we offer a money back guarantee. We breathe life into our motto--PHOTOGRAPHY FOR PERSNICKETY PEOPLE, because we give a damn. If you can afford highest quality, lucky you.
Our pictures are printed on archival quality paper, with the utmost attention paid to uncompromising quality second to none, using a professional state-of-the-art printer. We will not ship a print unless it is as perfect as we can make it.
Enjoy browsing the site.
If you have questions, please call Peter Mancus, Cloud 9's owner, at (707) 824-1884.
Credit: Greg Jordan
Money Back Guarantee and Return Policy
To generate trust, I offer the following guarantee and return policy.
I guarantee that you will be thrilled with a CLOUD 9 PHOTOGRAPHY print. If you are not, I will cheerfully re-do a rejected print, give you full credit to be applied to another print of your choice, or quickly refund 100% of your investment, without any hassle or hard feelings, subject to one condition to prevent abuse: you must return a rejected print undamaged, with tracking, at your expense within 90-days of the day that I shipped it to you. The sale, therefore, is not final until you have had 90-days to examine your CLOUD 9 artwork and you decide to keep it.
CLOUD 9 customers enjoy these benefits.
Definition of “a Fine Art Photograph”
A fine art photograph is an image, photograph, or print that was conceived artistically and was captured in a manner that is technically excellent, or the artistic quality compensates for a minor technical flaw.
CLOUD 9 Prints Are Better Than CLOUD 9's Internet Pictures
A CLOUD 9 print is a museum quality print made on fine art grade paper from a large digital file. CLOUD 9's Internet pictures are made from much smaller JPEGs so they will load fast, take up less memory, and frustrate thieves by withholding a lot of data. Many of our master files are extremely large and detail rich.
I create pictures for my own enjoyment, for the love of what I do, for the challenge to be creative and to produce exciting, beautiful pictures. I do not consider the selling potential or the commercial value of the picture before--or while--I make it. I do not copy or imitate what other photographers do. I follow my own inspiration. I develop my own style. Along the way, I keep it fun, do what I want to do, and function as my own boss.
I am enthusiastic, passionate, and excited about photography. My love of photography and the subjects that I like to photograph are what motivates me to put in long hours, to get up early, to stay out late, to study the light, to follow the light, to think anew, to love the challenge, and to continue to come back for more, honing my skills, to improve, so I can create, and offer more exciting, beautiful photographs.
Some of my goals are:
“Final Cut” Standards
My standards for deciding if a picture is worthy of being uploaded to the CLOUD 9 Internet site are: 1) the “Fine Art Photograph” standard, namely, is the picture artistically inspired and technically excellent?, and 2) the Documentary” standard, namely, is the picture a good image of something I want to document?
Photography Style or Signature
I like 1) tightly cropped images portrayed with a believable, slight color saturation, 2) expansive views that show the main subject in its environment, 3) low light and night photography, 4) unusual vantage points, 5) any conventional subject photographed well, unconventionally, 6) candid people photography, 7) street photography, and 8) photography of historical or cultural collectibles.
I approach my subjects with deliberate action and attention to detail. I leave little, if anything, to chance. I preconceive many images and set out to make them.
When given a fleeting opportunity, I can, on short notice, consistently and reliably produce high quality images of a wide variety of subjects, under stressful situations.
Some of my favorite subjects are: 1) “transportation” subjects, 2) people, 3) animals; 4) statuary; 5) landscapes, 6) engineering feats, and 6) nature.
Most Important Parts of Photography
The most important parts of photography are: first, what motivates a person to take a picture; second, how well one creatively pre-conceives a picture; and third, how well one makes the pre-conceived image.
Praise for Photographers
Accomplished photographers are analogous to magicians and historians. They capture and preserve fleeting moments in time to be archived and cherished. They have recorded Mankind’s tragedies, human rights violations, joy, love, misery, accomplishments, progress, failures, conflicts, and cooperation. They inspire. They awe.
Taking pictures does not make one a photographer. There is an important difference between a snapshooter and a photographer.
A compositional “good eye” is far more important than an expensive camera. This truth is true in the digital age. A person with “a good eye”, using a cheap camera, will always make better pictures than a person with an expensive camera with a lousy “eye”.
While a more capable camera makes it easier for a person with “a good eye” to make pictures, no camera, regardless of price or capability, can compensate for the lack of “a good eye” or the lack of passion to create or the lack of commitment to use the camera, as a tool, effectively. Thus, the specifics of what photo gear I use are unimportant. However, for those who want to know, I use professional grade Canon and Hasselblad cameras and lenses, from extreme wide angle to extreme telephoto. I also routinely use what I consider to be the most critical photographic accessory: a sturdy tripod.
I Am Not “a Button Pusher”
I harbor a virulent contempt for the condescending, dismissive, pejorative, opinion that a photographer is a mere “button pusher”. A camera is an inanimate tool. My cameras do not create my pictures. I do, with intelligence, thought, and skill.
“Believability” Versus “Reality”
A famous American landscape photographer, Ansel Adams, opined, “Photography becomes an art when certain controls are applied.” I agree.
I strive to make believable pictures that are often close to reality but are not always 100% faithful to what the camera captured.
For me, the picture(s) my camera(s) capture are a point of departure, namely, material for me to enhance, and the picture is not complete until I have modified what the camera captured. This is because often, a photograph printed straight from the camera’s original picture, film or digital, is not satisfying to my artistic vision. Such a picture, without an adjustment, is a picture which often falls short of my intent or what I deem to be the gem hidden within the original picture. To achieve my artistic intent when I take my pictures I often do one or more minor or major adjustments of the original picture so I can make a print that satisfies my artistic bent.
By “adjustments”, I sometimes do the following: 1) I determine how to crop the image [and I will often offer the image cropped differently]; 2) I will merge multiple images; 3) I will make global color balance changes; 4) I will make global contrast changes; 5) I will remove what I call “clutter” or “distractions” that are unnecessary or unaesthetic or both; and 6) I will remove “imperfections”.
These adjustments take time [approximately fifteen minutes and up to five hours] for one picture, require knowledge, skill, and attention to detail.
I make these adjustments to promote a certain artistic mood and to “clean up” and eliminate unwanted objects that I could not remove at the time I made the picture. When I make these adjustments my goal is to clean up an image, to infuse it with value, and to alter it in a way that results in an excellent print that is “believable” and shows no trace of an adjustment.
By “believable”, I mean a print that all reasonable persons would embrace as being “possible” and “convincing”, namely, a realistic rendition of reality.
These adjustments are part of what a CLOUD 9 customer pays for when they buy a CLOUD 9 print.
In the end, a CLOUD 9 print does not show strictly what was in front of the camera when I took the picture. Instead, it shows my artistic expression of what I want it to show, to the best of my ability, per my ideal interpretation of the subject.
What I Intend by the Name “CLOUD 9 PHOTOGRAPHY”
I intend “CLOUD 9 PHOTOGRAPHY” to include any subject matter photographed and printed so well that when a viewer looks at the picture they experience a “I’m on Cloud 9 feeling” because the artwork is a zinger, namely, an image that emotionally connects to them or commands their attention.
CLOUD 9's Print Prices
Since I refuse to lower my standards, I will not compete on the basis of price. It is impossible to maintain uncompromising highest quality, sell cheap, and stay in business. Lowering prices becomes “a race to the bottom”.
CLOUD 9's prints are high quality, museum grade, custom-made prints, not cheap, thin, mass produced, posters. These prints are a fine art photograph investment. As my following increases, and as my costs go up, I will raise prices five to twenty percent, once or twice a year.
Periodic price increases increase the value of a CLOUD 9 PHOTOGRAPHY fine art print. This is because these prints are not mass produced, they are aesthetically beautiful and technically flawless, many CLOUD 9 subjects are scarce, and discerning, sophisticated, persnickety people value quality. Quality commands a premium.
For a more detailed discussion about why CLOUD 9's prices are reasonable, please read my answer to Question 26, “How can you justify these prices?”, on CLOUD 9's FAQs [Frequently Asked Questions]. A link to that discussion is here.
Licensing CLOUD 9 PHOTOGRAPHY Images
All commercial uses of my work, namely, not for personal enjoyment only, are subject to a license use fee. My minimum commercial license fee is $200.00 and goes up from there, depending on the use, the number of photos, size, and other variables.
I welcome inquiries regarding commercial use subject to a copyright license agreement. Please call me at (707) 824-1884 to discuss your needs or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of your project(s) and a list of the CLOUD 9 PHOTOGRAPHY Product Numbers you want to use. After receiving adequate information describing your intended use, I will quote you my licensing fee.
Unauthorized users are subject to legal action, financial penalties, and fees.
Availability for Hire
Inquires are welcomed.
Business Opportunities and Dealer Inquires
I invite inquires from fine art gallery owners, hobby store owners, gift store owners, publishers, photo buyers, photo editors, photographer agents, and interior decorators.
I Love to Promote and Showcase Talented Photographers
I invite any talented, accomplished, serious photographer who is willing to authorize me to sell their work on CLOUD 9 to become a Contributing CLOUD 9 PHOTOGRAPHY Photographer .
Such cooperation gives these photographers excellent exposure at minimal expense to them and a chance to develop a source of income, plus legitimate tax deductions. This cooperation is also good for CLOUD 9's customers.
CLOUD 9 is evolving into a stock photo agency managed by a photographer [me] who is committed to promoting talented photographers’ welfare as I bring together, in one spot, excellent pictures, taken by myself and others, to give CLOUD 9's customers a greater selection.
Why I Often Prefer Being a Photographer to a Lawyer
Many of the qualities of an excellent lawyer and an excellent photographer are transferable from one to the other. Both require thorough preparation, attention to detail, excellent situational awareness, persistence, determination, creativity, and resourcefulness.
I became a lawyer because I love to help people, to solve complex problems, and to engage in constructive cerebral combat. I also love to be creative.
I love this fact: In photography, once you click the shutter, even in the digital age, there is “no appeal”, e.g., you either nailed the shot or you blew it. As a photographer, if I do everything I am suppose to do, I will get an excellent result. As a lawyer, however, I can do everything within the standard of care, and, because there are variables beyond my control, e.g., witnesses, client, jurors, judges, government officials, the law, and the facts, the odds of getting a good result are not always comforting.
One goal I have with my photography is to call attention to patriotic symbols and themes, the U.S. Armed Forces, and some crucial intangibles, namely, the enduring value of constitutionalism [obeying our Constitution’s commands], and promoting an unbreakable bond between the U.S. Armed Forces and American civilians.
I champion this concept: security, national survival, and the“Blessings of Liberty”, for Americans, will be achieved, if, and only if, two great American communities, Military and Civilian, function with 100% fidelity to the U.S. Constitution’s commands, per its actual text, as written, and as faithfully construed [interpreted and applied], per the values, mind set, and attitudes of the 1776 generation.
A True, Revealing Story
In the early 1980s I had permission to fly with U.S. Marines on a strict not to interfere basis. One day, I was a civilian photojournalist tag-along passenger in a U.S. Marine Corps Boeing CH-46 Sea Night helicopter, part of a flight of five, flying from a Marine Corps helo base in Southern California to a Marine Corps mountain warfare training base close to Yosemite National Park.
About half way during the flight, the helo I was on had a major hydraulic fluid leak, which forced the pilot, the leader of this detachment, to land. Fortunately, my pilot made a safe landing.
We landed in the desert, about a mile from a major civilian road and a civilian convenience store.
After about thirty minutes, we saw a civilian pick-up truck creating a dust cloud, headed toward us. This truck contained the driver, a man, who was the father of two teenage girls, who he brought with him. This man owned and operated this civilian convenience store.
As this man and his daughters approached the Marines, and myself, the Marines and I stood in a semi-circle, around them, facing them, with me at one end of this semi-circle.
I was wearing an olive drab Marine Corps flight suit with no rank. My flight suit had a name tag, which said:
A close up of one of my most highly prized possessions because it is full of great memories and has symbolic power.
Another view of my flight jacket, with patches from squadrons I flew with.
Part of the front of my cherished military flight jacket, which has gone supersonic.
Close up of the back of my flight jacket.
Soon after I had scored permission to fly with the Marines, a Marine told me I had to have a “call sign”, and, since I was a free lance photojournalist, he asked me if I was willing to accept “Lance”. I said, “Sure.” “Lance” is short. It is memorable. It fits. It also has a military-bellicose connotation. So, to the Marines, I became “Lance”.
As we all stood in a semi-circle around this man and his two daughters who drove out to befriend us, here is what happened.
This man grabbed “goodies” [soda pop, bottled war, candy bars, potato chips, and other snacks] from boxes held by his daughters, and he, after shaking hands, enthusiastically, with each Marine, generously gave them snacks. He repeated that with each Marine, in an exceedingly mighty fine, good natured, manner, until he got to tail end Charlie, little ole me.
When this man came to me, he looked at my name tag, and, apparently, read it. He then, with extreme fast movements, virulent agitation, and over-the-top gusto, raised one leg high, slapped his knee hard, flailed his arms around, and cussed–loudly and profusely. He then said [paraphrased], “You goddamn Marines. Even in peace time you carry around your goddamn photographers. No wonder you goddamn Marines got a picture of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi at Iwo. I was Army infantry. We didn’t have the luxury of carrying around with us a goddamn photographer.”
When this man was piping off, carrying on like that, the Marines and I looked at each other and smiled. We never told this man I was a tag along civilian photojournalist.
I love to tell this story. It is 100% true. I did not embellish it. I did, however, leave out my acute worry when I realized I was on the helo with the hydraulic fluid leak. I envisioned my life possibly ending in a fireball . . . or me possibly surviving, horribly disfigured by extensive burns.
This story underscores an illusive, coveted, goal, one that I hope I will achieve but will probably never come true: Some day, I would love to take a picture as important as the one that photographer Joe Rosenthal took that memorialized the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi, inspired a nation, and enhanced morale.
Years ago I read in a scholarly book that during a lull in Congressional testimony by senior U.S. Armed Forces officers, a U.S. Army general reportedly, off the record, told a senior U.S. Marine Corps general, something to this effect, “You damn Marines are an unnecessary second army. We don’t need you. We don’t want you. But, that damn picture you got of the flag being raised on Mt. Suribachi bought you another 200 years of existence. Congress wouldn’t dare to vote to eliminate you damn Marines, not after that damn picture.”
Such is the power of photography!
Peter J. Mancus,
Tel.: (707) 824-1884
Let's hope it gets good ones soon!