Indian Pass resident Pete Burgher has been flying airplanes since he was a kid.
So steering with his knees and legs to capture a gorgeous photograph hundreds of feet in the air is, Burgher said, like “duck soup, though maybe you shouldn’t say that.”
Burgher has turned a love of flying and a passion for aerial photography to new heights in an effort to raise funds for the Apalachicola Maritime Museum.
Those funds, Burgher said, will help keep a legacy, a history, alive.
The first product of Burgher’s work is a calendar entitled “Patters in the Water” which features 13 of the more than 50 photographs that will be featured in a coffee-table style book to be published by Christmas 2013.
The calendar and book were outcomes from Burgher’s frequent flights around the area.
“I had thought a long time about the idea of a book of photos showing the unusual features you could see from the air,” Burgher said. “So I began collecting those photos.
“I fly every chance I get and every chance the weather gives me the opportunity. The more I flew around here the more I started noticing the striking images from the water.
“There is so much to see and it is so beautiful. You end up with hundreds of (photo) candidates and it is hard to whittle that down.”
George Kirvin Floyd owns and operates the Apalachicola Maritime Museum, for which Burgher is a volunteer on boating trips up the Apalachicola River and floodplain.
“His family goes way back in Franklin County and owns quite a bit of shoreline in Apalachicola and the area,” Burgher said of Floyd. “He established that museum to maintain that heritage.”
One day Floyd and Burgher were perusing Burgher’s work and talked about Burgher’s idea for a book when Floyd offered a proposition.
Floyd would ensure the book was published if the museum could be the beneficiary of the profits.
“The book will be on photographic paper and have a nice layout,” Burgher said. “The book is done but probably won’t be printed until sometime next year, probably in time for Christmas.
“The book will be a reflection on the beauty of our area.”
The calendar came about by happenstance.
Floyd’s company had contracted with the Franklin County Tourism Development Council to provide welcome center services on St. George Island and elsewhere.
Floyd’s first thought was getting some of those striking Burgher images to the public to sell the area and thought a calendar the perfect vehicle.
“He wanted me to take out some of the photos to make a calendar,” Burgher said. “I agree to forfeit any royalties and Ramsey’s (Printing and Office Supply) worked hard on getting them printed quickly and looking good.”
The calendar is available at a variety of outlets in Franklin and Gulf counties for $10.
“I can go fly anytime I want and I always carry my camera with me,” Burgher said. “I get to see those patterns, that beauty, every day. Isn’t it nice to be able to share it with other people? We really have a remarkable place.”