Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who are behind Fighterpics.com ?

A: Andre Benschop, aviation photographer and Marcel Schuitema, professional software engineer are the driving forces behind this (revamped) site.

Q: Who is this site aimed at ?

A: Fighterpics.com is aimed at the general public as well as professional organisations, such as air forces, press agencies and private companies. We hope Fighterpics.com will become the 'one stop shop' for all military aviation related images that our worldwide customers are looking for.

Q: Who's pictures are these ?

A: All images on this site are made by Andre Benschop.

Q: Are the images protected by copyright ?

A: Yes, they are. This means you break dutch and international laws when you are (re)distributing, selling, or otherwise publicly showing any of the images on this site without PRIOR written permission. Violating copyrights results in prosecution under Dutch and international law, so please save yourself the trouble,money and disgrace and let me focus on photography. Thanks..... You are however free to use any image as a background or screensaver or any other non commercial and personal use. Feel free to contact me in case of doubt. Please contact me if you think you see an image that can also be found here.

Q: Is it possible to buy a print from an image I see ?

A: Yes, that is possible. Prints are generally available in the following sizes: 20x30 cm (approx. 8x12 In.) , 30x45 cm (approx. 12 x 18 In.) and 40x60 cm (approx. 16x24 In.). For 'lesser' quality images, the largest size may not be available. It is also possible to buy a matted print up to 12x18 In. (mat size 16x24 In.). I only ship mat sizes larger than 16x24 In. on request. Work is progressing on an automated PayPal enabled order system for prints. For the time being, contact me in case you would like to buy a print.

Q: What are your quality criteria ?

A: As a photographer who uses quality as his primary weapon, I tend to be very critical and overly cautious about maximum print size. Images I am not satisfied with are just not published on the web and cannot be bought. Some images are heavily cropped or sharpened for web use only and can therefor not be ordered in print.

Q: Is it possible to buy a digital file, so I can print it myself ?

A: Noop, I only sell files to firms working professionally with digital files on an daily basis. These customers include press agencies, air forces and publishers around the globe. Besides that, printing one of my digital images yourself may result in colours that are way off from what you saw on your monitor and may also vary/fade in time.

Q: What kind of quality do I get when I order a print ?

A: Prints are made on genuine high quality PE coated photo paper, produced by Sihl, Innova, Ici, or Epson using an Epson 4800 professional printer. The paper has been profiled, as well as the monitor. The prints made with the Epson 4800 and their K3 pigmented inkts will not fade noticibly in 75 years, according to research by the Wilhelm institute

Q: What kind of hardware and software do you use ?

A: I currently use a 64 bit AMD system running on 3,2 GHz with 4GB internal memory and 1080 GB of hard drive. I use a Lacie 22" CRT (Cathode Ray Tube, not LCD panel) of the latest generation and my own Monaco Optix Pro calibration system and subcontracted calibration systems to match the colours on paper with those during image editing. Adobe Photoshop CS2 and the professional version of Picturecode's Noise Ninja are installed to edit the images.

Q: What about ethics and image manipulation ?

A: Photography (to my opinion) serves the purpose of capturing the moment as I experienced it as a photographer. Technology has its limitations and I do have to live with that. On the other hand, I use all technology available to (re)create the image that I saw with my own eyes. I go to extremes in using the original information, contained in the files (either directly digital or scans of slides and negatives). I will add or remove things to or from an image only in 'emergency' situations or upon request.

Q: A lot of years are still missing. Will you add those, too ?

A: Prior to 2003, I was shooting only slides and scanning those takes a lot of time. Each slide is scanned at 4000 DPI with a Nikon 4000 ED scanner using multipass and 48 bits colour depth, resulting in roughly 120 MB files each. After that, exposure and noise (grain) elimination is necessary and cropping takes place, followed by saving as TIFF and reducing bit depth to 24 for saving as jpg. Then comes the task of looking up all aircraft data and adding that to the database. Scanning only takes a few minutes, but looking up the data and adding them takes longer, depending on aircraft history. With the adoption of digital in 2003, things do a bit faster, but manipulation is still necessary, as wel as looking up the aircraft data, off course. It will be a while, but no year should be missing , from 1991 onwards..So stay tuned or choose to be notified if an update has taken place..

Q: Why do you show Designers and not Manufacturers ?

A: I would like to show the aircraft as it was known to the public when it was introduced. The F-18 Hornet was known as an aircraft built by McDonnell Douglas, which is now a part of the Boeing company. In order to avoid having to figure out when this merger took place and which Hornets were affected, I decided to display only the designer (or subcontractor) the public associates most with an aircraft. Otherwise, I would have to add the Dutch Fokker and Belgium SABCA companies as manufacturers of F-104's and F-16's (as license manufacturers) and so on.

Q: I see a bird I worked on or flew in. Do you offer military discounts ?

A: I do, I offer a 40% discount on any print for personnel in the force. To prevent scammers, I only send discounted prints to official (not home) and verifiable addresses. This keeps the funny guys away and hopefully encourages you to show my images to your colleagues, friends, etc.

Q: What are the possibilties to hire you ?

A: I am both honoured and proud if you consider hiring me. Provided it fits in my schedule and we agree on price, required input or output and method, I can travel to your location and provide input and/or photography (output). Please contact me in case you are interested in my point of view and/or my images.

Q: Will the site be updated regularly ?

A: Yes, we are working hard to include new features, as well as photographic coverage of aviation events around the globe. There are many images waiting in line to be added to the site.