Maverick? Goose? Your Chariot Awaits by David McMahon

Currently unavailable for purchase

Available to buy on…

Maverick? Goose? Your Chariot Awaits by 

This US Hornet was sitting on the apron of Avalon airport, Melbourne, during the 2009 Australian International Air Show.

This angle caught my attention because the long, slender nose cone was partially in darkness and partially lit, while other surfaces were highlighted sharply against the inky-black night.

The design of the engine intake, in particular, shows just how slender some of the leading surfaces are on this highly-regarded fighter jet.

My challenge here was to achieve a strong composition and absolute clarity – without a tripod.

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot without a tripod, using a Pentax K100D and a Sigma 70-300mm lens. F4.5, 1/15 sec, ISO 800, focal length 150mm.

Featured in DIMENSIONS, November 2009.



goose, maverick, hornet, f a 18, top gun, david mcmahon

Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

View Full Profile


  • Indrani Ghose
    Indrani Ghosealmost 5 years ago

    You got a real good close shot.
    Great capture!

  • Thanks for the favourite, Indrani. I had a feeling you’d like this shot. Lucky the public walkway was unrestricted.

    – David McMahon

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1almost 5 years ago


  • Thank you, Cheryl. It was such an interesting sight that I had to stop and take a shot.

    – David McMahon

  • Edward Denyer
    Edward Denyeralmost 5 years ago

    Good angle and l;ighting David. – Ted

  • Thanks, Edward. I had walked past it about an hour earlier, at dusk, but when I retraced my steps after dark, the whole ambience just beckoned me!

    – David McMahon

  • Munggo
    Munggoalmost 5 years ago

    Excellent shot mate, like the shadow and light.

  • Thanks, Munggo – appreciate it.

    – David McMahon

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1almost 5 years ago

    Great shot, David

  • Thanks very much, Shulie – I was lucky with the position of the floodlights.

    – David McMahon

  • sfmilner
    sfmilneralmost 5 years ago

    Greetings David; A beautiful hand held capture! The shadows and framing are absolutely stunning! Well done my friend.

  • Thank you, Steve. There is no arrogance in my decision to avoid tripods – it just increases the fun of the challenge. Delighted to know you like this shot!

    – David McMahon

  • Sean Jansen
    Sean Jansenalmost 5 years ago

    Wonderful immage…..very powerful and I really like the perspective you took on this one. Great shot !!

  • Much obliged, Sean. It was handy being able to compose this asymmetrically, so the perspective kind of fell into place. Glad you like this one!

    – David McMahon

  • ourjrny
    ourjrnyalmost 5 years ago

  • Thank you very much, Sharon. Delighted to know that this image was featured. As always, thank you for letting me know.

    – David McMahon

  • David's Photoshop
    David's Photoshopalmost 5 years ago

    Great image, well done and congratulations on being featured.

  • Thank you very much, David. Luckily the walkway gave me an (almost) unimpeded view.

    – David McMahon

  • mcneder
    mcnederalmost 5 years ago

    Isn’t there a bird called the ‘boobie’ ?? Hmmmm – what can I say, probably no more eh?

  • I can honestly say that thought had not crossed my mind!!

    – David McMahon

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait