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Axel Mueller flies into photography


Axel Mueller, a senior at Wadsworth High School, loves to take his hobby of taking photos to the sky while also flying planes.

Mueller regularly combines his hobbies of flying and photography by doing air to air photography. 

His favorite story comes from a trip to Wyoming when he had a company approach him to take pictures for them.

“It was quite an experience,” said Mueller.

The company wanted Mueller and one of his friends to take pictures of them Hang Gliding so that they could use the photos for promotion. That was one of the only times Mueller was paid to take pictures.

That trip gave Mueller many opportunities to take some really great photos.

Mueller also regularly takes trips to the airport to take pictures of friends flying or to take pictures in the air. He will often go to just take pictures of take offs and landings.

The question arises, “how does one get into flying airplanes?” For Mueller, it is about understanding how planes work and fly so he can further his progress to his ideal career, being an aerospace engineer.

“If I work on aircrafts, I might as well know how to fly them,” said Mueller.

There are several requirements that must be met to get a pilot’s license, just like a regular driver’s license. This includes having at least forty in-flight hours and ten solo flight hours.

Mueller currently flies smaller aircrafts to learn on, as they are easier to control and provide a more gradual learning curve than the large aircrafts.

“It’s a Cessna 152 . . . it is a two seater,” said Mueller. “It’s smaller than a 172, which is what I want to learn to fly.” 

Axel Mueller poses behind cockpit before taking off for his flight. Photo courtesy of Axel Mueller.

The 172 has four seats compared to the 152’s two seats which is used for beginners, as  it can fit both pilot and instructor all while keeping the aircraft easily in control.

Mueller currently only flies in the practice zone, which spans from Lodi to Wayne County to downtown Wadsworth.

Mueller also takes advantage of the scenery from the sky and uses the opportunity to take photos from the sky, and uses it as an amazing subject for his pictures.

Subject is crucial to photography and being able to find it is what makes photography so interesting for Mueller. He says that this is what makes it such an enjoyable and rewarding hobby.

“I try to look for things that people don’t normally notice,” said Mueller. 

Mueller takes pictures of a large variety of subjects. He will take pictures of things happening all around Wadsworth and even events around Northeast Ohio.

“If the president is coming into Cleveland on Air Force One, I’ll go see that,” said Mueller.

Mueller also takes photos to try and capture historic events happening around the community.

“When [the protests] were going down in downtown Wadsworth, I took pictures of that,” said Mueller. 

Mueller also takes photos of other community events, such as athletic events around town and car rallies.

To some, photography may seem like a boring hobby, but Mueller has stories that say otherwise. While on the same trip to Wyoming that he took the hang gliding pictures, Mueller had an opportunity to take pictures of a wild buffalo herd.

“We were parked on the side of the road and there [were] all these buffalo,” said Mueller. “You had the threat of cars and the threat of buffalo charging you, it was fun.”

That trip provided Axel with many stories to tell and a lot of great experiences that bettered his photography

Mueller wants to one day be able to take his knowledge of flight and apply it to developing new technology for flying. He also wants to continue to take photos, even if he does not take them professionally. 

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Axel Mueller flies into photography