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Can I download photographs from this website?

Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested. Many images displayed include a downloadable high-resolution version. To download a high-resolution image, click the "Download Full Image" link beneath the image. A new browser window will open, right click for Windows or hold click for Macintosh systems, then select "save image as" and save to your computer.

Can I take photographs or film at the museum?

Yes, individuals are permitted to take their own photographs or videos while they are at the museum.

Professional photographers or production companies wishing to photograph or film at the museum should first review the Request to Film / Request to Photograph forms. Please contact the Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1337, (937) 255-1386 or (937) 255-1283 or at for additional information.

Can you provide historical film footage?

We do not have the capacity to reproduce imagery except for official government requests. Official U.S. Air Force film footage can be obtained from the following locations:

Air Force photographs and film pre-1981 are available from the National Archives.

Air Force photographs and film post-1981 are available from Defense Imagery.

Can you provide historical photographs for a book/article?

We do not have the capacity to reproduce imagery except for official government requests. Visiting researchers may use our copy stand with their own cameras and film. Official U.S. Air Force photography can be obtained from the following locations.

Air Force photographs and film pre-1981 are available from the National Archives.

Air Force photographs and film post-1981 are available from Defense Imagery.

Additional aviation-related photography is available from the National Air & Space Museum.

Do you have any tips for taking photographs at the museum?

The museum's theatrical lighting may pose a challenge to some photographers. Here are a few hints that may help:

1) Bring a tripod, if possible.

2) Turn off the flash on your camera, especially if you're taking pictures of artifacts behind Plexiglass.

3) If you are buying a disposable camera, choose one with 800 ASA or higher film.

4) The Early Years, World War II and Cold War Galleries are lit mostly with incandescent lighting.

5) The Korean War and Southeast Asia War Galleries use mercury vapor lighting, so visitors with digital cameras should adjust the white balance for fluorescent lights. Film users may want to try Tungsten film or an 80-b filter.

Why is the museum dimly lit?

The museum's exhibit lighting is made up of three major subsets: theatrical overhead lighting, artifact case lighting and wall lights for illumination of exhibit text panels. In the past, the museum relied on lighting fixtures that gave off ultraviolet radiation and were harmful to many of the museums artifacts. Several of these artifacts had to be permanently removed from exhibit. The museum began looking for lighting alternatives that would meet three criteria: adequately light our artifacts, provide energy savings and most importantly, preserve the museum's collection. LED technology was identified as the best solution, and the museum began using LED lighting in all new exhibits.

We are currently in the process of converting all of our exhibit lighting to LED technology. This technology cuts our energy costs, decreases the amount of manpower needed to change lights because LEDs last much longer than conventional light bulbs, and they greatly reduce the harm to our artifacts. LED lights also create greater visibility and provide a brighter true white light. Currently, the majority of the museum's exhibit cases and wall lights have been converted to LED. Our fourth building, which is currently under construction, will showcase 100 percent LED lighting. We also plan to convert theatrical lighting in all the museum's galleries (around 3,000 fixtures) as funding and manpower allow. Our goal is to provide the absolute best visitor experience while ensuring that we protect and preserve our Air Force history for generations to come.

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