The importance of Shutter Speed in a Stack Up

In the Winter months I often go through and get images processed that I otherwise didn’t have time to go through during the busy Summer months. This past Fall at the Wings Over Houston Airshow we had the great joy of seeing a replica ME262 and a P-51D Mustang fly formation together. While these once nemesis fought each other over the skies of Europe, today they can be seen often together as a tribute to those days. While both were very fast aircraft they had distinct differences. The most obvious of these is a prop driven engine and dual turbo jet engines.


This one difference makes a big difference when photographing the two planes together. While jets have no moving parts to them, you can easily get away with a sharp image with a fast shutter speed, 1/500th or greater. With a prop it has to be slow 1/125 or slower. When the opportunity comes up you have to watch what is going to be flying by while paying attention to the shutter speed so that you don’t end up with frozen props. Now with this particular image, the prop looks frozen because it is directly at it’s side.

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