Photographers love having lots of gear, that is a known fact in this industry. The reality is sometimes having all that gear is justified because different scenarios result in needing it. Now how to know what is needed and what is not can be tricky but often comes down to experience. I knew when I got the call to fo flying this one beautiful Sunday afternoon that I would not have the right lens. Having been in biplanes before, the 18-35mm would just not be wide enough. A fisheye creates a better perspective but since I didn’t have it I had to make do with what I did have. Now the question is, is it worth getting?
If you ever need a way to help hide a really bad background while adding drama to your aviation images then getting down lower and shooting up can do just that. Whether static or taxing, finding a ditch to stand in or a by just kneeling down you can give that little extra attitude to your shots. Take these Stearmans for example. They were taxiing by at Culpeper and between them and me was a cement rain ditch that was perfect to stand in. Moving forward a couple feet down into the ditch was all it took.
Stearman are just great planes. Don’t need to say anything else about them except that. They certainly don’t have the speed as other fighters do but they have that classic look which i think looks the best when in a sunset. This is a new performer to me, Eddie Andreini and his Super Stearman, modified PR13D. It started out as a primary trainer and was gradually updated to be a performance piece. Eddie isn’t the first Stearman performer to draw in a crowd but definitely has a great show to see.
Even though it has been a long week, i still wanted to show a few images from Gillespie Air Show. These are all Steerman shot from outside a local pilots hanger. He was very nice letting us putz around his hanger for the evening, enjoying the planes the nice evening and particularly his collection of aviation memorabilia inside his hanger. The planes are actually his, three went up and i believe he was in the Steve McQueen plane the silver and blue one. It was a nice simple sunset shoot with the planes heading off into the sun.
The last plane in the line up that Sunday morning was the beautiful Red Baron Steerman. It has a beautiful red paint job that makes it stand out against any background especially with the light that morning. We had a great time shooting it last time and yet again we had another great time. When we first photographed the Baron we had a great red rock for the background, this time it was the green shubberies of the desert. Not sure which one i liked better, it was the light on the ground that was great about this last time. The patchy light added a bit more drama to the ground which i tried to incorporate as much as possible. It was more of a challenge and definitely more on the mind this time, using the background to the best of my abilities.
At first i thought the background was what it was. Since we were working with planes i didn’t think we could change it that much. Keeping the background in mind it easy to get used to when to zoom in and when to go wide. When there was buildings it would be tight, when there was clean backgrounds it was wide. Didn’t always stick to that formula but it was helpful to have.