How Valuable is it To Finish an Old Image?

It’s quite common to get so wrapped up in current shoots that you only finish the images needed for whatever purposes you have and then leave the rest for another time. I’m guilty of this myself. In past years I would finish images for blog posts and articles and then leave the rest for later. Problem is the more you shoot the more images tend to stack up so you never really find that time to finish the images. The other downside is it is easy to forget not only what you photographed but the conditions in which you took the image to begin with. This makes it harder to finish the images at a later point. So what do you do?

The images have to get finished one way or another but if the argument is if there is value to finishing them later after you’re out of the moment of capture, then is it worth the time, time being money after all or hardrive space? Well personally I hate leaving images unfinished. Even if they are old there was value in them to start with or you wouldn’t have taken the image to begin with. Leaving them to be forgotten is not only a waste but isn’t a good business practice. Part of the answer comes back to proper time management. Taking less images but still good quality images means less computer work which is a better business practice. There’s another potential answer to the question.

So yes there can be value in old images but it comes from recognizing that value and applying it to your business.

The F6F Hellcat

I realize I haven’t done a true aviation weekly post in a while and this actually won’t be a true one either. I wanted to talk a little bit about the Hellcat today since, one, I haven’t yet and two, there is actually an important date that coincides with today and the history of the plane.

The Hellcat was a Grumman engineered and built carrier based Navy fighter that saw action in WWII and was retired from frontline service in 1954. It was still used for other roles in the Navy though. While the first XF6F-1 flew on June 26th 1942, the first Double Wasp R-2800 XF6F-3 first flew on July 30th 1942. The first production model with the Double Wasp engine first flew on October 3rd 1942 with combat readiness from aircraft carrier USS Essex in February 1943. But on this day seventy five years ago, XF6F-3 (O2982) crashed landed in Bethpage, NY after engine failure occurred. Test pilot Bob Hall makes a dead stick landing and walks away with heavy damage to the airframe. While this did setback the Hellcat, over 12,000 were built in the three years of production.

The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot

Among the doctrines of Navy history, carrier battles were amongst the highest level of complexity and importance during WWII. After the battle of Midway, the US Navy went on to fight the Japanese at strategic points during the island hoping campaign along the road to Japan. On June 19th, 1944 the last major carrier battle was held in the Philippine Sea. The goal was take the Marianas and the battle would later go down as the great Marianas Turkey Shoot. The plan had called for a Northern and Southern attack force by the US but Japan had prepared for a battle for the Marianas and planned a strategy that would destroy the American fleet.

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Admiral Toyoda planned to lure the American fleet to either the Palau’s or the Western Carolina’s where shore based planes would destroy the fleet. The Japanese had 1,700 planes based out of Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines and New Guinea, with another 500 planes out of Tinian, Guam and Saipan. Task force 58, compiled of 6 carriers, 7 battleships, 12 escort carriers, 11 cruisers and 91 destroyers or destroyer escorts, began the campaign of air superiority over the Marianas before the invasion took place. By June 13th, most of the planes on Saipan and Tinian had already been destroyed. Of the 896 aircraft on the carriers, most were F6F Hellcats. As American forces had already invaded the island of Saipan, the Naval battle was in the same vicinity. On June 19th the battle began and lasted only till June 20th. Admiral Spruance, commander of the 5th fleet, knowing that the Japanese were in the area kept a continuous aerial blanket of Hellcats to protect his fleet. On the morning of June 19th after a swarm of Japanese planes had been picked up on radar, Spruance ordered more planes in the air, 300 in total. After the battles at Coral Sea, Midway and the Solomon islands, the lose of experienced Japanese pilots was never replaced. Of the 373 Japanese planes launched from their carriers, only 130 returned. Only 29 American planes were destroyed.

At 16:30, 77 dive-bombers, 54 torpedo-planes and 85 fighters took off from American carriers headed for the Japanese fleet. With very few fighters left the loses were great. The carriers Hiyo, Zuikaku and Chiyoda were hit as well as the battleship Haruna. 14 American planes were lost during the offensive but a challenge remained of landing in the dark. Breaking all rules, the carriers turned on their lights so that the pilots could land. 80 planes crashed or went over the side as fuel was low and visibility low. Most were rescued but 16 pilots and 33 aircrew went missing on June 20th.

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The F6F Hellcat played a vital role in the success for the American Navy. Grumman has had a long line of successful planes built and delivered to the US Navy. In 2012 at the Reno Air Races, we did a solute to the Grumman family, as a portrait was done of 3 of the 4 WWII Grumman fighters. The F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat and F8F Bearcat.

A Hero not forgotten

Everyday people fly through Chicago’s O’Hare airport probably not knowing where it got it’s name. Well if you look down the west end of terminal 2 you would get a clue as to why. In that terminal is a F4F-3 Wildcat retreived from the depths of Lake Michigan and restored in honor of Edward O’Hare, the US Navy’s first flying ace. On February 20th, 1942 he single handily attacked a squadron of 9 heavy bombers on route to his carrier. He managed to shoot down or damage several of the bombers, earning him the Medal of Honor on April 21st, 1942.

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On November 26th, 1943 O’Hare was on the first nighttime fighter attack launched by a US aircraft carrier, when his squadron of F6F Hellcats and TBM Avengers engaged with a group of Japanese torpedo bombers. O’Hare and his wingman Ensign Warren Andrew “Andy” Skon joined up with a TBF piloted by LCDR John C. Phillips and crewed by radar specialist LTJG Hazen B. Rand and rear gunner Alvin Kernan. O’Hare was behind the TBF when Kernan reported a Betty Bomber above and behind O’Hare. He opened fire as did the Betty. A shadow and a whitish splash was all that was seen of O’Hare. No radio calls were made. O’Hare’s aircraft was shot down and sadly was never found. There is much controversy over how he died, but those that knew him didn’t care. They were sad they had lost a friend.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 200-400 VRII, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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