One of the very first lessons I was taught when I started photographing planes is to always shoot the planes as they are flying away. It’s a shot that not everyone focuses on or remembers to do because it’s not the head on shot or “action” shot. Therefore it some instances it can be considered a more unique capture. If you think about the psychology of the image the tail shot is the going away, ride off into the sunset, heading home feeling. All of this can be transferred to static aircraft as well.
Here’s one of my favorite planes as an example. This is an FG-1D Corsair painted in the colors of the VMF-312 “Flying Bulldogs” squadron. It is distinct in the checkered tail and cowlings. Both of these are simple shots. Taken with the D4 and 24-70 one is head on the other from the tail. From head on the plane appears thinner and lighter.
From the tail the planes looks heavy and thick. In truth it’s a bit of both. This was one tough plane. Two things of important to notice is first the clouds, they are very different looking west as opposed to east. If you’re out shooting this one factor might decide what the photograph is. The second is from the tail you can see one of the Corsair’s nemesis the Japanese Zero under the right wing. Another little detail that adds to the story.
A rather powerful title I realize but when you hear my reason why it will make sense. The best kind of background is one that needs no finishing and tells a story so well that subject may not even be there. When it comes to work with planes thus becomes so important that Dad and I actually search more for the backgrounds than we do the planes. It’s so hard to find an airport with power lines, houses or other stuff in the background cluttering up the story.
One of the best elements for a background is mother natural herself. Fog can be the best camouflage you can ask for when it comes to working with planes. Not only does it do the heavy lifting for you but it also can bring out some amazing colors. The only catch is you have to get up early before the ground heats up in order to catch those foggy mornings.
In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film
It’s funny when you have an image in your mind looking a certain way, and then you go into Photoshop to finish it and doesn’t look good the way you had envisioned. Well that’s the story with these two. I had originally intended for them both to be black and white, I keep trying to find plane shots that look good converted, but after going through Nik SilverEfex Pro it just didn’t work. I think that’s funny because you always hear people saying that you need to have the image in your mind before you take it. That doesn’t always work.
Anyways this a great aircraft that i have blogged a little about before. This is the FG-1D Corsair. Back in 1943 and the Pacific Theater was in full swing with the agile Zero out flying many of our aircraft, the Gull Wing Design fighter was being test flown. It was proven to be one of the best fighters, bombers, reconnaissance, night fighters, and escorts in the Pacific. It became so popular and beloved by the Navy that high orders started to come in and the Vought Plant had to start having the Goodyear Plant start making them. They in turn changed the designation number. This is in fact a rarer plane not only due to that fact but also due to certain mechanical differences. One of the most obvious being the three bladed prop. It’s part of the Flying Texas Legends Collection.
At the end of every trip is that lull period of wondering how it all went by so fast. After all the anticipation and planning the trip is over, the work is nearing completion and the next one begins. Although I’m not complaining that the work is done and it’s on to new work, it just always amazes me how fast it goes by. This whole past week has been a great reminder of how much fun Ohio was. Even now while it’s snowing outside and I’m writing this I wonder what will happen tomorrow?
This past week we had a plethora of B-25’s. It’s not often I get to use that word but it does seem appropriate. This was the largest gathering of B-25’s since WWII! Astonishingly that’s only 20. There are just that few of them left flying. Well the B-25’s weren’t the only gals up there, we had few other visitors in support of the event. Like the Texas Flying Legend boys.
Those guys were great bringing 5 planes for the event! Although known of them except the B-25 was allowed to be at Wright Patterson, due to it being a Air Force base and the government is a little fickle about those things, we had did have some opportunities to see them fly at Grimes Field, Urbana.
The P40K and FG-1D were both of particular interest. Being one of the only FG-1 Corsair’s out there, it’s easy to see why it gets so much attention. Despite the usual four bladed prop this one has only three. It’s also one of the few Corsairs made by Goodyear after the Navy contract with Vought got so big that they couldn’t handle the whole contract for the Navy’s time schedule.
Now of course there wasn’t just Warbirds at Grimes. The field also had its share of kit planes, home built’s and weekend recreational planes. This little red one, which i don’t know what it is, was fun to see come down the taxiway after the B-25’s.
Then there was this favorite. Nothing more than an old fashioned Bonanza. The V tail certainly gives it a different look as apposed to modern A36’s. Personally this is the part that I love seeing about planes. You go to a show expecting to see certain things but you never know what else might pop up.
In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, 200-400 VR, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film