Tomorrow is the start of Photoshop World. Before I get started sharing some of what goes on at this marvelous and overwhelming event, i wanted to bring to you some of the aircraft that was at the Florida International Air Show. Everything you see was up flying both days, giving some fantastic performances.
For the last two years now Dad and myself have undergone a change to photographing aircraft. In that time we have done everything from air too air, to pylons, to static work. Now Dad always said that the static was the hardest because you have to make the plane look like it wants to fly when its on the ground, he also says I’m quite good at it. Well that may be but everything i learned for photographing those planes still has come from his knowledge and those of others in the business. Like Richard VanderMeulen who has shown both us a thing or two.
Now the most helpful thing that i found when it comes to working with statics is that the plane has to be approached just like any other landscape; the only difference is the subject, in this case the L39 in the foreground, is a plane. The same emotional connection trying to be made in a sunset, a sunrise or any scenic shot is that trying to be made when the planes are on the ground. It’s not always easy but it just takes practice. O and i do like the Fantasy of Flight shot Dad.
The first day is definitely the slowest than any other only because all the planes are coming in and the booths are getting setup. Even with the slight lull there is still a lot to do and see. After the morning fun of the unlimited’s doing there last qualifying run, the afternoon was filled with the jets and they’re fast action tendencies. These things just rip by making panning that much more fun.
One of our favorite pylons is number four because it has this terrific ridge that we can stand on to photograph the planes that come over it. This particular L39 Jet was flying low one afternoon and decided to fly a little to inside the course, it happens that’s what PRS is for getting used to the course, and went right over the road that marks the boundary. It’s great to see and even better to get a shot of but boy is it hard to get a good shot of. He came over that hill so fast that he was gone in seconds.
Then there are those truly great days when we get the clouds that make the planes shine. Without the clouds the planes just don’t look the same. They look like models against a blue wall. The great thing about June is we get some of those clouds. The pockets are the best part, seeing a plane come whizzing out of one or going into one. Just makes the whole day of standing out there worth while.
Well it’s been a few days now and they have been busy ones. I feel kinda bad though that i didn’t get this up sooner but it is what it is. The Reno Air Races practice runs last week were awesome. The people i met there were great. People like Scott Diussa, Richard Small, Richard VanderMeulen, Joe Glydaand Bill Fortney. It was such a change going from photographing wildlife to airplanes. The panning technique is the same but the speed in which it must be applied is so much faster. The nice part is that every plane goes on a course so we know exactly where to pan from.
The unlimited class were among my favorites mostly because of the challenge they posed. In order to get the planes looking like they are moving we have to blur the props which means the shutter speed has to be low. Of course the lower shutter speed means much better panning technique in order to get a sharp image. The jets are much easier because we can be at a much faster shutter speed that can stop the motion.
Besides the challenge, the unlimited are just cool to see. A lot of these planes were made back during WWII, seeing them here doing laps is just exciting. Not to say that the jets aren’t but something makes the unlimited better. Probably something to do with the prop spinning, in my opinion.
Before i went out there my Dad said one very simple thing, “If u get addicted to this, it’s not my fault.” Throuhgout the week he said those words a number of times. Didn’t work, his fault. I say that because now i really want to get back in September for the real races. My thanks goes out to all those at PRS for getting me out there, along with the genreous people at Nikon, and of course my parents.
Images captured with D3, 200-400, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film