I have never been much of a jet guy but the MiG 15 is definitely one I enjoy seeing. This Korean Era fighter was truly a worthy competitor in the skies during the fifties. This Russian fighter was famous early in the war as being one of the best fighters out doing most other straight winged aircraft. Later in the war the American F-86 Sabre came in and the dogfights that ensued between these two rivals made some pilots famous. Today it is a favorite amongst warbird jet enthusiasts at it was one of the most widely produced jet aircraft ever made.
The only disappointment with photographing jets has nothing to do with the planes but the technique used to photograph them. Because there is no prop I can be Aperture Priority at 1/500 shutter speed and have no problem getting a sharp image. For those prop planes its got to be a slow shutter speed, usually something under 1/125. That means a lot better technique which adds to the challenge and also the enjoyment of getting the shot. But as I said, the MiG is just one of those cool exemptions.
If you follow my blog or my Dad’s, then you’ve no doubt heard about how much we like clouds in the background of our plane shots or landscape shots or really any shot that has sky in the background. It really does make a big impact on the overall image. Well this is a bit more than we usually ask for especially since we were in Chino and this particular day it was almost 100 degrees out but there happened to be some ice crystals in the air which formed a rainbow affect in the clouds and they just so happened to stick around for quite a while. As the planes were going by occasionally they flew close enough to get some color in the background.
Dad and I made a little game of this and every time a plane looked like it would go by that one tiny stretch of color we just let the shutters rip! Everyone around us in the media pit looked our way, always with the same expression, “what are they taking so many shots of?”
Well it was these planes going by in these certain spots. Using a D4 and 200-400 VR, I waited for that right moment. The A-2 Skyraider had the most consistency as it flew higher than most others. The Mig 15 and F86 Sabre were next best as they too were flying high at times.
The true winner was the P-47 Thunderbolt. The four ship went right over the spot and then as they did their break a ways and single passes, old Snafu here, a P-47 bought from the museum in Duckshire, flew the best line through the best section and gave us that brief moment of joy.
One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed between aviation photography, wildlife and landscape photography is that in aviation I’m spending a lot more time editing and processing my images. Since Pylon Race Seminar three weeks ago I have processed about 150 different images and have added them to my galleries. Now not all of these images are up on my blog yet but all good things with time. It has occurred to me over the last few weeks just how many images can accumulate in just a couple days of airshow photography and how important it is to keep up to date on getting them processed. Sadly however time doesn’t always allow for playing with images.
These three images are some of my favorite statics from PRS and are ones that I had fun. The top one comprising of 2 L29 Delfins and a Mig 15 jet is a shot that just caught my eye as Dad, Mom and myself were going by. It was simply the pattern of the red, black and grey that I just liked. One of the best things about aviation photography is the patterns that can be seen with the different planes.
This is a T-33 Shooting Star another great jet produced from the late 1940’s – 1950’s. It was original designed as a fighter but as more jets came online it was turned into an impressive jet training plane. It’s amazing how often a simple image is usually my favorite and this is just that. One click with little post work. Some of you might by wondering why this is my favorite shot, considering it is kind of a boring static image, well it’s one i didn’t have before in my files and with new planes even the basics are needed.
The last one here is the F7F-3 Tigercat another fighter, and one big ass plane to have flying around the Reno. This particular image is why i continue to shoot. I wasn’t aware of this at the time but when i took this image i was busy moving around, didn’t notice that i cut off the tail, or that the tail blended in with the folded up wing. A simple five feet to the right would have solved both of those issues making for a just a little bit stronger image. It just goes to show that more practice is needed even for the little things.
Images Captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 200-400 VR, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film