When I started in photography my Dad said that you have to keep coming up with new ideas in order to make it. Truer words have never been spoken but that sentiment isn’t always easy to achieve. Well a year ago I saw an image that I really liked but it required a lot of finishing to bring out the true essence. Last May at the Planes of Fame Airshow in Chino, CA the skies were alive with warbirds. The focus of the event was on the P-38 Lightning. There were five of the six flying P-38’s in the world at the Airshow and one static photo reconnaissance version from Yanks Air Museum. The numerous fighters. P-38’s included, were lined up along the ramp for static shooting. Well that morning was nothing but overcast skies so there really wasn’t much of a sunrise, although there was a lot of definition in the clouds.
While the planes on the ramp faced one way, there was one plane that wasn’t out there and that was Glacier Girl. This particular P-38 has a more colorful history as it was brought up from under 258ft of ice on Greenland. This was one of nine P-38’s and 2 B-17’s that were forced to land on Greenland after they ran out of fuel trying to cross over to England during Operation Bolero. They became known as the Lost Squadron. As you can see this 10 million dollar plane was being protected from the wind as it was nestled between some of the tents. It was facing the opposite way from all the other planes and it really caught my eye with the lights behind it. With the D3 and 24-70 f/2.8 it turned out to be really cool, so much so that Dad decided to borrow the idea. Well the image in my head didn’t end there.
Something kept hanging me up between the plane, the background and the light. It’s a P-38 Lightning! One of the rarest and most valuable fighters around today. It also has an amazing history, as P-38’s were flown from the start of WWII to the end of WWII in all theaters. Having the plane cramped between all those tents just didn’t fit it, almost demeaning. It had to be brought out. Now this is far from historically accurate and is far from my usual processing area but keeping in mind my Dad’s words it is something new.
My all time favorite plane, the P-38 Lightning, is now parked in the Shed. I blogged about these planes numerous times in the past, partly because I wanted to and partly because I could. Although I was introduced behind the camera to this plane for the first time back in 2009, it was at the Chino Airshow this past May where I truly got to see these beauties. Five of the seven flying examples in the world were there and each one was beautiful. Now I could easily write a blog post on each one of the planes I’ve photographed but this isn’t the time for that. Up in the Gallery is now an updated field of P-38 images for everyone to enjoy. With that, have a great weekend.
The theme of the Planes of Fame Airshow was “Lightning Strikes” celebrating the magnificent P-38 Lightning, or otherwise known as the Fork Tailed Devil. Over 10,000 of these planes were made and today only 7 remain flight worthy, 5 of those were at the Airshow. The Luftwaffe referred to the plane as the fork-tailed devil but the Japanese had another name for it, two planes, one pilot. The plane was used in a number of different roles including dive bombing, ground attack, night fighter, photo reconnaissance, and long range escort when equipped with drop tanks.
I realize I have been doing this a lot lately but i just enjoy so much being able to put up all these images for others to see. It’s the best part about being a photographer is sharing my work with others. That might sound nostalgic but i don’t care i like it. This will be the last one for a while though. The two on the right are P38’s and the two on the left are the Tigercats. This big bad boy is the F7F Tigercat. One big ass fighter. Amazingly multiple of these planes would be on carriers during the war. The wings would fold up but it still baffles the mind that the planes could stack up next to one another considering how big these suckers are. It was prime fighter in the Pacific theater not so much in the European. The best part about this plane is the one thing i can’t share and that’s the sound it makes as it goes by. It’s so freakin cool! There really isn’t any way to describe so i suggest you head to an airshow.
I realize that his is just another addition to my galleries, something that I’ve been doing a lot lately but i wanted to add to of favorite aircraft, the P38 Lightning my all time favorite plane and the P51-C Mustang down at Fantasy of Flight. I have photographed only two P38’s, 23 Skidoo and Glacier Girl. Both were at the Reno Air Races this past September and I had the fortune of photographing them. Each plane has a great history, a history I’m still learning.
This particular P51-C is painted in the colors of Lee Archers plane from the Red Tails. It just so happens to have the armor plating in the cockpit is signed by Lee which makes the plane just that much sweeter. The plane has an amazing paint job and the one morning we were able to photograph it we had some amazing fog. After some time of processing images it seems right as the next one to add.