Getting Caught Up From the Races

Every time we go to the races they seem to be over in a blink of the eye. This year was no different. It was a great week with the best news being that no one was hurt. One plane ground looped but other than that the races went without incident. Needless to say everyone was a little tense watching some of these heats, but after the unlimiteds landed on Sunday afternoon one heck of a party started.

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We had some great planes at the races this year and some of the best came from CAF Camarillo. We hit it off with them the first day we were there, when we met a very nice volunteer named Cherri. Dad and I have a usual routine we get to the races which quite simply is we walk around the first day. The best way to see who is there and what is there is just to walk around. On our walk we ran into the CAF row which consisted of a F8F Bearcat, F6F Hellcat and a MK14 Spitfire. The Cats were part of the Legacy flight that took place later in the week. The Spitfire was only there through Friday so we immediately gravitated towards it. After talking with the pilot we arranged to do one of things we enjoy most at the races, an early morning shoot.

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Enjoy is a loose term here. It consists of getting up at 530 to get out to the flight line by 6 to get the plane pulled out, or in this case we just pushed it out, by 615 so we can get the plane in position for sunrise. Of course we spend the rest of the day on our feet walking the line and the pits trying to make more happen. It’s all worth the pain in the end because that’s how we get the great morning shots. It wasn’t just us out there either, a gaggle of other photographers joined us for the shoot as well as another plane, the P-51D “Precious Metal” who we were unaware was getting pulled out. It all worked out well for us, they were both beautiful subjects that morning

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, AF-S 24-70 f2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

The Next Big Adventure

For several months now Dad and I have been planning our trip to Oshkosh. Oshkosh is one of the largest aircraft gatherings in the world and supposedly one of the most fun. Now I have never been there before so I am totally PUMPED! From everything i keep hearing it sounds like one massive great time that is almost too good to be true. Best part is getting to be there all week!

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In the past months I have been on many new adventures, flown with amazing aircraft and met some truly awesome people. All of that has brought me to this point, ready to go to one of the best airshows in the country. From flying with B17’s and P51’s to working with kit planes smaller than ones car, it’s all been one long road of fun. Each new plane and each new experience is just another reminder of where aviation has come from. The same could be said about photography.

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Now with every plane comes a whole new history to learn and a new style in which to photography the planes. It becomes clear that with the evolution of aircraft comes the need to photograph the planes in different ways in order to truly show off the planes. Amazingly with all the work with warbirds a new fascination with jets has emerged. Jets allow for more graphic images, harsher shadows and brighter highlights creating contrast between the planes and their environments. With all the variety out there i can’t wait to see what might be at Oshkosh awaiting fresh blood to capture their images.

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Bags are packed, cameras in hand, tickets in the pocket and a joy in the heart. It’s off to a new venue and some more stories!

Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 200-400 VR, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

The Forgotten Ones

Blog’s are tricky things as it turns out. There are many views on what should and should not be done. How to get more views out of ones site. One of the biggest complaints and reasonable objection is that once a post has been published it will eventually get lost. After a month goes by, or even sooner then that, that post will no longer be in recent posts and it will have been forgotten. Why then go through the work of creating a blog, creating the posts, creating the content if we know that it will eventually be forgotten? I honestly don’t have an answer, but i have an idea. It occurred to me this past weekend that it would be very simple to make a spot on the blog that you could go to find certain posts, ones that either i liked writing or ones that you liked to look at, and that spot would have all the ones that won’t be forgotten. Over time it will eventually grow to house more posts, but for now i started with just three. Three posts that long ago i wrote and have been buried in other posts since. Up at the top is section under tips called The Forgotten, and in that section will be any old posts that i feel deserves a reprieve. Since I’m a nice guy though i thought i would add the three posts i put up into this post as links in the bottom. We shall find out if those posts deserve to stay forgotten or not.

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Flying Fast in the P51

More to the Story

The Cliff Owners

New to the Blog!

For the past couple of weeks i have been working on remodeling and updating my site. Much of this was due to my good friend RC Concepcion who not only helped with the remodeling process but has taught me a number of things about wordpress. Well with Photoshop world done, which was one great event, i went back to tweaky things. Yesterday I put up a number of galleries showing off some more of my work. I ended working on so many that i actually ran out of space on my site in the ftp page and there’s still more to come! Give them a look see they are all up top, well worth your time.

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Flying Fast in a P51

After the morning shoot out of the sky van the workshop was officially over, with one minor exception. FiFi the B29 SuperFortress flew down to the CAF headquarters in Phoenix on its way to some more restoration. The group decided to go see the event. Well the field that it was landing at was 45mins from Falcon Field, so the Doug and Bob thought it would be fun to fly the P51’s over to Deer Valley where FiFi was landing. In true Dad fashion, he called me over told me to get my stuff cuz i was going flying. O yea flying in a P51, glad i had an extra pair of shorts in the car because it was damn exciting!

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The two P51’s were Stang and Cripes’a’Mighty. They both were beautiful Mustangs. Richard flew in Stang with Doug and i was in Cripes with Bob. We also had the Spitfire come up and fly with us so we ended up with a really nice formation, now all we needed was the B17. Now I’ve flown in a T6 with the canopy open before so i was going off what that was like. Well i was wrong… After a few minutes of taxing out we launched in formation, Stang on the left. Oh it was blast, literally i couldn’t lean forward. The one thing that i did learn from the T6 is that shooting to the left is easier than to the right. It was proven correct yet again.

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After a few minutes of flying towards Deer Valley, we started on a flyby of the cemetery for a memorial service that day. The affect of classic aircraft flying over is truly amazing, everyone stops in awww. After the cemetery we started doing a view left turn orbits until we could land. The amount of traffic that day at Deer Valley was unbelievable. Every five someone was landing or taking off. then again it is a training facility for new pilots. Even though we were flying solely for supporting the CAF, we still had a little fun.

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The best part was the hard break left which pushed me into the right side, for a short moment i though about shooting but it seemed smarter not raising the camera. The funny part was, we weren’t even going that fast. The challenge this time prove to be the canopy. The reflections and angles of lights made for a tricky material to shoot through. As i was told beforehand, you can’t have a shade or filter on or else the canopy will get damaged. So many more lessons to learn. The flight was amazing and Bob yet again proved how good a pilot he was. We landed at Deer, with cheering fans awaiting the arrival of FiFi. We stepped out of the planes with smiles on our faces.

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Images captured with D3, AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

The Sizzilling Spitfire

In the shoot with the B17, we had three little buddies flying along next to it, two P51’s and a Supermarine Spitfire. This particular spitfire has a rather interesting history, it constructed within the last couple of years and is made out of wood instead of aluminum. Technically it isn’t a real spitfire but that didn’t matter to us it still looked amazing up in the air. The lines of the wings was what really caught my eye. The edges seems to be narrower, sharper and faster making it look like it screams by.

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Towards the end of the shoot with the spitfire, Doug had the idea which was agreed upon in the briefing, to drag the spitfire behind the sky van as we went along the runway and then pull up to make it look like we just took off. It was amazing, the skill these pilots have to pull of such a maneuver so close to one another.

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Images captured with D3, Nikkor AF-S 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital FIlm

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