Never Enough Time to Shoot

I got an email this past week that got me thinking, far more than I care to do but nonetheless some thought. The jist of the email was I should be working with more than I already am. Well, I didn’t know the person nor was their any disrespect in his email but it made me think about what I am doing and what else I could be doing. The reality is there are shots being missed every second I ‘m not behind a camera, and that goes the same for every photographer. There is just no way to be out shooting all the time, capture every photograph, and still make a living.

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The images present are a great example of exactly this. Although they were taken a couple weeks ago, I am still working on processing everything to get sent out to people, and happy to do so. That’s just the way it goes. More work comes in, shooting time goes down. Although it may sound like a bad thing, keeping busy right now is a really good thing. Shooting without anything to work towards, although relaxing isn’t really productive.

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As I responded in my email, you never know what the future might hold, all you can do is work through what you got and keep planning for the future. In this sense even if I might not be photographing more today, tomorrow I just might be.

In the Camera Bag:

Nikon D3, 200-400 VRII, SunSniper Strap, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Making the Static’s Shine

One of the biggest challenges of working at an Airshow is capturing those great static shots. There isn’t always an opportunity to pull a plane out to where you want it, and in the case of this last weekend the background was mostly hangers anyways. A big factor that I found for the Cable Airport was that in the mornings when the sun came up over the hangers, the hangers cast a shadow over the parked planes. This made morning shooting difficult, but not impossible.

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This F4F Wildcat from the Comemorative Air Force was one of my favorite subjects to work with. It made a nice subject along with the SBD from planes of Fame. The one thing that still confuses is me, is the paint job. I can’t figure out that scheme.

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The Pilatus Porter PC-6 was a very interesting plane. The man flying it was known other than Clay Lacy, a true legend in the field of aviation, with over 50,000 hours under his belt. He had an amazing performance at the show, and that plane of his does a spectacular job. It turns on a dime and takes off in a very short distance. As I said earlier this is about making those static shots shine. Well in all of my shots down the runway there was an annoying set of power lines and building crane. Both of these were quick fixes in CS5. But there was one other tool I used on these planes to make them shine.

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Now one of my favorite lenses for working with static planes is the 200-400 VR. Not only does this lens allow me to be far away from the subject so I don’t get in anyone else way but also it compacts the subject and the background. When you got a lot of background clutter you don’t want in your photograph then it’s a good way to go. The Wildcat was shot with a 70-200, much closer, much tighter shot. Now the last element that i used on these shots which makes a big difference is Color Efex Pro’s Detail Extractor. This tool is absolutely amazing when working with planes. It brings out so much detail especially in the shadows under the wing that it’s almost a most. One thing to be careful with is that it does bring up noise, so it’s best to not apply this to the sky.

In the Bag
Nikon D3, 200-400 VRII, 70-200 VRII, Lexar UDMA Digital Film

The limitless unlimiteds


Well I’m slowly coming to the end of my recap from the races, it has been a few days of planes well beyond the races themselves but i thought it was fun. Funny enough I’ve found time to make this many posts considering the school work i needed to get done. Tomorrow will be the last day but for now here’s one more for the kiddies. My favorite group is the Unlimited. Don’t ask me which ones are the bronze, silver and gold cuz i frankly don’t have them all memorized. I like them all. The T6’s are up after the unlimited in my book. I like the prop planes because of the challenge they provide. Getting the propeller blurred and the plane sharp isn’t easy. Getting a full 360 blurr and the plane sharp is even harder. This was the only shot i managed to that with.


This is that P51 you see in the above shot, just wihtout a plane on top of it. As you can see i didn’t get the full blurr this time. But four blurrs is second best in my book.


This is another P51, there is in fact a lot of P51’s in the air races. Many different paint jobs and variations exist, this one i seem to like more than some of the others.


Then there is this guy. It seemed like he was out there solely to show the viewers a good time, because his time wasn’t so hot. This is the Grumman FM-2 Wildcat. A seemingly slow plane that seemed to pose rather decently. Wasn’t the prettiest of planes out there but it turned a few heads nonetheless. As you can probably tell I’m a bit more winded down from the beginning of this week, my text just ain’t as long. There’s one more day of exciting air displays before i go back to blogging about Montana, as i said T6’s are #2 in my book.

Images captured with D3, 500f4, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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