One of the questions I get is how do i focus and pan when working with multiple flying subjects? Take for example these CT-114 Tutors. These guys happen to be the Snowbirds Demonstration Team, part of the Royal Canadian Air Force. They also happen to be one of my favorite performing groups due to the smoke, close proximity of formation and number of formations that they do.
To answer the question, I just do into Auto Area AF mode. on the D3 it’s a switch on the back side, on the D4 you have to press the AF-On button and then look through the view finder and turn the front switch. Well what this does is it makes basically the whole view finder the focus point. Whatever is closest will be grabbed onto first. In the D4 when in Auto Area you actually see all the sensor points in the view finder so you can see where you’re focusing. The benefit of using this mode is it takes away one more thing to think about when you’re shooting. You don’t have to be concerned where the focus point is while panning and thus moving it while trying to pan. It’s just one of those tricks to make life a little bit easier.
In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 200-400 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film
Last year we had the privilege of watching the Blue Angels perform at the air races. This year we have the great Canadian Snowbirds come in to do there stunts over the many excited eyes watching from below. The Snowbirds are known as the Canadian 431 Air Demonstration Squadron and fly 11 CT-114 Tutors however for performances there are only nine. Hard to say there are only nine as if its a bad thing considering they fly in very close proximity to one another.
It is amazing how close they can fly together and the coordination that they all pull off together. They didn’t have the same speed as the Blue Angels but that’s not to surprising since they fly the F/A-18 Hornet. The best part of watching this performance was seeing those differences between the two performer groups.