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on Jun 22, 2008 in Just Out!

How dooo you do it?

It would seem my latest blog postings from Reno Air Race Pylon Racing Seminar broke the camel’s back. I’ve received so far 203 emails with the question, “How dooo you do it?”

The question was asked with two inferences:

both with the implication that I am some how not human. There is always that possibility. And while the perception is better than reality, there is a real answer to the questions.

How is it I’m one week in the mighty redwoods, the next chasing tornadoes, the next in Alaska photographing critters and then in Reno photographing race planes (and in between working with Sage Grouse)? The start of the answer is that my best friend, business partner and wife are all the same person, Sharon. She makes it possible for me to follow my passion, photography. There’s none better and I simply couldn’t do what I do without her!

Next, I have some great friends, some mighty great friends who support my wackiness in the pursuit of a photograph! There is also the fact that I work hard and long hours, when I have to. Lastly, and this is very important, I’m incredibly fortunate, someone, someplace just simply likes me.

As to the plane photography, well, that answer is much more tangible. My friend Scott from NPS put the 500VR in my hand (that’s because my 200-400VR was still in route, back from AK and the last project). A guy named Richard made sure I was in the right place (100yards away) for the L-39 Jet or modified P51 as they screamed by the ridge blowing needles off the Junipers, at the right time (thanks Richard!). He also shared some of the “secrets” to his aviation photography one of which is shooting in Shutter Priority for the prop propelled planes. You don’t want a frozen prop (which I knew and first tried to accomplish in Aperture Priority. Wrong!) so you shoot around 1/250 for some planes, 1/500 for others. That’s new territory for me. I in turned shared a couple of my secrets with Richard, like a panning trick. All the shooters at the Pylon Seminar were very generous with their knowledge. I want to thank them all!

And all of this is nothing you can’t do! Well, I doubt you’ll find another Sharon, she’s one of a kind. But you can find partners be it spouse or shooting bud that can makes things happen for you. You can practice your panning, get the 500VR (buy or rent) and with time, makes the shots. And then it’s up to you to follow your passion!

Photos captured by D3, 70-300VR / 500VR on Lexar UDMA digital film