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on Jun 22, 2009 in Aviation

Reno PRS ’09

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Holly cow…where does the time go? Back in the office after a killer, killer time at the Reno PRS (Pylon Race School). While the new pilots learn the Reno Air Race coarse (just north of Reno at Stead Airport), 25 of the best aviation photographers are brought in to photograph the whole event. I’m incredibly fortunate to get in as a volunteer working the Nikon NPS booth who are there to support the photographers.

This is the GREATEST bunch of photographers! Besides the fun, quotes from every airplane movie ever made, they are the most sharing group of photographers I’ve ever run into. Thanks to each and everyone of them, especially my dear friend Richard who keeps pushing me by giving me a new technique to attempt (bastard) that he knows I just gotta master. Even had a newbie to tease this time, my dear friend Joe Glyda who kept texting me just saying OMG!!!! Then there are the guys, Bill Pekala, Bill Fortney and my long time friend Scott Diussa from NPS who just make it all possible. Thanks guys!

It was a great week, Jake came back with 2034 (and is totally hooked like dad), I 5165 images (after editing). I only kept 62% of what I shot, in part because of Richard and his “new” technique I was determined to master (I didn’t) and trying to do a Moose Cam. It was a giant sail in the wind and along with slinging the lens, just didn’t work in capturing sharp stills.

Here’s a little gallery (37) of images of my favorites from the week. I approach this whole thing with the romance of flight in mind. I look then for clouds for the background and not just any clouds. I’m constantly turning the camera body so the planes are lined up in the frame how I want and not plumb to the earth and I shoot in Shutter Speed Priority at 1/180 or slower to blur the prop (jets are back to Aperture Priority at f/8). Then it’s just pan, pan, pan, pan and more panning. I was quite thrilled to not only have Jake & Brent shooting beside me, but to hear their arms were sore on day two as well.

I can’t recommend the Reno Air Races enough. To see my 2008 images from Reno, click here. Whether you’re a shooter or not, the fun and excitement just rocks. The Blue Angles will be at the even this Sept along with some other aviation surprises I can’t announce other then to tell you, you should be there! Nikon & I will be.

Photos captured by (flight) D3, 200-400VR  (static) D3x, 24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film