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on Feb 24, 2011 in Aviation, Photography

And Now a Word from Our Sponsor – Light!

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I wasn’t really into GA (General Aviation) photography until I meet this lovely A36 Bonanza one gorgeous Sunday morning in the Phoenix skies last fall. It wasn’t old (warbird old) and not really that rare so photographing it at first just didn’t put lift under my wings. While my lovely wife is second seat, I didn’t think I would comeback with much until I saw the light! The soft morning light wrapped itself around everything and gave it that desert morning freshness that you just can’t pass up. You’ve gotta embrace it and make it yours. You do that by how you assemble the elements within your viewfinder to make the image. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, a rock, horse, rocking chair, weed, stick, all these elements and more can come to life in this kind of light. In this case, this photo has become a favorite for many reasons. #1 – it opened my eyes that GA photography can be rewarding to me. #2 – the light on the golfers make them a very important part of the image which is why I framed it the way I did (they have great shadows stretching across the green). #3 – the light on the sand trap makes for a killer background for everything. And that’s all because of the light!

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Then just heartbeats later the background changed but that sweet light was still with us. The background went into shadow of the mountains we were passing while the morning light literally wrapped itself around the A-36. You can see from the prop we were flying into the light and that makes it all work. The all white fuselage can be a very unforgiving form in the wrong light as we experienced just minutes later as the sun rose in the sky. I have a very well earned reputation from my workshop participants for getting up and going at o’dark thirty. That’s because so often that sweet magic of light comes and goes so very quickly. It makes or breaks a photograph and I personally like the make part a whole lot more then the break part. And in this case, light taught me another very important lesson, this time about aviation photography and myself. I love chasing light, I love more when I catch it!

Photos captured by D3x, 24-120VR (handheld 1/60) on Lexar UDMA digital film