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on May 3, 2011 in Aviation

Love the Subject, Love the Light!

This past weekend we were in FL at Fantasy of Flight for our Air2Air Workshop. We were in place long before the sun started to shine and in time for the magic to unfold. This massive flying boat, the Short Sunderland is normally in the hangar in the back corner. We lucked out in it had been pulled out and where you see it. It’s a massive plane with a ton of character as you’ll see this week. In the predawn light, it just glows even though there is NO light on it yet. The fact it’s white makes it stand out because of color contrast. The exposure is minus 2 2/3 stops but other then that, there’s nothing to make the photograph, unless lying on the ground you consider as being work.

Then about 30min later the sun started to rise and shine through the hangar windows behind us. This beam of light came out and kissed the nose of the Short Sunderland as you see here. Again, other then dialing in minus 2 2/3, there is nothing else to making the photo. Who here’s my question to you. Could you have made the photo of this light? Does your imagination and technical skills permit you to see the light, record it and then such the viewer into your photo WITHOUT bracketing to get the right exposure? Why does that matter? In this case when the plane is definitely not going anywhere, it doesn’t matter. But what if this were a bull elk out in a meadow and was moving, not standing still? Bracketing wouldn’t save you then if you couldn’t make the shot off the cuff. I’m often sadden when I see folks in these situations chimping like crazy hoping that their last guess at exposure will be right when the LCD lights up. This is a skill I feel is being lost in photography, communicating light through exposure from knowledge and experience. Moments like this are rare, don’t take the chance of making them by luck.

Photos captured by D3x, 24-120VR / 70-200VR2 on Lexar UDMA digital film