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on Aug 2, 2011 in Aviation

Off to Osh ’11

Last week we were at the greatest gathering of aircraft in the world, Oshkosh! Many have asked where were my blogs from the event as last year I blogged every night from there. It almost killed me and I wasn’t really working last year so this year, I knew there was no way I could blog at night. So, I’m going to blog the event now. Like last year, we flew into Wichita and then hitched at ride in the Cessna 206 up to Oshkosh. What we call the “Man Trip,” my dear friend Kevin, good friend Scottie, Jake and I made the 5hr flight up. On of the HUGE tasks is CG and useful load. What that means in simple terms, I could only have about 50lbs of camera gear, camping gear, clothes in the plane. As the world knows, I can’t do that so I FedExed a Pelican up to Oshkosh.

To beat the heat (109 in Wichita the day before), we left early which meant packing the 206 before sun up. The sun is just coming over the horizon and Scottie and Kevin were finishing up the preflight. Both images are 5 image HDR hand held photos. Why HDR? One, my flashes were in the Pelican case. Two, shooting with the 16mm and the sun coming up, I knew the range of light from right to left side of the frame would be more then five stops. Lastly, I wanted the color of the moment in the photo. The top photo I left Kevin ghosted to show the action. Scottie didn’t look so good ghosted so I processed the NEF with the best “head” shot and brushed that into the HDR image. The cockpit shot was the challenge. Ever tried to do a handheld HDR in a 206 flying? While the flight was smooth, I had to just hold the camera up and guess at the framing. I couldn’t get behind the camera to see through the viewfinder let alone proper handhold. I lucked out, I really like the shot. It is so typical. Kevin is all business flying the plane and Scottie is on the Garmin like it’s a 1970s Pong game. To say we had fun on the flight is an understatement!

A number of folks asked why I chose the 16Fish and HDR for these images. The lens choice is simple, it’s really small and in the back seat of a 206, less is more. At the same time, anything longer and I wouldn’t have been able to capture the whole cabin in one click. With that in mind, shooting in the cabin meant including the windows and outside. That instantly took the light way beyond five stops and since I didn’t it want it looking like we were flying in a sheet, HDR captured the exposure for the sky.

Photos captured by D3x, 16Fish on Lexar UDMA digital film