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on Mar 19, 2012 in Wildlife Photography

Stallion 51 & Panning Practice, Bandit Style

A very important tool and technique you need in aviation photography is panning. When shooting ground to air, being able to not just track and compose but get the subject sharp is essential. This is true when shooting fast subjects at slow shutter speeds (like 1/50). We like to do panning drills at our Air2Air Workshops and at Stallion 51, we had a very special panning practice subject. This is Bandit, Lee’s 8yr Harris Hawk. Lee, a falconer has a very special relationship with Bandit who he hunts throughout the year. Areal training is also part of their relationship. What you see here is Bandit in action. Flying from his perch across the field at ground level, just before he reached Lee, Lee throws up a tid bit high into the air, slightly behind Bandit. He flies up and then inverts in air to catch the morsel. As you can see, he has no problems doing this and when it comes to panning practice, it’s great!

I’ve seen raptors perch on many things in my day, but never before on a $3mil P-51D. It was way cool to see this team work together and a marvelous photo opp!