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on Mar 22, 2012 in Aviation

You Just Gotta Love Morning Light on Aluminum



I have a very well earned reputation for getting up early to greet the sun, be it critters, landscapes or aircraft. In FL there is always the possibility of ground fog along with the great light so I just can’t pass it up. So last weekend when at Stallion 51, we were there on the tarmac to greet the sun. One of the coolest things is to see the morning color reflecting off the polished planes, I just LOVE that! The problem is, how do you show that in a photograph? You can see the progression of light in the three photos with the one I really love being the last. That’s when the clouds came in briefly with the morning color. All of these photos have one thing in common, well two things. The P-51D and they are all 5 image HDR. Why HDR? To capture ALL the nuisances in the fuselage, I have found that HDR just does the best job. Looking in the bottom image, just look how that baby glows…I love it!The processing is pretty simple, Photomatrix Pro then into Photoshop and hit levels. I love great light, I love simple.

Now hopefully, you’re asking yourself why, when the exposure levels this early in the day are really not that wide, does Moose feel HDR is the way to go. True, the light levels really aren’t that big and a single click would do a good job, especially if you used a split grad filter to pull down the sky. I do it for one particular reason and that’s for under the wings. I’ve have found that when there is a shadow or under the wings are dark as they would be without HDR, the overall “aluminum” feel is not as strong. They spend a lot of money to have that polished look to these aircraft and I want that to come out. It is of course a personal thing and you might not feel like or want that feel to your aircraft and that is perfectly fine. I do though which is why I use the method and techniques I do.