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on Nov 15, 2012 in Aviation

He’s the Client … I Couldn’t Say No

Dale is simply a great friend. Dale is a great friend with great toys! And Dale loves to fly so I know that when I’m with him, I’m going to have fun and this morning was no exception. What you see here is an example of what I’m talking about. The Churchills (Dale & Brian) installed a new feature in one of their T-6s and wanted me to give it a test run. I was more than happy to going flying to test a new photographic platform so off we went!

What was new was our ability to shoot basically straight down, literally, shooting with the D4 / 70-200VR2. Now it’s really hard on the pilot of the subject aircraft since they are really cranking their neck skyward to watch the photo platform. The photo platform pilot has to fly the brief because they cannot see the subject aircraft. Then I have to watch the best I can the subject aircraft and report its position to the photo platform pilot while taking photos. And as photographer, the biggest challenge is not being able to see anything since I’m basically looking through a tunnel. I have no idea of what backgrounds are coming up until they are gone. And flying doubled over in a fuselage is anything but comfortable. And with all of that said, the shoot went off without a hitch as you can see. Dale wanted two photo, the “glory” shot of him flying and the “far away” speedster shot. Now they aren’t perfect, the light is hard, background for the glory shot sucks but we learned a lot, got some shots and landed safely. It’s just a crying shame that we’ll have to go back up and work on making it perfect!

What do I want to perfect? The symmetry in this photo is off…while you can see our photo platform in the cone, the subject aircraft isn’t perfectly centered. But you sure can see Dale’s smile and if you look hard in that reflection on the cone, mine!