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on Dec 22, 2017 in Aviation

Will They Ever Leave?

It must be winter with its long nights as finishing questions are floating in. The most common question this week has to do with backgrounds, in particular, aviation photos with people in them. The email usually goes something like, “How do you have static photographs with nobody in the background?” The first part of my answer is, I wait just a few minutes because folks never stay in one place for long. You don’t have to say a thing, no dirty looks or throw anything, just wait. Folks attention span just isn’t very long so just wait. Now there are times when something might be happening so you don’t have a minute, in that case, we have this amazing tool, Photoshop! Case in point, while in the UK this past August during our workshop, we had the amazing opportunity offered us to photograph the entire HAC squadron outside. They don’t get pulled out often so the public was all over them. In this case though the clock was not...

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on Nov 21, 2017 in Aviation

Giving the Ghosts a Good Shakin

The excitement in the cockpit overflowed as the first taxi run of our C-47 came to an end yesterday. It’s been a long time since the mighty engines moved this old lady down a runway but she did it on the first attempt easily taking a big stride towards her flight to Normandy in 2019 for the 75th anniversary. I’ve always been project oriented, working with a subject/story for years and this project is no different. Brent & I have made a number of trips this year to the project and we’re by no means done with a dozen already scheduled for 2018. Each and every trip we learn something new, try something new while improving on what we did last time. The D850 is a big part of the project now, depending on its small size but giant video quality. I’ve also gone back to a favorite old lens from the locker. Working in physically tight spaces is a challenge. I need a very wide, very sharp and...

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on Nov 16, 2017 in Aviation

The Last Of His Class

I first meet Stanley Whalley a few years back at my good friend’s hangar in AZ. Stan was one of the hundreds of English pilot that came to the US for training during WWII. Stan was at Falcon Field to finish his flight training in their Stearman and T6 trainers. From there he went back to England to fly in defense of England and the retaking of Europe. He is now 93 and the last surviving veteran from England to have trained at Falcon Field. He comes to Falcon each year around Veteran’s Day to participate in the ceremonies honoring all that came to Falcon Field to train by were lost in accidents while in training. I’ve stayed in touch with Stan since meeting him. Tried to meet up with him when we were in England this past summer to get his story recorded. Weren’t able to make that happen. Talking to him this past weekend, found out he had time on Tuesday for being in front of the...

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on Oct 24, 2017 in Aviation

“What Emotion do I Want to Invoke?”

Ask yourself when you share your photographs this simple question. “What emotion do I want to invoke?” I often see subjects where the photographer selects the best photographs being the ones with the bright sun over ones with great mood. The main difference between these two photos of the Stinson is the light. One is very moody and the other, it’s bloody blah! Yes, one has brighter color but the other has a killer mood. One says it was a nice day to fly. The other says it was a helluva great flight! How do you want your photograph to reach out to viewers because you have complete control over that impact! Probably the hardest thing to learn and apply is the power of light to reach the heartstring. This is especially true with objects that don’t naturally seem cuddly. One way you might think of it that might help is, does the light bring a mystery to the subject? Generally, the shape of the subject informs the viewer...

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on Oct 5, 2017 in Aviation

Bringing In The Fall

One of the challenges with seasonal photography is, bringing in the season into our photographs. This is especially true when your subject resides somewhere where the seasons might not ever appear. With most aircraft spending most of their time at airports, getting statics shots is typically impossible. Ya, some airfields are where this is fall color. Some even are in the snow and if that’s the case, making the seasonal shot is a slam dunk. For over a decade I’ve been searching for those seasonal aviation photos just because they are unique. Making the common, uncommon. The way I’ve found the most success is getting the aircraft in the air and then getting them over a patch of fall color. It’s taking the subject to the background. I’ve had limited success because typically patches of fall color are physically small and filling the background with it goes by really, really fast. One of the keys to this is using a longer lens and letting its narrow-angle of view capture...

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