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on Feb 15, 2017 in Aviation

Exploit The Unknown

One aspect of the this job called photography I love is the unknown. Going after a specific critter and in that pursuit, finding an even cooler one. An unknown reward. Heading out for this landscape shot and finding a better, unknown view. An unknown reward. One of the greatest mysteries of our pursuit we truly never have all sewn up is the light. Light makes its appearance at its leisure whether we’re present to witness and celebrate it or not. And it’s that unknown that, while can be frustrating, can be the greatest reward when it makes appearance when we’re ready to capture it. I went after “The Beast” and I got it. Had been planning the shoot for some time, the idea was to take a winter moonlit night shot of it in the snow. But as it turned out having clear skies with a full moon at sunset isn’t a sure bet in the far north in winter (ya, I knew that). And while I didn’t get...

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on Jan 24, 2017 in Aviation

Start Where it Makes Sense

I receive a number of emails asking where do you start in regards to an air to air? Folks see my images with rare and exciting aircraft and naturally think that’s what one starts with. Of course, it is possible but not likely. At the same time, starting with something “less” naturally seems like a let down. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Photographing GA (general aviation) is a great place to start for every possible reason. Access, ease on the wallet and the best, leads to bigger and better. This is a prime example, a 1954 Beech V35 V tail shot over Kansas years back. This was actually a test shoot for the Epson Finish Strong campaign, shooting with the then new D810 and 70-200f4 AFS. It’s like many things in photography, you might not want to cut your teeth shooting for the top wrung but rather, start at the bottom and work your way up making mistakes and learning when the stakes are as high....

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on Jan 16, 2017 in Aviation

Measure of Success?

I knew there would be no statics, I knew there would be no air to air, we went to the marvelous Cable AirShow for one reason. Our measure of success was not a wall of amazing photos, rather, answers to questions we needed to solve with real world shooting. For example shooting video with three DSLR bodies, D500s and D750, all three with different lenses, 80-400VR3, 70-200f4 AFS & 24-120VR filming the same flying aircraft, how do they all meld together in the final movie? New microphones, new tripod fluid head, new monitor, shooting video while shooting stills, field testing new 70-200f2.8, answers with these were our measures of success for our shooting. We had one helluva good time cause we were with great friends and able to work out of their hangar. That made it possible to drag so much new gear to test and techniques to try all at one time. We learned alot, took tons of notes. Some things worked great like gimbal, monitor and 70-200f2.8....

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on Jan 3, 2017 in Aviation

Friday Gig … Oh Man!

Friday was a special day, couldn’t have thought of a better way to end the year! Jake and I cruised over to the westside for an assignment I had with a really cool airplane. Actually a Schweizer 1-26 or as the boys called it, a “poor man’s U2” is a glider. This is a glider but as you might notice it has a little assistance, jet motors! After we did the air to air, it was time for a little fun. What you see here is the still and video from that fun. The stills were shot with the D5 / 200-400VR2 and the video was shot with the Keymission 360. In the still you can see where the Keymission 360 was mounted. And if you have fun with the 360 video, you can see in it where we were shooting the stills. It was so much fun, hope you enjoy! And if you want to feel like YOU are in the Schweizer, watch the 360 video on your...

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on Dec 29, 2016 in Aviation

New DSLR – Basics Confuse You?

One aspect of photography that tends to confuse photographers are the exposure modes. There are four modes, A, S, P, M, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program Mode and Manual. Personally, I use A Mode 90% of the time because you select the lens aperture you want for the depth of field you need to tell your story and the camera selects the correct shutter speed (and this is stepless). The other 10% of the time, I’m in S Mode because I need to control the shutter speed and the aperture doesn’t matter. The photo here of the SNJ is an example where I was in S Mode because I needed to shoot at a constant 1/40 to get the prop blurred. Does this confuse you? It’s OK if it does as most photographers get confused about these years after owning a camera. Well, I’ve got something for you and its FREE! Photography FUNdamentals is an iBook you can download for FREE courtesy of B&H Photo & Video that covers...

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on Dec 23, 2016 in Aviation

New Year’s Creative Resolution?

“Do you have a creative resolution for 2017?” When that question came in I knew I had an answer though I’d never quite thought of it in that way. It could be just me, but as a photographer we have always looked out a year in advance or more in our planning. Be it meetings to conventions or more importantly, photographic projects, though I’m shooting today I’m looking out a year or more to the next project(s). In this process comes those photographic ideas that pop in your head you’d like to accomplish. So with that explanation, ya, I have New Year’s creative resolutions. What is it? Actually, it’s a roll over from 2016. A photograph I wanted to make in 2016 that never came to be that is still at the top of my list for 2017 involves old aircraft (what are referred to as antiques). I want a photograph that is totally opposite of what you see here, I want them in SNOW! I’m after an old...

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