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on Oct 31, 2016 in Aviation

Up and Over = Gesture

Every subject has gesture. What’s gesture? Since I use this term a lot, I’ve been asked to define it, a lot. The problem is gesture in this sense is not some body movement communicating some message. You could say it speaks of an emotion but I don’t think it’s that simple either. Successful gesture in a photograph communicates a whole lot more than a single word, a single emotion or even a single action. There is no camera setting or digital darkroom slider called gesture. Rather, it’s a response invoked in the viewer of a photograph that permits them to connect with that subject. What I have here is an illustration of gesture as I feel it. Both of these aircraft are flying, that is obvious. But the feeling of joy breaking the bounds of gravity, the freedom flying a routine brings one, the weightless feeling when there are no G’s, this and much more is communicated in the gesture in these photographs. Now if you go looking for...

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on Oct 27, 2016 in Aviation

The Fleeting Moment

The ramp at sunrise is a special place. Yeah, there are the planes and that sure sets the scene, the thrill and the challenge, but there’s more to it than that. Being able to be on the ramp at that time of day is special if for no other reason then, you normally can’t be on the ramp that time of day. This past weekend during the Wings Over Houston Airshow, we were there continuing on with our project with the Texas Flying Legends Museum. These aircraft are very familiar to us, having done everything from washed them to flown in them. And this wasn’t our first morning to be shooting them on the ramp. Then in telling the story, how does one keep moving it forward? On this particular morning, the TFLM TBM Avenger was parked kinda by itself. This left open many photographic opportunities with the rising sun. As the sky started to open up, I went to my classic arse shot. Shooting with the D750 /...

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on Oct 21, 2016 in Aviation

Wings Over Houston Tips for Speed

Wings Over Houston, one of our favorite airshows, is this weekend and some questions about what tips I might have to offer. Below are some thoughts one bringing life to your images, motion to your stills. Realizing most learn best from watching rather than reading, I have three classes on KelbyOne that will help you: Kelby Class on Aviation Photography, Pilot Portraits and The Art of Air to Air and especially Finishing. And if you want a sense of what’s happening at Wings Over Houston, be sure to watch Warbirds and the Men Who Flew Them which was filmed at Wings Over Houston! These techniques apply to ALL moving subjects not just planes! Start with understanding that shooting unrestricted is essential! My airshow set up this year consists of...

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on Oct 18, 2016 in Aviation

Get Me A Subject!

If you want to drive me nuts, give me great light and nothing to shoot! There is simply nothing worse then to waste great light so when it started to unfold Saturday at the Nut Tree Air Fair, I instantly started to pace. What makes it great light you ask? The range of light is less than three stops and that’s part of it. More importantly is the way the light is being bounced and modified by the clouds. There is a reason you see so much of my photography including clouds, it’s the light! Luckily for me, right then they decided they needed to move a plane to get to another plane out of the hangar. And the plane they had to move is this gorgeous, simply spectacular 1929 Waco DSO … I was so upset that’s all I had to throw in the great light :-) Being a California boy, the gorgeous hills in the background with the oaks in the light was the perfect background. Working...

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on Oct 14, 2016 in Aviation

Speaking of the Project

We … Brent, Jake, Sharon & I are part of a very special project. I’ve talked about the project during this past year, the first of its three years and I’ve been asked many times what’s it all about. Some of it simply can’t be discussed right now. This video Brent created from our last event says in photographs pretty well what it’s all about. Being a visual storyteller, being able to tell a story in this way is important which is why I bring this to your attention. To learn more, please visit the Texas Flying Legends Museum website....

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on Oct 12, 2016 in Aviation

A Moment at Lake Hood

On Monday after taking care of work, Sharon and I had a couple of moments to spend at Lake Hood to watch the comings and goings. For those who have not been to Anchorage or ventured over to Lake Hood, it is the busiest sea airbase in North America with over 82k landings each year. And being a lake, the planes that are landing are on floats. It’s just a lot of fun to watch them take off and land because they are right next to you! There were gorgeous skies the entire week we were there but the moment we had for watching the planes, the skies started to close in and it got dark. This doesn’t mean you can’t shoot. Down below you can see what the scene really looked like. It’s not very inviting. Now I have manipulated it a little, the bottom photo doesn’t have its proper white balance so it’s really gray, but you can see how the light was not really nice. To...

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