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on Mar 23, 2016 in Aviation

A Week of Unbelievable

Brent & I were afforded an amazing opportunity to fly with the Texas Flying Legends Museum from their base at Ellington Field, TX to the Los Angeles County Airshow, Lancaster, CA. They were flying their six ship fleet across country over some amazing American landscapes and landing at some great airports all providing some target rich photographic opportunities. Adding to this unique opportunity was our ability to work out of different aircraft as photo platforms. That’s how for example I got this shot of TFLM’s B-25J “Betty’s Dream,” P-51D “Dakota Kid II,” Spitfire MkIXc, FM-2P Wildcat and P-40E “Aleutian Tiger.” My perch for this photography was the belly of the TBM-3E piloted by the amazing Sam. You don’t see the TBM-3E in these photos because of that so I owe Sam a special shoot as he did an incredible job getting me in the right place safe and sound. Shots like this of the P-40E were really quite easy. Bernie drove the P-40E into place and in my perch...

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on Mar 11, 2016 in Aviation

The Arse Shot

When I think about it, a big smile emerges on my face. But I’ve become pretty well known for my arse shots. While it sounds bad when you first read it, it’s really nice when you see the reactions to them. The majority of photographers and correctly so, photograph aircraft from the front or side. This is not only a very logical place but one that nearly all viewers of aviation come to feel they should view an aircraft. When you begin to look at aircraft though as a work of mechanical engineering art rather than a lift platform, you start to explore its many other angels, at least that’s what I did. The key to a great arse shot is really the angle you take it from, the background you have and the lens employed. The arse shot is usually one where you need to have some pretty solid Photoshop skills. The Stinson OY-1 at the top of the page, it had a pretty clean background because of...

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on Feb 26, 2016 in Aviation

TFLM – New Project – New Connect

We’ve been honored in many ways, many times during our career. Our new, three year project though is about as grand as they come and we’re quite honored. In a nutshell, we’re charged with getting the mission of the Texas Flying Legends Museum out to the world! We’ve started with creating simple things from their mission statement: Honoring Our Past – Inspiring Our Future to the complex like the ground work for all the photography for the three year project. One of the simpler and funner aspects is helping with their Facebook Page. Why might this be of interest to you? Many of you are into aviation photography and the TFLM FB page is where I’ll post a whole lot about just that. But not just gorgeous photos but also the BTS that goes into making the photos. And not just that, but the BTS of what is required to keep a squadron of WWII warbirds in the air, from planes to pilots. The best part, the FB page...

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on Feb 12, 2016 in Aviation

Battling a Weakness

Photographically, I have a lot of weaknesses. Some, I just totally avoid so I know I’ll never get past them. Others, I really want to move past and the only way I know of doing that is pounding away at failure. Photographing the single, static aircraft is pretty simple for me and when there is some natural drama going on in the light or weather, it’s a slam dunk. But that is the rare event, not the common, everyday ramp experience. So then bringing a story to a bald sky is the challenge and often, I turn to multiple items to bring a story to a parked plane. And that’s where the weakness smacks me in the face. Arranging multiple items in a way that looks like someone didn’t just arrangement these items who has no clue is my issue. Be it multiple aircraft or in this case, a plane, WWII Harley & Jeep, it’s instant frustration for me! I started with the Stinson OY-1 Observation plane. Parking it...

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on Feb 11, 2016 in Aviation

Adding the Person

So we’re there on the ramp shooting the Spitfire MkIX rather intently and for a while, ignoring all the other planes on the ramp. This continued on until the puddles under the Spit were no longer, “fun.” That’s when I saw Betty parked there. You actually have to work pretty hard to ignore a B-25J but I managed to until … it was in the viewfinder and I spent some time with her. The Texas Flying Legends have some amazing aircraft and I always feel guilty when I take them or my access with them for granted. So off I went with the D750 / 24-70VR to get her glamor shots. Turned out OK 🙂 Now the cadre were just standing around at this point after pushing the Spit around from puddle to puddle for me. At this same time, I thought I’d best go give some shutter love to the Stinson OY-1 parked on the ramp for me. I shot it and then saw the relationship and light...

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on Feb 10, 2016 in Aviation

The Right Light

Light is everything! And as much as we can, we control it in the storytelling process since it is such a powerful ally. But you’ve gotta ask yourself, “What is the right light” for your subject, your story? This is where many photographers find self doubt because figuring that out and then delivering it is a massive challenge! You start determining the right light but understanding first the subject’s story and then relating that knowledge with the story you want to tell about your subject. There is no doubt my typing this and bringing it to your attention is a whole lot easier then actually doing it. I’m posting two photo here as an example of what I’m talking about in the hopes it might assist you. Both of these photos IMHO is the right light for the subject and the storytelling. Let me explain. We have what appear to be two different aircraft here but in actuality, they were both designed to perform the exact same job, observation...

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