I tend to not pick favorites from my shoot, I stay a little more clinical, business oriented. I never forget that these images have to pay the bills. But there are those moments when light, subject, background, memories all come together in the viewfinder and that always grabs my attention. Why? Because that is a special moment in photography that just doesn’t happen everyday, week and sometimes year. As it turned out, the corsair in all its forms has dominated my year so I’ve seen in many ways in many places. There is no way you could plan this shot or ever duplicate it again! The hole in the clouds we punched through and then altered by our turbulence, the light bouncing all around, top and bottom, the angle of the plane and having the right lens on at the right moment, there is more going on here then luck or skill. I’m just glad I’m around when those moments happen!
Now you might be wondering if this is the only aircraft I shot. Actually, I came back with 4768 images, keepers from our two hours of air time last weekend and I’m just now getting through them. I have a lot more to go and what am I doing? I’m in AZ shooting aircraft for the next four days. Yikes, I will be horribly back logged but it’s so much fun!
Photo captured by D3x, 70-200VRII w/TC-17e
We climbed above the clouds and then the background is simply heavenly! We orbited front lighting the F4U-5N Corsair from Lone Star Flight Museum, and I saw my opportunity to make the click I wanted. Fear! Having read Whistling Death & Jolly Rogers this year (both on the corsair), I had a bunch of ideas in my head. The Japaneses called the Corsair “whistling death” for a very good reason. This massive fighter was to the Pacific theater that the P-51 was to the European theater. It simply is one bad ass plane and I wanted that one click that said just that. I lucked out, I ended up with more then one. So then it comes down to editing and deciding which one image to put out there that says just that. That’s really the trick in photography so many photographers just don’t get. You wanna put out not ever click you make, just the ones that make the impact.
Photos captured by D3x, 70-200VRII w/TC-17e
Hanging out the back of a Sky Van where your next step will have you swimming with the fish, some find it hard to believe you can think photography. Actually, as I warned the participants of our TX Air2Air that when you see that aircraft, in this case a gorgeous F4U-5N Corsair parked at the rear door, just clicking is hard to remember to do. But in order to get that big “disk,” that blurred prop you’ve gotta think about basics just for starters. I shoot in Shutter Priority just to get that prop blur. The full disk blur was 1/45 while the partial was 1/90. It’s a function of the number of blades in the prop to RPM. I vary my shutter speed during the shoot because I want a variety of disks, all the same I feel would be boring.
The other basic that is so important is backgrounds. The Corsair made it’s impact in WWII & Korea in many ways but most of them were over islands in the Pacific. You want to suggest islands in a photograph, nothing does it better then surf and sand. It’s so simple yet not when you’re flying. If you see a background you like you’d best shoot it fast because in about 18sec, it’s gone from the frame. They don’t stick around and if you want it again, get out the wallet as you take time and gas to fly an orbit to use it again. While this is the most exciting photography around, you still gotta think about basics to being back the images!
Photos captured by D3x, 70-200VRII w/TC-17