One of the most amazing aircraft I’ve had the privilege to photograph is Bob Odegaard’s Super Corsiar. #74 is an aircraft that I’ve been involved with for a couple of months. I should rephrase that. I’ve been involved with the family that has given life back to #74 and it’s been just a marvelous experience. The world gets to see for the first time this amazing plane this week at the Reno Air Races and to say it is a hit is an understatement. Well, this morning at o’dark thirty, the Odegaards arranged for #74 to be on the ramp for a portrait session. The killer clouds of yesterday afternoon were gone leaving me with my favorite, bald skies. So I went to one side to get a little color. Not happy with this click at all.
So with no love on the other side, I went to the sunny side. Still same bald skies but at least the color is better. The problem from this angle though is the background. You’re probably asking what’s wrong with the background, looks pretty clean. Well that’s because I spent 7min nuking all the homes on them dar hills! All those purty white walls drive me nuts! While this photo is alright, in my book I think of the photo as being “forced.” What I mean by that is, the photo didn’t just come naturally. I had to make the angle work, make the light work, make the background work. Force the photo come to life rather then it coming alive. I can do better!
Photos captured by D3x, 24-120VR on Lexar UDMA digital film
Yeah, it’s that time of year again for the Reno Air Races and man, is it going to be great this year! There is an amazing group of aircraft here racing and my favorite, the “warbirds” are thick with some gorgeous aircraft. We’re here for the week with today being a “saying hello and working out the bugs” kind of day. With the change of the end of the hangar shooting location, I decided to change things up and try something I never have in the past. I brought out the big gun, converter and tripod to work the planes coming around Pylon 8. The goal, use long glass to communicate more speed. Now swinging the big glass is slower then shooting the 200-400VR2 handheld and once I got the flight path into mussel memory, I just shot. Now my overall shooting percentage went down but I figured it would because I was seeing a whole lot more heat shimmer with the bigger glass which is normal. I like the results but they aren’t perfect. I think the main problem is I didn’t move enough as in, pick up the tripod and move to get more in sync with the line pilots were flying. I’ll be spending some time tonight looking at the 1800 images from today looking for patterns. I know there is more here.
Photos captured by D3x, 600VR w/TC-17e on Lexar UDMA digital film
Holly cow…where does the time go? Back in the office after a killer, killer time at the Reno PRS (Pylon Race School). While the new pilots learn the Reno Air Race coarse (just north of Reno at Stead Airport), 25 of the best aviation photographers are brought in to photograph the whole event. I’m incredibly fortunate to get in as a volunteer working the Nikon NPS booth who are there to support the photographers.
This is the GREATEST bunch of photographers! Besides the fun, quotes from every airplane movie ever made, they are the most sharing group of photographers I’ve ever run into. Thanks to each and everyone of them, especially my dear friend Richard who keeps pushing me by giving me a new technique to attempt (bastard) that he knows I just gotta master. Even had a newbie to tease this time, my dear friend Joe Glyda who kept texting me just saying OMG!!!! Then there are the guys, Bill Pekala, Bill Fortney and my long time friend Scott Diussa from NPS who just make it all possible. Thanks guys!
It was a great week, Jake came back with 2034 (and is totally hooked like dad), I 5165 images (after editing). I only kept 62% of what I shot, in part because of Richard and his “new” technique I was determined to master (I didn’t) and trying to do a Moose Cam. It was a giant sail in the wind and along with slinging the lens, just didn’t work in capturing sharp stills.
Here’s a little gallery (37) of images of my favorites from the week. I approach this whole thing with the romance of flight in mind. I look then for clouds for the background and not just any clouds. I’m constantly turning the camera body so the planes are lined up in the frame how I want and not plumb to the earth and I shoot in Shutter Speed Priority at 1/180 or slower to blur the prop (jets are back to Aperture Priority at f/8). Then it’s just pan, pan, pan, pan and more panning. I was quite thrilled to not only have Jake & Brent shooting beside me, but to hear their arms were sore on day two as well.
I can’t recommend the Reno Air Races enough. To see my 2008 images from Reno, click here. Whether you’re a shooter or not, the fun and excitement just rocks. The Blue Angles will be at the even this Sept along with some other aviation surprises I can’t announce other then to tell you, you should be there! Nikon & I will be.
Photos captured by (flight) D3, 200-400VR (static) D3x, 24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film