Beaver on floats captured by Z 6II / Z70-200f2.8

The van of Alaska is the Beaver. Able to carry all sorts of stuff and getting into places easily, it is a workhorse. In our case, it carried a bunch of photographers and their “stuff” up and over the mountains of Kodiak with no effort. Besides all of that, it’s just a really fun aircraft. And while I was there to spend time with Kodiak Browns, there was no way I wasn’t going to take some plane pics. Since it’s an amphibian aircraft, water had to be part of its story. What’s one great way to say water? Backlight it which works great for aircraft too!

Beaver on floats captured by Z 6II / Z70-200f2.8

The first thing you have to remember is, some highlights will be blown out, gone so get over it. Next, for the backlight highlights to show up, you need something dark behind them. Lastly, you need to get light into the side of the aircraft, be it reflected, opening up shadows in post or the best, a little of both. With all of that in mind, use the backlighted elements as a design element to tell the story and bring the eye to the subject. Backlighting is not what most think of as a light for aircraft but I use it all the time. Perhaps because most others don’t. When done right, backlight can be a gem!

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