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on Jul 10, 2019 in Aviation

Comin or Goin?

There are many ideas on where you should place in the frame a moving subject. I’ve read them all during the years in the hopes of their helping me with my own photography. And what I have come up with after years is purdy darn simple, do I want to say are they coming or are they going? Since I want to in large part tell a story with my photography, giving a reason to the movement is a large part of my style. For example, a moving subject dead center to me says the subject is, “just moving.” But when you place them near the edge of the frame pointing into the frame, they are comin. If they are near the frame edge and pointing out, they are goin. The movement is, of course, implied so we are looking for other elements such as gesture to finish the storyline. In this case, you have the smoke of the aircraft as well as being able to see the pilot...

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on Jul 3, 2019 in Aviation

ND is Where Flying is Fun!

It was a challenging night of photography up in ND last night. Not because of the thunderstorm that just kept spraying, it was because I was flying more than shooting. I did have enough time to get the PA-11 right out of the pattern the moment the sun squeaked through the clouds for a little drama. Shooting with the Z6 / 180-400VR, I saw what was going to unfold and clicked the built-in 1/4 so I could shoot at 560mm. And as soon as I made the click, I was in the Cub and up joining the fun in the skies. It was one of those times the camera got left down on...

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on Jun 18, 2019 in Aviation

Stop & Go is a Challenge

A common question reaching my inbox asks how do you get parked aircraft and flying aircraft both in the frame, sharp? This is a real challenge especially if you are using a slow shutter speed to capture prop blur. There are a couple of variables that are in our control and a couple that is not. Because you have some aircraft not moving and one or more that is, the timing of having them both in the frame is crucial but you can’t pan. Getting physically in the right spot is in your control. Because of this, I like to get close physically and then use a shorter lens. In this case, I went with the Z6 / Z24-70f2.8 and zooming back as the Cub approached and the Z6 ripping the frames. I knew where the plane would be flying but often that is out of your control. I wanted the kids in the frame to move your eye to the approaching aircraft and went for the shot when...

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on May 31, 2019 in Aviation

Winter Flight Waco EQC-6

In February I had the marvelous opportunity to do a winter air-to-air with my dear friends, in winter! It was Zero degrees at 1k feet as we flew over Mt Spokane with the brilliant Waco EQC-6. Here’s a little video from that flight. The video was shot with a Keymission 170 that rode in the hotshoe of the D5 / Z6. You’ll see the video footage and then the still image was taken during that segment....

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on May 23, 2019 in Aviation

YOU Make it Happen!

Advance the clock a few years, a few client air-to-air photo missions in the can and there I was in California’s Central Valley photographing “Betsy” just after she got out of restoration. It was a pretty sweet honor to be invited to the private event and be accepted by basically all strangers who only knew me because of my images. I was sharing these photos with a friend after the fact who asked, “How’d you make that happen?” And that’s the key, I made it happen by simply pursuing a passion as professionally and with all the talent I could muster. This all manifested itself in the final photographs that the pilot received as big arse 24×30 prints. He is one happy client! But it didn’t happen overnight, I made it happen … you can make it happen and that’s the point! Years ago I did an air-to-air photo mission and those prints and the story of that shoot reached Scott. He then hired me to photograph his aircraft...

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on May 2, 2019 in Aviation

Planes of Fame this Weekend

I regret we won’t be there this year but want to pass along a couple of speed tips. So I thought I’d cap the most common ways I like to put the action in my stills. Now of course, buying a copy of Takeoff would be a great start! Realizing most learn best from watching rather than reading, you can head to my Kelby Class on Aviation Photography for more in-depth explanations. But just because you see planes here, these techniques apply to ALL moving subjects! Start with understanding that shooting unrestricted is essential! The less you carry, the more mobile you are, the more mobile and limber you are, the sharper the photos and better composed they are (here is a complete listing of the gear that’s with me, most in the vehicle just in case). With that in mind, here are some tips that you can apply to any action photography and airshows. Put yourself in relationship to the action in a position where it performs around...

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