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on Sep 13, 2019 in Aviation

Gotta Love the Biplane Class!

It might be the nostalgia, could be the colors, is most definitely the pilots, but I love the Biplane Class of racers at Reno! Photographically, they are the easiest to photograph. Them props are turning sooooo fast, you can get a full prop circle shooting at 1/125! The key is remembering that the plane HAS TO be flyng into the sun. These are simple clicks taken with the D5 / 200-400 with a pit pass at 1/125. Head to the races and try it...

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on Sep 12, 2019 in Aviation

The Mighty Texan

The Mighty Texan (AT-6) has been part of the Reno Air Races from the beginning. While they go only half the speed of the Unlimited Class, the distinctive sound of their round engines just scream the races! Those who know their WWII aircraft recognize the T6 as the advance trainer nearly all pilots flew prior to being assigned their final aircraft. Coming up on eighty years old, as you can see, they still fly just fine! These photos were taken back in 2007, my first Reno Air Race. The D3 was the body new kid on the block back then and attached to it I had the 500f4AFS. While Panning is essential in getting a sharp photo, the clouds are what make the photos work. Without those clouds so bald skies, there would be no sense of speed and little movement in the still image. The long lens permits not only a good image size but the incorporation of clouds off in the distance. Blue horizons to all the...

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on Sep 11, 2019 in Aviation

Let the Races Begin!

The Reno Air Races starts today … the fastest motorsport in the world! They have a special meaning to me and my family since it’s where we made so many of our friend and we started our aviation career. We have seen lots of change, from aircraft to camera gear. I started there with the then-new D3, then D5 and now it’s the Z6. And lenses from 80-400 to 200-400 and now the 180-400VR. The Mustangs are part of the Unlimited Class and the aircraft that got my juices flwoing and shutter flying. I wish all racing this week blue skies on their horizon and wind at their...

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on Sep 10, 2019 in Aviation

The Stack Up

The Stack Up in aviation photography can actually be created in many ways yet, it’s rarely an option. That’s because keeping space between aircraft is an important safety factor. So when the occasion comes up, you have to be mentally, physically and optically prepared to take advantage of it. This was the brief scene this past weekend at the WAAAM Flyin were my good friends the Pembertons were getting ready to launch their Stearman Speedmails. With the taxiway having a slight curve to it and the direction of the light, the shot was relatively easy to capture. I ran down the taxiway when I say the opportunity. I shot D5 / 180-400VR at 400mm to “stack up” the two Speedmails even more and then looked for the light to bring the fuselage to life. Like I said, easy shot once you know the possibilities and how to work...

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on Aug 29, 2019 in Aviation

What a Storyteller – Bob Hambley Wildcat Pilot

“My last interview I did with a videographer was 5 1/2 hours.” When Bob, 98, told me that on the phone, I knew Sharon and I were in for a helluva an afternoon. Most of the Vet Chronicles we film don’t last more than half an hour. Bob was going strong after two hours! A Hellcat and Wildcat pilot during WWII, Bob saw it all and escaped death, well I lost count how many times. A midair collision during Advanced Training, ditching in the water, landing during a tropical storm, going off the end of a carrier on the launch, flipping over upon landing on a carrier, Wildcat missing the barrier and crashing on his plane on the carrier deck, those are just SOME of his stories. He’s such a good storyteller, even though he was sitting in front of us, we kept wondering if he was going to survive each adventure! It’s going to be a one challenging interview to edit, but then, they all are! Just want...

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on Aug 27, 2019 in Aviation

The Art of the Formation

Pilots love to fly in formation! This in large part is because it takes a bit of skill to not only do it safely but with visual elegance. Pilots practice their formation flight over and over again. Aviation photographers love to get up in the air with aircraft. You would think that with all that desire that hooking up would be a natural. And actually, it’s very possible. The trick, if you can call it that, is to get in with one of the many RV clubs across the country. These folks are very passionate flyers and love doing formation as you can see here. RV’s are great little “kit planes” whose owners love to fly. Many are retired military pilots so they have a ton of skills they like to keep sharp. In this flight, you have retired military, retired flight director for the Space Shuttle and climb rate holder. Pretty darn impressive skill base making the flying a ton of fun. Using a Skyvan as our photo...

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