Light the Cylinder
Many are getting ready to take to the skies again with their camera and an aircraft in their viewfinder. Light is a big part of making a successful air-to-air photo mission. How can you get ready for that flight now while still down on the ground? Breaking it down to its most basic parts, you have a cylinder moving around a light source. In that travel, there is a time when that cylinder looks good and times when it looks bad. This goes for both the path of the light and the quantity of the light. You can mimic this on the ground and teach yourself to see the light that you can pass along to your pilots.
Head to your local hardware store and purchase a foot long piece of aluminum pipe. Get a piece of flat aluminum and attach it to the pipe. You now have a plane muck up you can teach yourself to see the light with. Like a little kid, “fly” that cylinder around in the light at all times of the day and look at the light on the cylinder (it will only work if you make airplane sounds BTW). Take your camera and shoot video of the plane at arm’s length and then look at that light. You will start to see when it’s better and when it worse. Once you have an idea, take photos of that cylinder and process them. What works for you, your story, your client, your passion. You can teach yourself to see the light on the cylinder!