Cessna 195 on floats captured by Z 8 / Z14-24f2.8 w/ 2x Profoto A10 in Octas
“I shoot at airshows, why do I need flash?” I seriously get asked this, a lot and the answer is a resounding … oh heck yeah! The normal response to this is, “I don’t photograph people so do I still need flash?” That opens the doors to all sorts of things but for right now, I’m going to just stick with flash and aircraft. When I was asked about using flash with aircraft recently, the questioner simply said, “I can use AI masking so I don’t need flash.”
Working on a project, I wanted to make magic for the statics and pilot portrait. A big part of the story is the floating hangar where the 195 resides. Yeah, I could have moved the 195 out into the water for the statics easy peasy but that would have just been a plane in the water. A floating hangar is really unique so up on its “platform” in the hangar was my only option. The issue was, there was no light and to tell the visual story, I needed to write with light. That means, flash! In this case, I simply put two Profoto A10 in their Octa on stands at 45 degrees to the nose of the plane. Why in Octas? Look at the quality of light! Look at the visual impact of the angle of the floats shooting at 14mm! What you see here is the before and after shots as I dialed in the exposure for the 195 (flash) and the underexposure (in camera exp comp) in the camera for outside.
I would encourage you to look at the before and after down below over and over again. Look at the information that pops because of the flash and the information that disappears by underexposing for the exterior. Look at the drama that the Profotos bring to the scene. It didn’t take much light, but it did take light. Most questions that you ask of your photography, you need to find the answer that works for you. One of the most important I feel is, need flash in aviation?