When we look up at an aircraft flying overhead, we often see clouds in the process. We naturally associate flying aircraft with clouds so incorporating them in our photographs is just a natural. In the summer, the wx patterns in North America make for great, afternoon clouds. often thunderheads. The drama in these clouds are a killer background, stage for our aircraft. But there is definitely a ying and a yang when it comes to summer clouds. The ying is the incredible drama they bring to a photograph. And for some aircraft like this Wildcat, it finished the story for the Pacific WWII fighter. They flew through clouds like this going to and from battle. At the beginning of their use, they used the clouds also to hide from the Zero, but that’s another story. The yang of having these clouds is they can stop flying all together. I will always remember my father’s story of a B-29 flying through a cloud like these in the Pacific during he Korean conflict and it not coming back out. Along with the power in these clouds are flight rules like VFR and IFR. Doing an A2A like we did here took great planning, willingness to stay aloft to work the clouds, using a long lens (I shot at 400mm) to pull the clouds in from a distance and very talented pilots. I’m planning my shoots for the next couple months carefully because summer means great clouds!
FM-2P Wildcat captured by D4s / 80-400VR2