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on Jul 29, 2019 in Aviation

The Formation

Snowbirds
captured by Z6 / 180-400VR

I was standing on the hot pad when a TV reporter came up with his camera and asked me if I knew anything about the planes I was securing? With a big smile, I said, “some.” He then asked if I would mind going on camera to talk about the airshow to get folks to come and see it. I said I’d be happy to. He fed me one question and I was off to the races talking. I came to the headliners of the Dakota Territory Air Museum 4th of July show, the Canadian Snowbirds and said they fly an amazing show, an “aerial ballet” that often leaves me chocked up. He clicked the camera off, grabbed it and started to run off. He turned to say that was great, aerial ballet, and he was rushing back to the studio to put the interview on the air immediately.

Snowbirds
captured by Z6 / 180-400VR

Bringing that aerial ballet to a single click, it’s all about the formation and how you place the symmetry in the viewfinder. The pilots train hard to nail the mark, we should do no less. For me, that means watching the show one day and photographing it the next. They don’t change their routine so memorizing it makes a huge difference in the storytelling. Shooting in Aperture Priority nearly wide open, watching the formation AND the background through the Z6 / 180-400VR, I clicked ONLY when all the lines added up for the formation. Not a bunch of planes but a single unit. For myself, when I do that, look at a single unit, I can then bring across in my still the symmetry of the aerial ballet of the formation.

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