Aero C-104 “Bücker” captured by Z 6II / Z24-70f2.8

There was a definite chill in the air as the three of us pushed the 1947 Aero C-104 “Bücker” out. I’d seen the plane for the first time the night before and from that had envisioned how’d I’d like to photograph it, the story to tell. The Bücker was the trainer of the Luftwaffe and later became one of the premiere aerobatic planes thrilling crowds world around. This particular Bücker was owned and flown by world famous pilot Mira Slovak. From the get go though, I knew this shoot would be a challenge. While I had been “hired” for the shoot I got the feeling I was going to be challenged by it.

When we pick up a camera, no matter where we are in our photographic journey, we do have some methodology to our photography. For me, this was not my first rodeo on a chilly morning on a bare ramp with an aircraft. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, how I was going to do it and how it would look when I was finished. I knew how the Picture Control and WB I’d set in the Z 6II would take what we’re seeing (down below) to tell the story I want to tell (above). But to the uninitiated, watching me run from this spot to that as the light changed ever so slightly and hearing the camera firing off when the plane isn’t moving, I must seem like a wackado! And yet, well, my results kinda speak for themselves.

It is these times you must have confidence in yourself even if your abilities are being questioned. This is even true if you know that you might not have all the answers, it is a whole new experience, you’re sweating bullets. You must believe in what you have done up to this point to bring you to this point. It doesn’t mean you’re wrong or right, doing you best ever, just the best for you at that moment. Though I was being questioned, I knew exactly what the camera was capturing and what the final photograph would look like. For those not familiar with my process, how could they ever “see” what I’m seeing or saying until the print is in their hands. You just need to have faith, there is a method in the madness!

How we saw the Bücker standing there

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