T6 Texan captured by D750 / 24-70f2.8
OK, it was just shy of 200 times. The question did fly (get the pun :-) though in when I announced our Aviation Seminar “how do you get in the air to photograph an aircraft?” My answer as I was told when I started out and what I pass along now is, on the ground! This answer though many take as a dismissal of them, their talents, and their question is the gosh darn truth I say with all sincerity! The reasoning behind the answer it very intense.
The number one concern when you’re doing an air-to-air is safety. Then comes a number of other important factors until finally, we get to the actual photograph. The “presentation” of the subject aircraft is discussed at the brief before the flight and then after that, you start the brief all over again with safety, flying stuff, and then the actual shoot covered one more time. What’s the “presentation” of the aircraft all about? Well, that’s what you learn and master while you’re on the ground shooting statics.
Statics (parked aircraft) is where you practice with your camera what angle you want to be to the aircraft, when, how, what light that you learn on the ground. You then later translate that knowledge into that gorgeous air-to-air photograph. It’s that knowledge you gain with the static that you often show in photographic form with the pilot to get in the air. It’s not only can be dangerous but it is expensive to put two planes up and it’s not the time to start learning the basics. Pilot needs to have confidence in your abilities. You do that before you leave the ground. So how do you get in the air with an aircraft, you start on the ground.
That’s why we have a special aviation dayshoot coming up! I have two aircraft for the shoot, a T6 like you see above and a Fairchild PT-19. I have never photographed a PT-19 so I selected it intentionally so you are able to see exactly how I go about photographing an aircraft for the first time. You’ll learn it all first hand so you can employ the same techniques. Come, join my on the ground so you can get into the skies!
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Watch and rewatch it for 6 months afterwards!