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Thread: Shaw AFB Air Expo

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Shaw AFB Air Expo

    I thought I'd try my hand at what I'd read about taking pictures of aircraft so this past weekend, Shaw AFB had their annual Air Expo.

    OK, gotta remember to set the shutter speed to 1/100 sec for helicopters, 1/200 sec for war birds, 1/500 sec for modern prop planes, and 1/1000 for jets.

    As we pull into a parking spot there are several F15E's coming in for a landing. Gotta remember to overexpose slightly and use manual mode. In trying to quickly set the camera up before the jets go past, I ended up with 3 badly overexposed images. Lesson: Figure out the potential scenarios in advance and practice configuring and testing the camera for those scenarios.

    The day went badly. It was too hot, to many people in the way, too many situations I wasn't prepared to adjust for and I found it almost impossible to keep the aircraft in the frame once I zoomed to a respectable image size.

    Switching between the Nikon and Canon also makes for reaching for a setting in a hurry only to find that's not where it is on this camera!

    This is one of the first I played with from that shoot. These are the Geico Sky Typers 6 ship SNJ-2 (www.geicoskytypers.com). The image is way to grainy and having been just shooting jets, I forgot to reset the shutter speed. Boy, do I have a lot to learn and my respect for the CiC photographers that make this look easy has skyrocketed!

    ISO 250, 1/2000 sec, F7.1 at 470mm (FFE):

    Shaw AFB Air Expo

    In post processing, I tempered the blown highlights on the canopies, lightened the cowls, pilots heads and under the wings/stabilizers. Then I de-noised the image, sharpened, cropped to increase the flight angle and added a bit of photo pop to bring out the color:

    Shaw AFB Air Expo

    For the P51 Mustang "Quick Silver" (www.quicksilvermustang.com) I didn't quite get the entire aircraft in the first or second picture:

    Shaw AFB Air Expo

    Shaw AFB Air Expo

    So I opted for a panorama. I wasn't fond of some of the elements in the image that I didn't feel contributed but I didn't remove them with the Clone Tool. In this situation that would have not only been very time consuming but would have also been very obvious.

    Because the elements in the image are essentially in horizontal layers, it was much easier to make a soft hole in the mask with a black brush and move a copy of the identical image behind it to position locations that are clear where the 'hole' was, then combine the layers with Stamp Visible (Ctl+Alt+Shift+E).

    Shaw AFB Air Expo

    I'll post others here as I get them PP'd.
    Last edited by FrankMi; 8th May 2012 at 04:33 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Shaw AFB Air Expo

    Meant to go last year to the only one in Toronto but the weather killed that for me. Will most definitely go this year and have bookmarked this page for future reference.

    1/100. 1/200, 1/500, 1/1000 - imprinted...

    Thanks for the rundown and hopefully I will be better prepared by your experiences.

    Nice shots btw.

  3. #3
    ronno13's Avatar
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    Re: Shaw AFB Air Expo

    Here is a few of my shots from last weekend at the "Wings over Illawarra" air show at Albion Park airfield, about 140km from Sydney Australia.

    Shaw AFB Air Expo

    I like this shot into the sun,

    Shaw AFB Air Expo

    or this one coming at us.

    Shaw AFB Air Expo

  4. #4
    ronno13's Avatar
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    Re: Shaw AFB Air Expo

    I like this shot Frank, the shutter speed was slow enough to give movement to the propellor, otherwise it would have been too static.

  5. #5
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Shaw AFB Air Expo

    Quote Originally Posted by ronno13 View Post
    I like this shot Frank, the shutter speed was slow enough to give movement to the propellor, otherwise it would have been too static.
    Thanks Ron. The shutter speed could have been slower yet on the second one as well. I like the third one you posted best. It's sharper and has good leading lines.

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Shaw AFB Air Expo

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Boy, do I have a lot to learn and my respect for the CiC photographers that make this look easy has skyrocketed!
    Yes, it's always 'interesting'(?) to step outside the normal parameters and try something different (as my recent disaster with land-yachting demonstrated).

    It makes you admire the pro who has to turn his/her hand to a whole variety of topics and subjects and get it right (or they don't eat). It also makes you realise that that thing we keep going on about (practice, practice, practice) is actually true.

    I know if I went to shoot land-yachting again, I'd make a far better job of it than I did last time and I suspect the same applies to you, Frank, in terms of aircraft. And that's the lesson for all of us. You just can't turn up without having thought about it, planned it, practiced it ... and expect to produce brilliant results from the first frame.

  7. #7
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Shaw AFB Air Expo

    I just missed the performance of the jet powered dragster as it did 0-400 mph in about 8 seconds so for those of you that want to see this puppy run Iíve included links:

    History: http://tdn.com/lifestyles/article_20...cc4c002e0.html
    Video: http://www.smoke-n-thunder.com/v2/site.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkTwV4Loj0Q

    Here is the dragster just after his run:

    Shaw AFB Air Expo

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