This was quite an interesting weekend. On Friday I got hooked up with a media pass to the big Alliance Air Show here in Fort Worth (thanks). Although I eventually went home with the stomach flu (ending my weekend) I still managed to get some fun shots while I was there.This image shows one of my aviation heroes Kirby Chambliss doing his signature vertical takeoff in his Extra 300. You can see just how dramatic and abrupt the takeoff is in the shot. This guy is a boss.
Aviation Photo Tip
One of the most common mistakes people make when photographing prop planes or helicopters is freezing the prop or rotors. You always here them say something like, “Was really impressed to see that my camera could freeze the propeller in place.”
Well, your camera can do much more impressive things than that! Freezing the prop makes the airplane look fake, like it’s just sitting still in the sky. What you want to do is keep the aircraft sharp while blurring the prop. That’s much more impressive and difficult to do than shooting with a super fast shutter speed. Doing this takes patience and some understanding of your camera. For this photo I shot at 1/125th of a second. For some airplanes you’ll have to shoot much slower than that to get a full blur. To get 1/125th, I had to shoot at f/13 with an ISO of 160. A side benefit of shooting an airplane screaming down a runway at 1/125th is motion blur. Blurred background, blurred foreground, blurred prop, tack sharp airplane. All in camera :-).