I like aircraft and, as it’s now well into the airshow season, I thought I’d share some more aircraft images, some brand new, some from previous adventures. Aircraft in the air are challenging, yet fun, to photograph because they are fast moving and often a bit far away. I’ve got some quite long focal length lenses, up to a 600mm equivalent, which makes life a bit easier.
This first image was shot only a week ago. It’s of three aircraft from the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight doing a display over the Defence Academy near my photographic studio in Watchfield. On the left we have a Supermarine Spitfire fighter, in the middle an Avro Lancaster bomber, and on the right a Hawker Hurricane fighter. What couldn’t be captured in an image is the noise of 6 Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engines as they flew over.
The wonderful noise of multiple Merlins happened again last night (15th June) as the Lancaster flew another display over the Defence Academy. This Lancaster (PA474) is one of only 2 airworthy Lancasters in the world. I was lucky enough to see the other one flying when I was on holiday in Canada last year. I used a 450mm lens to get this shot, and I’ve left space in the composition for the aircraft to “fly into”.
Aircraft look great on the ground too. A 17mm wide-angle lens let me get this shot of the engine and propeller of “Ole Yeller”, a North American P51D Mustang, at Reno Air Races in Nevada. I really liked the contrast between the yellow paint and the deep blue sky. I’ve also used a polarising filter which increased the contrast between the yellow and the blue.
Here’s the 17mm lens again with some more yellow and blue. This time it’s a 1944 Beechcraft Model D17S, also known as a “Staggerwing”. The really wide lens gives you the ability to be really close to a plane and still get it all in. Using the polarising filter has given some vignetting (darkening of the image’s corners) which I think adds to the composition.
This final image takes us back in the air. It’s a North American T28 Fennec as used by the French Air Force. In USAF service it was known as a Trojan. The image was taken at Kemble Air Day with a 400mm lens, and again I’ve given it some space in the composition to fly into. The Fennec was an advanced trainer and ground attack aircraft, and there are hundreds of Trojans and Fennecs flying today in private hands.
So get out to an airshow and get your photography “all up in the air” !