|On the Tarmac|
The problem was, the clouds were never cooperating with me. They weren't right in the blue hour to get the right kind of definition in the sky with the long exposure. They weren't moving quick enough to work for a long exposure shot during the day. I was really starting to question if my ideas would work at all before the plane moved. I'm not sure how long it stays, but remember that it does come about once a year or so, and stays for a bit. With it being 3-4 weeks already, I was working on borrowed time.
Something that I know about my photography is that once I get the idea to shoot something and start really planning it out, I can't focus on anything else until I get some compositions under my belt of the particular subject. That was quickly becoming the case with this plane unfortunately. I was just not interested in shooting anything else since I had been thinking about it for quite some time now (plus the previous year when I thought about it).
I was really starting to look at the chances of everything really lining up to fit my previsualization on this aircraft. It was looking like a long shot which was probably not going to happen. I weighed that against the fact that this would be the first plane that I have photographed which would be cool all by itself. There were things that I could do with this subject that would be different without the need for the light painting or long exposure. With Toni's help, I decided to head out to see if I could get something to work with the plane...with hopes that it was still there.
With the size of what I was looking at, I really wanted to emphasize that aspect in my compositions. The best way of doing that was to go wide with my lens choice. I opted to go for broke and fit my 16-35mm lens with a Singh-Ray Color Combo Polarizer to make the sky pop and remove extra glare from the aircraft. I started working on compositions and was immediately happy with my lens choice. It was perfect for the compositions that I was wanting.
History aside, there were a few things that really drew me to this aircraft photographically. First of all, it was accessible. I didn't have to get any special permission to get close to it, and there wasn't too much clutter to worry with around it. Second, the red design on the side was quite eye catching on the pale gray paint. When mixed with the blue sky, the red stripe provided a great color balance to the scene. Speaking of color balance, the tow bar on the nose gear was a bright yellow as were the chocks. It was just a few more splashes of warm color that helped to make the image really jump off of the page.
I found myself working the plane in two distinct processes. While I started with my super wide angle lens, I also spent time using my 70-200mm lens for some of the isolations as well as trying to compress aspects of the compositions. In the end, I found that I liked the larger shots with the perspective distortion better than the compressed compositions. They were much more dramatic as I had thought that they would be. The long lens did give me the ability to shoot a lot of different compositions that captured bits and pieces of the story.
|Spirit of Freedom|