This year I had a chance to visit former RAF Duxford and take photographs of the flying action. Duxford is also apart of the British Imperial War Museum and has many other attractions including indoors, outdoors statics, tank rides, a chance to fly in a Tiger moth & De Havilland plus many other experiences.
This year at Flying Legends there were many different aircrafts, from DC3 to Gloster Gladiator's. As a normal paying customer I set up at the end of the grass runway next to the tank driving school and waited for the 2pm start. You may say arriving at 8am for a 2pm show start is a little to early but by 9am the bank was full. I borrowed a Canon 7d from Michael at Rammell Photography.com for the faster frame rate and better focusing speed.
After a couple of Airshows last year my objective was to slow my shutter down from 1/400-1/800 to 1/40 and after the Le Mans 24 hour race I learnt that 1//40 was possible hand held. A shutter speed of 1/40-1/60 allowed for a smooth propeller spin which last years shutter of 1/400 and above stop the props in action. So, while an aeroplane is on the ground the plane looks like its parked up, and in the air it looks like an engine has stopped.
As a few aeroplanes were coming and going I had a chance to test my setting. I had problems from the word go, with the hard light, bright sun obtaining the correct exposure was difficult with a slow shutter speed of 1/40 with no ND Filter. A dark aircraft on a very bright background produced poor shots. So at ISO 100 shutter 1/40, I up the F stops. Another problem with very bright light, is you can't review your shot or chimp (perhaps a positive) because you can't see your screen..
Well, after some missed shots, I started to capture some photos whilst the aeroplanes were taxing and also flying. With the 100-400mm I couldn't get the whole plane in the frame while the planes were taxing , so I settled for a three quarter photo as it was time consuming changing lenses (maybe a second camera). In the sky the focal length of the 100mm-400mm was ideal, other than above 300mm I do find the lens bit soft.
After a very hot day in the sun and a great display I was ready for heading home. As you can see from some of my photos and I hope you agree that to see the aircraft fly was a wonderful tribute to all the men and women who pioneered flying, plus the sacrifice made during conflicts around the world.
I will continue to add more Flying Legends images and up date the blog.