This year saw me attend the Wings & Wheels at Dunsfold Aerodrome. With the rich history of aviation at Dunsfold the scene was set. Unlike many other Air shows around the United Kingdom, this show mixes aeroplanes, cars, motorbike, re-enactment groups plus a big show ground with static displays. The ticket pricing is also reasonable at £45 for 2 adults + 3 child, compared to £35 for 1 adult at this year’s Duxford Flying Legends show.
I attended Wings & Wheels last year and shot at 1/500 upwards which stop the propellers dead. This made the aircraft in mid air look like they have suffered an engine failure, and on the ground parked up, so this season I have improved my techniques and lowered my shutter speed down the 1:50-1/125. Now slow shutter speeds brings it’s own problems with sky shots of aircraft. It is very difficult to obtain the correct exposure in bright light with dark aircraft and this is something you have to adjust whilst the display is occurring.
This season I have been concentrating on the propeller spin of the classics - Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane and with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, visiting Dunsfold was a great opportunity to improve on last seasons photographs.
With the cloud slowly lifting and the sun growing stronger you can start with 1/40 f18 100 ISO (as I remarked earlier) you're know straight away, to capture the aircraft without an ND filter in bright sun would be next to impossible with that amount of light flooding onto the camera's sensor. (Memo to self- buy an ND Filter for next season). Along with many other photo shoots this year, after a while you hit the sweet spot of the shutter speed + F stop + ISO in the camera setting. You can shot in manual mode on the canon 60d to maintain and keep on top of the changing conditions i.e- sun, clouds, blue sky, dark and lightly coloured aircraft, plus if a jet or prop plane. Some photographers choose to shoot in shutter priority or Tv on Nikons mode. The choice is yours, which ever mode you feel comfortable with. As you progress through your levels of photography skill you will quickly realise that there is more than one way to take a picture, in fact there are several.
As you can see from the photography contained within the blog, once you have got the propeller spin in your photos the older aircraft came alive. With a mixture of propeller, fast jets and gliders that flew at Wings and Wheels 2013 you will have to keep adjusting your camera settings all day long. With the 2014 season fast approaching I think it's time for me to attend a different Airshow. Check out the 2014 calendar over at -
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Another great resource for aviation photography is a gentleman called Moose Peterson Aviatin Photography . Check out his wonderful work at http://www.warbirdimages.com