What photographer doesn’t love an airshow. So many opportunities to photograph aircraft of all shapes and sizes. The only downside is the sheer number of photographers that are attempting to do the same thing you are doing.
“MASH” 47D Helicopter. I felt pretty nostalgic about this one as I grew up watching MASH on the old colour Tv. All that was needed was a Radar O’Reilly saying “Choppers” to make this best helicopter at show.
FA15 (I think) This was one of the hardest aircraft to photograph as they are incredibly fast and sop many photographers were trying to photograph them.
“Red Barron” A beautifully restored replica of the original aircraft. Also pretty hard to get close to due to the sheer number of people trying to get a look and snap a photo themselves.
What an adrenaline rush flying these planes, the pilot threw this around unlike anything I’ve ever seen. incredible to watch which is why I forgot to photograph it more than I did.
Airshows are full of photographers with incredible long lenses, my advice is that if you struggle with the horrible disease of ‘Lens Envy’ that you don’t attend as it may result in a unwarranted purchase of very long lens and some very long looks from your financial advisor (the wife!)
I watched as these two old ladies walked across the Opera House forecourt happily chatting away not knowing if they were tourists or locals.
But what I did notice was that their shadows weren’t old and showed no signs of ageing.
There is always someone, normally a student or a backpacker holding a sign pointing down an alley to where you can buy Ugg boots in Pitt St Mall. Only their fingers move as they tightly clutch their smartphones surfing the net.
The lack of movement provided an opportunity to photograph him, albeit without his knowledge.
Wandering through the mall I spotted this fella enjoying himself in the virtual reality world but what attracted to me was the amount of reflections that were in the window. So I positioned myself to take a photo of people looking at me taking the photo while trying not to get my reflection in the image. Not an easy feat.
So many people walk around looking down, down at the ground. Maybe they don’t want to make eye contact with other people or they have dropped something and are looking for it. I’m not sure what it is but I decided that didn’t seem like a good idea. So the next time I was wandering around Sydney CBD I decided that I would make a converted effort to look up to see what was up there. Some how and I don’t really know how we ended up at Luna Park, Sydney. I had never been there before (also no idea why) and much to my surprise the place is full of colour and there is plenty to photograph.
Those eyes are always looking down at you and you look up at them as you enter the famous landmark. I’m not sure that the angle I have photographed the famous face of Luna Park at makes you want to enter or they appear to be rather creepy and will scare you away.
Who doesn’t love a ride on a Ferris wheel especially one at Luna Park. The Ferris wheel has been photographed numerous times at all times of day and night which always makes coming up with something new and unique difficult some times. Here I wanted to capture the glimpse of the sun peaking through the gap between the carriages as the wheel travelled around.
The Whirler is a ride where the very young are introduced to fear, the fear of being continually whirled around and around becomes vomit inducing with parents wondering why they gave them that last ice cream. I did like the sign because it has an old school feel to it and those eyes make me sick every time I stare at them for long enough.
I only noticed all the things that were up higher than eye level when I deliberately and purposefully made an effort to look up and I do mean higher than the your normal store or street sign. The lesson that I learned here is that its certainly worthwhile looking up every now and then to see what is up there.
It took over a week but finally the roll of film has come back from the lab and I must say that it wasn’t without incident. When I dropped the roll of film off I specifically asked the sales guys for the film to be developed, scanned to disk in TIFF format and no need for prints. I left the shop with a gut feeling that the sales guy hadn’t even recorded my request in the system. Turns out I should have checked before I left, as they say hindsight is 2020. What returned from the lab wasn’t what was asked for except that the images were burnt to disk in JPEG format and in a slideshow program that won’t open on a Mac. The frustrations grew even further. Pretty disappointed and vowing not to use the camera shop/lab again I looked at the prints (that I hadn’t ordered) and wondered how I was going to scan the negatives into Capture One Pro. With several futile attempts I found that I could open the images on a PC and transferred them to the Mac using a USB stick. Finally a sigh of relief.
After a few days of holding and feeling the prints in my hands I started to really like what I had created. The photos had character which is something that seems to be lacking with digital. Sure digital is a lot easier but having the finished product in your hands after waiting a week or more, to me at least, is being creative.
Bugatti No 5
I know that there are a lot of filters etc that replicate film available but the colours, the texture, the graininess is something that is pretty hard to replicate with digital and a few filters.
MG No 3.
and then there is the need to get it right as there is no second chance at all. Shooting film takes discipline.
I haven’t done that much to the images except for a few tweaks like straighten because I usually lean to the right when I shoot. I need to put a rock under my foot to remind me to straighten up first.
Loaded up and ready to go
Photographing balloons without a tripod becomes difficult and one of these didn’t make the cut because its pretty blurry.
Ballroom in NSW State Parliament
La Perouse at sunset
Normally this image of sunset at Bare Island, La Perouse would be almost salvageable using image software but not this time. Live and Learn!
Historic House at Hill End
Historic House at Hill End
This was an enjoyable experience and has driven me to continue down the path of film photography. There is a roll of B&W loaded into my Nikon F75 with a few shots already taken and plans to shoot the remainder of the roll.
The Art of Photography is a You Tube channel that I have been watching for some time for tips, inspiration, lessons about the history of photography and all the other interesting bits such as the Artist series. The You Tube Channel is hosted by Ted Forbes and around October last year he started a project called Photo Assignments with the first being a pre-assignment – Create a journal or scrap book. For reasons unknown I missed the video discussing what was going to be done however I did see Photo Assignment #2 which is low angle shooting.
With this in mind and being between projects right now I thought ‘Why not, I’ll give that a go’. So I went in search of subjects that I could shoot at a low angle and I started with the dogs. The Ginger Ninja is the easiest to photograph as there is no requirement to sneak up on her to take a photo, she will just lay there and let you snap away. This turned out to be a really good opportunity to refresh my skills with DoF and looking at the corners of my frame before hitting the shutter button.
None of the techniques that you want to practice can be applied to the next dog. As you can see, this is the point that I got caught sneaking up on Old Blue Dog…… on my belly slithering as quietly as I could across the carpet with camera in hand. Old Blue Dog does not like having his photo taken and he has this look about him that says that you have just crossed the line buddy!
I really felt as though I needed to do something that was worthy of this assignment as photographing the two dogs wasn’t enough. So deciding that I needed to get out and about I headed to the local park figuring that I could shoot the playground equipment when there was no kids using it. The playground certainly has plenty of opportunities to shoot from a low angles but the kids use it a lot.
The local beach was a good opportunity as well and I couldn’t help but photograph the coke can with the waves crashing in the background. The end result is not meant to be a commercial photo by any stretch of the imagination but I did like the finished results.
Overall the assignment made me think about what I was going to shoot, how I was going to approach the shoot and it certainly made me think before I hit the shutter button. I’m looking forward to the next assignment that Ted Forbes challenges us with.