Aviation

The beginning of the air to air workshop

It’s that time of the year again when Dad cooks up another workshop series. The latest one was never expected to happen but out of the turn of events in the past few years isn’t unexpected. Air2Air workshop here in Phoenix Arizona started on Friday with a simple meet and greet, and a couple of presentations. We had some great instructors including, my Dad, Richard Vandermeulen, and Doug Rozendaal. The basics were setup for Saturdays shoot and what a shoot it was.

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The day began in the early am before light came up, one of the best times to be photographing static aircraft. The B25 and B17 were of particular interest. These were two awesome looking aircraft! With the amount of junk in the background, the fence, the buildings, the poles, getting down lower not only helps to minimize some of that but also removes more of the ground adding more sky to the image and thus creating a feeling of openness and flight; which is where these “machines” need to be doing.

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After a good morning shoot, breakfast and debrief, it was back to the airfield for some air too air time. The participants and three instructors, Dad, Richard and myself Doug was flying the plane, got into our sky van that we’re using for the next couple of days, tethered down and harnessed in to make sure our asses went no where. For this shoot we had the B17, two P51 Mustangs and a Spitfire. The plan from the briefing was to go around Red Mountain, which we did and it produced just an amazing background. When the back door of the sky van opened it was like HELLO!, there’s the B17. It was awesome!

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The P51’s were great too, they added more dimension and authentication with the B17. Little Buddies as they were known proved just that. The size comparison when flying is substantial. This one is rather well known, it’s Cripes’a’mighty, a beautiful P51 inside and out. It was also the first one i ever saw that had mirrors on the front which looked a little odd at first and still kinda does to me. We had an hour with the planes, only about 20mins with the B17 from crank to on the ground, which was based solely on the amount affordable for the gas it takes. It was a great 20 mins. With 4000 gallons of gas used up in the shoot and a thousand or so images it was time to come back down. As Doug said a number of times let’s go have a beer, good’ol pilots.

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Images captured with D3, Nikkor AF-S 24-70, Nikkor AF-S 70-200 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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