Artistry and Airshows

Thanks to Air and Space Magazine

1. Anticipate. Learn the performers’ routines, listen to the announcer, and be ready to trip the shutter at the right moment..

2. Set a slow shutter speed and follow the aircraft. The result: a photo of fast—the airplane in focus, the background blurred.

3. The chance for air-to-air is rare, but an offer to buy the gas can sometimes earn a ride…

4. To get a full propeller arc (like the ones in the photo on the opposite page), Bowen says to try a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second. But use your airborne time wisely: As you fly to a site, make test shots, checking various exposures and settings….

5. Show up at small fly-ins, where the people are friendly and the mood is laid back.

6. I like to position myself strategically near interesting aircraft, and wait for the fans to show up. People interacting with aircraft adds energy to an otherwise static photo…

7. Experiment. A single airplane shouldn’t fill every frame; focus now and then on details. Look for strong geometric shapes, symmetry, patterns, and repetition….

8. Also, vary your perspective: Get up high and look down, or get on your belly and aim up…

9. Light is magic. It can transform an average scene into art.

10. Professional photographers love dawn and dusk because of the soft light and strong shadows…

More, with photos


About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
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