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IN THE FIELD: Patience and Body Position

Here is another shot I had taken at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum at the WWll Weekend Event. There were numerous brightly painted Stearman Bi-planes lined up on the tarmac where folks could get up close to the antique airplanes. I was walking around taking detail shots of the aircraft, when I noticed an interesting perspective of these three tail sections. I liked the color and shapes they formed when lined up in this manner.

Well, I couldn’t resist capturing this view, so I positioned my camera and tripod for the best angle. Which meant shortening the tripod legs and kneeling on the pavement.

I used my zoom lens to compress the scene somewhat and adjusted my exposure settings for the shot. I also set the focus point to be somewhere between the first two vertical stabilizers rather than on the closest one. This way, everything in the scene would go soft…somewhere in between in and out of focus…and hopefully it would have a more vintage feel. Then I had to wait a few minutes for folks to clear out of viewfinder range.

I did get some funny looks from many of the visitors to the museum that day. I was the only one kneeling or lying on my back to get photos of the airplanes.

But I think taking the time to find the non-traditional viewpoint and wait for an unobstructed shot paid off in this case.

  1. August 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Sometimes putting ones body into different positions do end up taking very eye appealing shots. Good tip here today.

  2. August 17, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Thanks Teri, I suppose we photographers go the extra mile so to speak. I feel a different point of view keeps thing fresh and away from the ordinary snap shot.

  3. August 17, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Great shot and thanks for the heads up…

    • August 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks BD, I like to share techniques and I’m glad you enjoyed !!!

  4. August 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Congrats on a job well done, David! I love using zooms or super-teles to make shots like that. The lens really compresses the subjects and makes for great effects.

    • August 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks Bob, I love playing with different focal lengths to change perspectives, viewpoints, or even center of interest.

  5. August 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Beautiful composition you captured, fascinated me. Thank you dear David, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • August 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      Thank you NIa, I was great having those planes lined up that way. I tried to do something with the nose of the airplanes but it just wasn’t working because that’s where most of the people were.

  6. August 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    At first I wondered, “What is that?” It caught my eye and kept it there-a good thing.i like this and thanks for describing that technique of focusing in between the first two tails.it is funny the way people stare especially if I have trouble getting up because of my stiff knees.

    • August 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this one Jane…I’ll have to look for some more abstract shots…or create new ones. I know what you mean about stiff in the morning. If it’s rainy, my back aches…from an old injury as a kid…we used to play tag and swing on ropes on the second level and swing from stall to stall. Missed the rope once and landed on my back from ten feet up. Ouch. Thank goodness for chiropractors!

  7. Nandini
    August 18, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Love the blue and yellow together. And great post, too! You present ideas so well! 🙂

    • August 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks Nandini, it was so cool seeing all those brightly painted airplanes together. They even flew in formation a few times which was a sight to see!!!

  8. Jo Woolf
    August 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I would never have thought of doing this, but the result is really creative. Definitely a tribute to your skill and patience!

    • August 20, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Thank you for the kind words Jo, I try to find things/views that are not the norm…hence the awkward positions LOL.

  9. August 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Great shot! Thanks for telling us the thought process behind this photo. I think many of us find ourselves in weird or awkward position to get “the shot.” It’s almost a given. Last night I went to a presentation given by a person who has been a National Geographic photographer for over 30 years! I didn’t want to miss this talk when I heard about it. He was fascinating and I enjoyed the stories behind many of his photos – the travels, how they were captured, what he had to do to capture the shots (some very amusing) and how they made it into the magazine. These stories gave the photos a deeper, more connected meaning for me. I could have stayed for a few more hours listening to him, but it was only a two-hour talk. I got his autograph on a few NatGeo issues that featured his photos.

    • August 20, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Wow, A Nat Geo Photographer !!! That must have been really a great evening! I love to here the stories behind photographs, techniques, and interesting tidbits about the photographer. Like you, two hours would not have been enough for me either! Who was it, who was it…please…

  10. August 20, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Lovely shot. I love the story too.
    Just visited the Abbotsford Airshow, BC and took many, many photos. If you want, check out my post from the day – https://myphotoyear2012.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/11th-august-2012-abbotsford-airshow/
    And my Flickr for more photos of the day – http://flic.kr/s/aHsjBpjKLC
    Enjoy and thanks for your photos too.

    • August 20, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Kate, I checked out your photos of the airshow both from WordPress and your Flicker page. These are spectacular….could this be you next calling?? The F-18 sound barrier is a shot many folks try to accomplish but are unsuccessful. Your timing was right on!!! Well done!!

  11. August 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Awesome photo, David. Love how you captured the different details and emphasized the lines. Thanks for the quick “how to” lesson as well 🙂

    • August 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks Gracie, it was a fun composition…even though I had no padding for my knees LOL. I enjoy giving the lessons to my friends and learning from you guys and gals as well!

  12. September 3, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Great shot David! This is the thing that annoys me sometimes, people standing for hours around an object I want to take a picture of 🙂

    • September 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks Kristina, I know what you mean…If we are lucky the folks are courteous and see us with a camera and say “Oh, I’m sorry…did you want to take a photo…let get out of the way.” Doesn’t always happen, but it’s nice when it does!

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