Ardmore Airshow

Last Saturday at Ardmore Airfield they gave the first flight of the newly built de Havilland Mosquito. It was a very busy day with thousands of people in attendance. It was another of the photography meetup’s (see the zoo posts for the previous one), but unfortunately the sheer number of people made meeting up with others (when there was no designated meet up point) rather difficult. Still I managed to find 5 others in total over the day from faces I remembered from the zoo.
The weather forecast was threatening to rain so I had full rain gear with me, but as it turned out it was sunny all day with varying amounts of cloud cover – pretty good conditions for aircraft photography. This was the first real test of my new Nikon D7000 camera, paired up with my trusty 18-200mm lens. I was pleased with how it performed, I spent a bit of time playing with different autofocus settings to adjust how sensitive it was to movement and over the course of the afternoon I took just over 700 pictures.

On to the pictures (not all of them!). First up was the star of the day, the Mosquito, twin engine bomber that first entered service in WW2 (1941). It had been recently rebuilt by a group of veterans and this was their first public flight. Of all the pictures of this iconic aircraft that I took, this was the sharpest (might be hard to see, sorry, because the picture has been reduced in size for the blog). The picture shows off the graceful lines of the aircraft, it nicely pops out of the background and there’s space in front for the eye to move. While I like it I think it could be improved further by a greater blurring of the propellers to improve the sense of movement. Don’t forget to click the pictures to see them a bit larger.

The second picture I like is a high contrast black and white treatment of a de Havilland Vampire. I love the way the darkness of the clouds sit neatly under the brighter wings making them really pop out. The more subdued clouds then fit nicely against some of the shadowed regions of the plane towards the front and the rear. Strangely, when I look at it I feel as if I am flying above the aircraft, rather than on the ground, it’s a slightly eerie feeling.

Finally, a Harvard in US Navy colours. I really like the little wisps of smoke from the smoke generator, which are usually seen as a long trail behind the aircraft, but this close they are just individual bursts of smoke. Again it’s pin sharp – you can almost see the expression on the pilot’s face. The blurring of the propellers gives that bit of movement as well as the movement implied by the smoke. I think the weakest part of the picture is the background, I’d prefer a few more patches of blue to separate the white aircraft a little more from the sky – especially at the tail.

And now some more , without me prattling on in between. The spitfire (last two pictures) has been digitally manipulated a bit just for fun. Enjoy.

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