Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pic(k) of the week 36: The old lady flies again!

Earlier this week, I spent some more time with my 2011 La Ferte-Alais airshow images. 

One of the new edits, was this black & white image of a 1945 DC-3 Dakota, which made it into my Aviation portfolio

DC-3 Dakota showing her age at La Ferte-Alais airshow
This particular Dakota, started its life as a military C-47B-35-DK transport aircraft for the US Air Force and has quite an interesting history. When it left the USAF, it spent most of its life in Canada, where it was used by the British Queen as an executive transport, whenever she visited the North American country.

As from the end of the 20th century, it was based in France, where it flew many air shows for the association, "un Dakota sur la Normandie" (a Dakota over Normandy). An engine failure and insufficient funds, unfortunately grounded the aircraft in 2004 at Dinard airport. Just days before demolition would start, the owner of a small French Normandy airline, Chalair, bought the aircraft and restored it back into flying condition. Exactly 65 years after its first flight, the old lady flew again on May 7, 2010 and has attended multiple air shows all over Europe since. 

It is because of people like Alain Battisti, that this kind of aviation heritage, still remains!

Even though, the aircraft looks quite smooth from a distance, I like how the "HDR (High Dynamic Range) look" reveals every single rivet and clearly shows small dents in the aircraft skin. For non-aviators, his does not make the aircraft unsafe and is only a sign of history being preserved!

Image details:
Nikon D700 with Nikkor 24-70 2.8
ISO200, 24mm, f11, 1/320s
Single RAW development with LR3
HDR tone mapping with HDR Efex Pro
Black & White conversion with SilferEfex 2

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