Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pic(k) of the week 12: Air to Air with a sister-ship Piper Super Cub

As a pilot/photographer, Air to Air photography, is obviously one of my favourite kinds of Aviation photography.

Photographing other aircraft in flight, is very dynamic; something that needs to be planned ahead of time and that needs a high discipline of all pilots and photographers involved. In a close formation flight, aircraft often fly closer than 5m (15ft) from each other, which requires high concentration of especially the pilot joining up on the wing of the lead-aircraft.

The image below was shot from the 1954 Piper Super Cub I co-own in Belgium, while its sister-ship, an almost identical 40 year younger Piper Super Cub, is the main photo-subject. Lower in the frame, is a Flight Design CT2K microlight, who joined the formation on the way back from Brasschaat in the Northern part of Belgium.

The nuclear electrical power station of Doel, North of Antwerp (Belgium) makes for an interesting background.

PA-18 Piper Cub in formation with CT Flightdesign

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fujinon XF50-140 f2.8 lens
ISO200, 50mm, f4, 1/250s
RAW file developed in Lightroom 5.7
Nik ColorEfex for optimum contrast

In order to avoid a "stopped" prop which looks very strange, the shutter speed needs to be relatively slow; 1/250s is the about the fastest one should shoot in order to have some prop-blur with most propellor aircraft. Ideally I would have preferred to shoot at double the speed (1/125s) to have a fuller prop-disk. This was unfortunately hard to do, given the air wasn't 100% smooth.

More of my Air to Air photography can be found here while images of my own and some other Piper Cubs can be found here.

Remember: "Flying might not all be plain sailing, but the fun in it, is worth the price" - Amelia Earhart 


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