Enjoy the story behind the creative and unique "Magic hour aerobatics" by  THREEWIRE-Images. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Steve has been photographing aviation subjects since 1998. Steve's work has appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the world, including World Airshow News, the Times of London, JerseyMan, and many others. Additionally, his work appears on numerous websites and online magazines.

Steve has been fortunate to have worked with some of the biggest names in aviation, including four-time US National Aerobatic Champion Rob Holland, aviation legend Gene Soucy, Bill Stein, The Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team, the United States Army Parachute Team The Golden Knights, and the world famous US Navy Demonstration Squadron The Blue Angels, as well as many others. Steve is a member of the International Society of Aviation Photographers and is a contributing photographer for World Airshow News magazine. Also an accomplished musician and a practicing attorney, Steve lives with his wife and four cats outside Philadelphia.

Raptor by THREEWIRE-Images

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Magic hour aerobatics by THREEWIRE-Images

THREEWIRE-Images, where did you take this photo? and what time of the day?

In the skies over Shreveport, LA about an hour before sunset.

How did you capture the surreal type of lighting?

The goal was to get the light on Rob's plane with the dark water of the lake providing the background. Once in position, Rob turned on the smoke. Slow shutter speeds allowed the propeller to catch the light and produce cool highlights.

What equipment did you use for this shoot?

I used a Nikon D750 with the Nikon 24-120mm f4 lens. I shot handheld at an 80th of a second. No flash. Another key piece of equipment was the airplane I was flying in -- a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 with the side door removed flown by the outstanding aerobatic pilot Kevin Coleman. Having a smooth, precise photo plane pilot is key.

What was the purpose behind this photo?

The purpose of this shoot was to get compelling images to announce Rob's new sponsorship with Window World. When you are flying with pilots like Kevin Coleman and Rob Holland in good light, pretty much every thing you see out the door is inspiring! This shot was virtually straight out of the camera -- when you have great light and a fantastic subject, you don't really need to do that much.

What equipment do you normally have in your bag?

I have gone to using my D750 exclusively. I love it! Great tonal range and the best AF system I've ever used. I use two lenses: the 24-120 and a Sigma 100-300mm f4 - a very underrated lens.

Any advice for others trying to capture something similar?

Air-to-air shooting is all about trust. Plenty can go wrong with these shoots, so it is critical that the pilots know you can handle yourself. If they have to worry about you as a photographer, they simply will not do the shoot. Know your subject -- find out what pilots need and want in the air. Learn how to be a good, conscientious passenger. From a technical standpoint, learn to be smooth with your camera handling. When shooting from a moving platform at a moving target at very slow shutter speeds, there can be no tension in your body. The more fluid and relaxed you are with the camera, the slower you can shoot. Ultimately, if you've honed your skills on the ground, they'll translate in the air. There is no substitute for subject knowledge and practice!

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