ericjohnson PRO

F-16C at Sunrise

F-16C photographed at the Melbourne Air & Space show

F-16C photographed at the Melbourne Air & Space show
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Pjerry PRO+
Pjerry November 02, 2014

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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at the Melbourne Air and Space Show in Florida. I had received access to the static displays on the tarmac before the fences were constructed.
This photo was taken just at sunrise while the airplane was still coated with dew.
The sun was already fairly bright so I used two speedlites to balance the exposure of the airplane and the sky. The speedlights were slaved with wireless triggers and were held by a friend and myself.
This photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark III using a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. The camera was on a tripod and was about 18" above the ground.The speedlites used were both Canon Speedlite 580EX II.
I was looking for an airplane with an interesting sky behind it and limited obstructions. It quickly became obvious that this was the best airplane to shoot and I worked it until I go this shot.
I used post-processing in Lightroom and Photoshop to bring out the detail in the sky. Photoshop was also used to remove a distracting airplane wing and a common portable toilet. While I arrived before the fences were constructed I did not beat the portable toilets.
In my camera bag
My main camera is the Canon 5D Mark III. My most commonly used lenses are the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L. The Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM allows me to get a unique point of view such as airplane interiors. My go to lens for photographing flight demonstrations is the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM.
The first step is obtaining access to the airplanes before the crowd arrives and while the sun is low. Some airshows sell an early ticket for photographers and others might just require contacting the proper people. The next step is to position the camera low to the ground and obtain a unique point of view. Finally use HDR or flash to balance the airplane exposure with the background.

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