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Behind The Lens

This was taken in Bournemouth, UK at the annual Air Show. I am a avid photographer, and have tried constantly to challenge myself to tell a story through my photography. I am not always successful however, but on occasion I manage to do just that.
We got up very early in the morning to reach Bournemouth long before the public crowded the place in order to get the best viewpoint we could without obstructions, so after driving to a park and ride, then onto a bus and then had to walk the rest of the way lugging my equipment and refreshments for the day. We were lucky, and set ourselves up. This photo was in the afternoon after many displays and was the highlight of the show.
The sun was high in the sky, but fortunately not directly in the way to create flares. The sky was clear and thus enhanced the colours of the smoke from the planes.
There was no room for Tripods, so I had to rely on my whole body to keep focus. My camera was a Nikon D40, and I shot on continuous hoping that at least one shot might be in perfect focus. My lens was a Sigma 300mm on Auto focus.
Watching the aircraft in their maneuvers with the smoke making patterns in the sky, I just followed them and hoped I would catch the best composition. This shot thankfully was instinctive and among over 1000 shots taken during the course of the day. I was delighted when I was going through all the shots that overall, this shot was the best of the day in all aspects.
The most I did in post processing on this shot was slight cropping and adjustment of the white balance.
In my camera bag
I always carry my Nikon D40 with standard lens and my trusty Sigma 300mm lens. Filters, flash and lens cleaning kit, a number of SD cards and spare battery. Depending on what the weather is like and what I am aiming to do, I may carry a plastic bag in case of rain to cover the camera, a tripod or monopod. If going through a game park where you cannot get out of the car or switch the engine off, I have a neck pillow filled with beads to rest the camera on to avoid shake from the engine.
Try and try again, panning can be difficult without a tripod but it can be done with practice. Shoot on continuous while panning, and make sure your SD card is big enough to handle the load of shots - thankfully with digital, you can always delete the rubbish and hopefully have a few good shots.

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