Night photo shoots are becoming more popular these days. The Flying Heritage Combat Armor Museum (FHCAM) held one with the de Havilland Mosquito. The evening started out with the plane on the ramp when people were free to wander around the aircraft. I was shooting a lot of long exposures using the tripod which does a good job of removing the people provided they keep moving. However, a few people were hanging around for long periods so they show up in the shots. Others were using the flashes on their cameras or flashlights to look at stuff which made things blow out.
Once we were all cleared from the ramp, one of the FHCAM crew came out to talk about the aircraft. He was the one that would carry out the engine runs and he ran through the test procedures that would be followed for the engines. People had the chance to ask questions and get a good understanding of the plane and how it is operated.
Then came the fun. The engines were fired up in sequence. Then they were run through the test program. The blue flame from the exhaust stacks could be clearly seen in the very dark conditions. When the mag checks were carried out, the flames were even more conspicuous. I moved around a bit to get some different positions. I was quite surprised to see how blurred some of the shots were. The aircraft clearly moves a lot despite being chocked and so some of the shots were totally unusable. This was a lesson learned. In future I would focus on shortening the exposure times a lot to minimize this issue which I hadn’t anticipated.
I also shot a bunch of video while the runs were underway. The edited video is below. It was a fun evening and thanks to FHCAM for holding it. It would be fun to do on another type. It might be nice to have a touch more light on the ramp but the dark conditions did have some advantages. I discovered a bit about shooting in that environment which should hopefully help on future night shoots.
A shelter program in the Tri-Valley area held a fund raising run a little while back. A few of our friends had decided to participate so I headed along to get some shots of them running. There was both a 5k and a 10k to choose from. The 10k was the first to head out. This meant they could get away rather than conflict with the 5k runners and would hopefully avoid any 5k runners being directed off on the longer route by mistake.
A few minutes later, the 5k participants lined up and were sent on their way. They headed through the park and off to the trail that would be their out and back route. They needed to cross a road so the volunteers were out to manage the traffic and allow the runners to cross without having to stop. (Most drivers managed to handle this concept but I saw one dope that didn’t seem to think the stop signs meant anything.)
Everyone seemed to be having a good time when they headed out. The return meant some of them looked a little less perky but they had done well and supported a good cause. Well done everyone.
I made a last minute decision to go to Thunder Over Michigan at Willow Run. For some reason, I have never been to this show before. I have seen plenty of interesting shots of the aircraft from previous years so why I have never been is a mystery to me. There are some practical issues about going but not that can’t be overcome.
Being just outside Detroit, it is the best part of a four hour drive to get to Thunder. It is also a time zone change so making the trip across early in the morning is not a practical proposition. Therefore, an overnight is required. I decided that two nights would make for a more relaxing time. In the run up to the show, the heatwave across the Midwest was still forecast to be in place and the chances of storms were mixed in with the high temperatures.
I booked the room since I could cancel it at short notice and then decided to wait and see. In the end , I figured I would take a chance. Nancy was convinced I was not going to make the trip and looked amazed when I finally walked out of the door.
It was definitely worth the trip. I met up with a bunch of people I either already know or have crossed paths with online including the team at Warbird Digest who recently published the article on Warbird Heritage Foundation I wrote. Greg was particularly generous as he had a photo pass I could use for the show. This was a welcome addition since it not only provided a good location but also included shelter from the sun and cold drinks!
The weather ended up being okay. The heat was pretty significant and the light moves round during the day making the shots a bit trickier. It also got cloudy when the Blue Angels closed out the show. however, it was the warbirds that I was there to see and they were a lot of fun.
I would include pictures to share with you but instead, I have written a piece for Global Aviation Resource which is illustrated so here is the link to that instead.