|Airbus Military A400M and the Red Arrows. UK Airshow Review Picture of the Week 2013, July, Week 30. 24mm on D700|
I often put some of my aviation pictures up on the forums of UK Airshow Review (UKAR). The UKAR forums attract huge numbers of pictures every week – thousands during airshow season – and feature some of the best photographers in the business, both pros and those who photograph just for the love of it.
Each week UKAR editors choose a small selection of pictures to be their "Pictures of the Week" (POTW). Because there are so many pictures submitted to UKAR each week, having a picture chosen for a POTW is quite an honour. I have just had my sixth in the last 12 months (I've put a set of them on Flickr as well). And a pattern is emerging.
Something I have always enjoyed doing is to try to put some context on anything that I photograph. So in addition to the classical tightly cropped aircraft-filling-the-frame pictures, I always like to put the aircraft in context or maybe show the crowd at an event. Most often, this involves not the use of a super-telephoto to get close to the action, but rather a normal or wide angle lens. Of the six POTWs that I have had over the last 12 months, only one has been taken at 400 mm, and one at 200mm. The others have been taken at wide-angle (24 mm on full frame) or "normal-ish" focal length (50mm).
All aviation photographers use telephoto lenses one way or another to make images of flying aircraft – not least myself. But providing a bit of variation on the theme, showing context and trying to tell a story, really does add to the interest and distinctiveness of the pictures.
|BBMF Lancaster over Derwent Dam. 50mm on D300.|
|Supermarine Spitfire TA805 Mk9 (the Kent Spitfire). 50mm on D700.|
|Balbo Finale at Duxford Flying Legends, 2013. 24mm on D700.|
|Spitfire, Hurricane and Vulcan at Manston. 200mm on D300.|
|Bye-Bye! Jodel Dr1051 Ambassadeur at Stowe Maries, Essex, Sept 2013. 400mm on D300.|