Now that we (finally) have some snow in New England I thought I’d share some of my personal views and observations about the opportunities and challenges that snow presents to the aircraft photographer. Generally speaking, snow on the ground changes the lighting conditions as it reflects sunlight and often creates a wonderful environment of all-around diffuse light. Not only do we avoid sharp shadows (like on overcast days), but also the undersides of aircraft easily receive more light.
The picture of PSA’s CRJ200, above, is a good example of how the reflected light illuminates the undersides of a landing aircraft. Similarly, the landing Southwest 737s look quite different from one another: One was shot on an overcast spring day (with no snow), the other in bright sunlight but with snow underneath (note the reflection of the aircraft’s shadow in the snow, visible on the fuselage). On a snowy day, even when you have direct sunlight, you can often avoid sharp shadows that otherwise make photography in direct sunlight a challenge. Without snow, the diffuse lighting of the overcast day helps, but even with modest editing there is not as much light to illuminate the underside of the aircraft.
As I recently reported, I have been working on a book titled “Aircraft at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport”. Now I am happy to report that the book is done and available to purchase! More information about the book is available here.
The 150-page book features almost 300 large color photographs (selected from about 7,000) depicting aircraft operating at, or visiting, the KMHT airport.
The 31st Bowman Field Fly-in was held on August 26th and 27th, and just like last year I made a brief visit. This time I was there on the 2nd day. For those who don’t know, Bowman Field (B10) is a small grass strip in the town of Livermore Falls, ME. This has now become one of my favorite annual aviation events to visit, one I much prefer over bigger airshows.
I have been working on a photo book about the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. No, let me rephrase that, it is a book about the aircraft operating at this airport, whether those are planes based there, just visiting, regular airline flights, etc. I have just ordered a “proof copy”, the first physical copy of the book, so things are definitely getting very real now. The final book has 150 pages and about 300 large color photographs.
Interesting about this project has been figuring out how to actually produce what we used to call the “camera-ready” version of the book; in practice, this is a PDF file from which the physical book is printed. 150 pages with 300 or so photographs is not exactly easy to put together. At first, my thought was to use Adobe InDesign page layout software, but this would have meant a lot of manual labor, making sure all the pages have a uniform look, all pictures placed correctly, etc. And what would I have to do if I in the middle of this process decided that I didn’t like the chosen “look and feel” and wanted to make changes across all the pages? Very quickly I ditched the idea of using InDesign and started looking for more “automated” solutions. As a software engineer, this is in my nature, I suppose…
I have been busy with “other stuff” and have completely neglected blogging lately. The good news is this: The book titled “Aircraft at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport” is nearing completion! Proof-reading is almost done, after that it should not take very long before the book is available.
Collings Foundation‘s “Wings of Freedom Tour” recently passed through a number of New England airports. The aircraft (B-17, B-24, B-25 and P-51) are always worth seeing. This time, their TP-51C “Betty Jane” had been replaced by the recently restored TF-51D “Toulouse Nuts”.
I saw the aircraft several times, at Beverly, MA (KBVY) on 2016-09-18, at Manchester, NH (KMHT) on 2016-09-20 and -21, and at Worcester, MA (KORH) on 2016-09-24. The Worcester stop featured additional aircraft; I was able to photograph their Corsair and Skyraider.
I also received the honor of being the Collings Foundation’s first “fan photographer of the week”. There will be a separate blog post about this.
Over the years I have taken a lot of aircraft photographs. It really started as means to get accurate information for scale model projects, and I still take “detail pictures” whenever I have the opportunity. But I also take pictures that (I would like to think) are simply attractive to look at, if not for everybody then at least for those who like airplanes. Lately, I have been thinking about turning some of those pictures into books.
The question is, what would be good topics for airplane books mainly consisting of photographs. I am thinking “classic aircraft”… but what does that mean? Some of you are now thinking of P-51 Mustang, B-17 Fortress, etc., and sure, those are “classic”, no doubt. And while I have plenty of pictures of Mustangs and Fortresses, those topics are already covered quite well, just go to your local bookstore. Continue reading →