Back and For(e)th
Looking beyond the target or, sometimes, in front of it.
When photographing aircraft, especially air-to-air, it is important to plan and shoot considering something beyond the aircraft you are putting in your frame. That is, the rest of the frame; the background. An airplane photographed in a sky can be interesting, especially if the angle, lighting, or other elements are working, but a pretty plane against an uninteresting, or worse, distracting, background is failing to bring context and meaning — it ends up being just a picture of an airplane or, in that worse case, an airplane competing for attention with a distracting background.
Above, an MD 600N captured against an orange grove puts the aircraft in a place, which leads to a more complete "story," even if one is not specifically being told. And stories are interesting, which means people spend more time looking at them.
So, plan for the best and work with what you've got. Good advice in any field.
(Side Note: The pilot of the MD 530F lost sight of me as he maneuvered away and then returned to pick me up. We were not in radio contact, so for a while he thought he'd have to come back after he refueled. I guess I should not have worn desert camo… (I didn't.) Oops!)
Keywords: Arizona, airplane, aviation, background, composition, foreground, helicopter, location, photography, planning, story, technique
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Photography is a massive field. Aerospace photography less so. In these writings I share stories and tips.