It's all about the prop blur

These aren't my best, but at least it's photography... | 31/10/2021

My buddie Mark and I were at the Eshott Airfield Fish & Chipmunk Day yesterday (30 October) - a get-together intended to mark the almost airworthiness of their newly-restored Chipmunk trainer.

The idea was that planes from around the UK - including, it was hoped, other Chipmunks - would fly in to mark the day, and it would be a fun time for pilots, plane spotters and the general public alike.

And for photographers, of course.

Shame that nobody told the weather what was expected of it. Long story short, there was heavy rain and dense, low cloud for the entire morning, and any possibility of hordes of planes flying in faded as the morning dragged on.

But to their credit, the organisers of the event knew that people were there to see a few planes flying; and although the Chippy wasn't quite up to flying just yet, a few taxis up and down (or more accurately, alongside) the runway would certainly be in order.  

So I had the opportunity to rattle a few frames off, at least.

I was christening a new (to me - it's actually a rather elderly piece of kit, probably built in December 2008) Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS, bought as a last-minute replacement for the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 OS I've used for years for this kind of photography, but which I managed to break last year while trying to deal with some fungus growth on an inner lens element.

The lens was great! Feather light, easy to hold (not that my other lenses aren't, but the difference is pretty stark nevertheless) and sharp as any lens I've owned. Paired with my Canon 1D X, there was no problem with the gear. 

I was crap, though! It doesn't take long to lose the knack of low shutter speed photography (which is necessary in order to ensure prop blur - the aim is always to get a full prop disc in every shot (while keeping the rest of the plane reasonably sharp): low handheld shutter speeds and sharp images of moving objects are largely mutually exclusive propositions, but by the end of the day I was starting to get my eye in with the few planes (and their very obliging pilots) that were flying.

A few examples (with apologies for some "sameness" among them - beggars can't be choosers):

Chipmunk

Chipmunk

Auster

Chipmunk

Volksplane

Kitfox

Auster

Volksplane

Auster

Volksplane

Auster

Like I say, the images might not be brilliant, but the prop-blur is rocking..!


Categories: Trips