Every year, up at Eshott airfield in Northumberland, there’s the Great North Fly In.
It’s an excuse for private pilots to get together, and it makes money for charities like Help For Heroes – who wouldn’t want to help these guys?
But – if I’m honest – for me, it’s primarily a way to get very close to a variety of small aircraft, and practice my low shutter-speed photography skills.
We’d hoped that we’d also see something more out of the ordinary fly by – the Battle Of Britain Flight has visited before now, as has the (soon to be defunct) Boulmer Sea King, and there had been rumours that a WWII Yakolev Yak might make an appearance, but no.
Private planes of all shapes and sizes; microlights; and paramotors a-plenty made up for the lack of exotica though (and besides, there were some pretty interesting bits and bobs there anyway).
This is a small sampling of the shots I took – the 7D Mk II and Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 OS were in their element, and I brought home an unfeasibly high number of sharp pics, even at 100 ISO to keep the shutter speed low for prop blur.
Did I say they were low flying? A lot of pilots very kindly kept their planes at head height as they flew by, just for the photographers.
Plenty more to choose from, but there’s – predictably – a lot of sameness, because you can’t just wander around anywhere on an active arifield!
The 7D Mk II was on Auto ISO/Manual here. It always is these days, now that Canon (finally!) understands the need to be able to adjust EC in Auto ISO/Manual mode. I’m using AF Case 2 (although 1 would have been fine) and five-point AF Point Expansion.
AI Servo, obviously.
Maybe the lens should have been on OS (stabilisation) mode 2 – the “panning” mode – although I wasn’t doing that much panning, so mode 1 seems to have done the job.
You might notice the amount of detail in the clouds behind the planes: that’s what Lightroom CC’s new DeHaze function does (these are all converted and processed in Lr CC 2015, with a little bit of supplementary highlight recovery – for more cloud detail – and sharpening in PhotoShop as necessary).
DxO Optics Pro has a very similar function in it’s ClearView tool, and they’re both excellent (example) for getting drama out of what some converters would render as flat, grey, featureless smears of nothing much.