Newcastle Airport (NCL), Sunderland Airshow weekend

Posted on 27 July 2013, 20:04

This weekend saw the 25th anniversary of the Sunderland International Airshow.

I’ve always wanted to visit the show – more so since I developed an interest in photography – but rubbing shoulders with something like half a million other visitors is a deeply unappealing prospect.

Solution – head to Newcastle Airport, which serves as the hub for the weekend’s activities.

Predictably, NCL’s management is as intransigent as ever about making it easier for ‘togs and plane enthusiasts, so viewing opportunities were limited, as usual. Add to that the fact that I’m really out of practice with slow shutter-speeds, and I have to say that I ended up with precious view properly satisfactory images from the 500+ I shot.

But I got a few that I’m not too disappointed with, and – given that it’s really not easy to hand-hold at shutter speeds slow enough for decent prop blur and still get reasonable sharpness – I’m not beating myself up too much.


Catalina Flying Boat


Avro Lancaster


Curtiss Kittyhawk – Arguably “wrong” for lots of reasons, I like the moody atmosphere here.


Hawker Hurricane


Catalina Flying Boat


Avro Lancaster


Sky with Red Arrows in it

Of course, all of the airshow shenanigans meant that scheduled fights to the Sun were all backed up:


Airbus A319

OK, back to the Main Event…


Avro Lancaster


Fairey Swordfish


Avro Lancaster


Eurofighter Typhoon


Fairey Swordfish

Now then, I don’t usually have much time for black and white with what I shoot – I don’t subscribe to the commonly-held opinion that B&W conversions add “special” to an image: for me, if it doesn’t work in colour, turning it monochrome won’t replace what it lacks in colour.

However… I can see the case for WWII planes being presented in black and white, so with that thought in mind, had another look at the first of the Lancaster images here:


Avro Lancaster

I’ve deliberately processed the sky for a bit of drama, and although it’s not really my thing, I’m pretty pleased with this.



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