Ton of fun to shoot this! I’ll be adding more below on what went into this weekend of fast flying photography action!
It was a really great weekend getting to check out the Dakota Territory Air Museum and the Texas Flying Legends. The collection they have is quite vast, and the people were great showing us all around.
I was there of course with K&M Air Adventures filming a commercial for them in just two days. Well the first morning started off pretty great with me snagging the one shot everyone was drooling over.
If you are doing a static shoot with video, how do you bring in motion? Bring a slider! I have a simple Revo 23″ Camera Track Slider, which allowed me to get very low and slide my camera along. This shot however I was very lucky that we heard the Airtractor coming and happened to already be set up in this great spot. All I had to do was wait for the tractor to pass over at the right moment and begin moving along the slide.
The Waco was a great little plane to shoot. Lots of color and very nostalgic of earlier era of flight. I was very lucky that it was the true McCoy, a QCF-2, which is a dream to fly in. Fortunately, our Air to Airs later would be in this very aircraft!
Now the bit I didn’t point out above is that the trick with the slider is perspective, in that it needs to change throughout the slide. There’s a lot of ways you could do this, for instance, you can have out of focus objects moving in front of or behind of focused object (for objects far away or very close), or you could have everything in focus, but be so close to the object that you can see dimensions to the object.
That’s what I was doing here, using where the pieces of the wings intersect and cross to give depth to the motion.
The Monocoup was gorgeous! Easily my favorite in terms of it’s colors and curves. Of all the aircraft there that morning, I wanted to spend the most time up close with it. Couldn’t have asked for better skies either.
This was a difficult shoot though. I hand held the whole thing, which was not the easiest choice for trying to get stable footage. Panning with the corsair as it went by, I quickly realized I would not get much footage like that, so I came up with other ideas.
One was to fix on a position and let the object, the corsair, move through the frame. Since I needed footage of the guys shooting too, this worked out just fine with the guys as either foreground of background.
Another solution was prefocusing on a spot in the distance where I knew the plane would pass by. This way, I could pan a bit, and once I got back and edited, I could use the sections that were in focus. It’s important to understand though that planning requires knowing where the plane would be, and where it would look best. Communication with your pilot is key!