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North Texas summer skies see many a wardbird.

Summer days make some great opportunities to shoot the old warbirds as well as many varieties of unique aircraft. In addition to museums and collectors, there are a number of manufacturers and airbases, naval air stations, and air shows.


Here are just a few shooting tips:

· Unless it is a visitors area, stay off the airport property. Big trouble!

· See the fence marring the first image? If a fence is in your way, stand on a free standing ladder back from the fence for safety and stability (and so you don’t give the appearance of attempting to trespass, too).

· If you can’t get high enough, open up your aperture to get the narrowest depth of field and shoot as close to the fence as you can. You may have to manually focus to keep from fighting with the autofocus when seconds count.

· Pan in the direction of the aircraft.

· Lead your subject, leaving “see room” in front of approaching objects. However, departing can be implied by more trailing distance than see room. But provide some see room.


“I have The Need. The Need, for speed!”

· Faster shutter speeds produce tack sharp wings and fuselage. Great for jets with no moving parts or for catching opposing flyby’s when you can only pan in one jet’s direction and you want to freeze the action. Generally, find the maximum zoom range of the camera in millimeters (x) and shoot at a speed of 1/x of a second or faster.

· Slow shutter speeds help to imply motion and make a nice blur of the props. Practice your panning skills and be prepared to sort out a higher percentage of shots. It’s a real challenge! Use a Vibration Reduction lens

· If you have continuous shutter mode, use it! Our cameras range upwards to 11 fps. But remember to bring extra memory cards and (carefully) delete your flubs.


For extra Ahh!

· Try to frame the pilot in the window if possible. He or she is part of the subject. You might even get a proud wave, salute, or a rare salute-to-thumbs-up on departure!

· On departure and flybys, if you see the plane dip the wings left to right and back again, be sure to wave back!  He is waving his wings.

We put the Ahh! I Photography!