Friday, September 12, 2008

Sometimes You Have to "Settle"

It had been a long afternoon waiting for the Apache attack helicopter to take off from its public display in Southlake, Texas. I had talked to the pilots and I knew just what shot I wanted. They were going to lift off, hover a bit, give the "thumbs up" and then move off.

It was that "thumbs up" shot I was waiting for and prepared for. I had the polarizer on and adjusted for the angle of the shot so I could cancel the reflections in the canopy that might obscure the pilots. I had the ISO set high enough to allow a good, quick shutter speed with a moderate f/stop to give me the depth of field I wanted, etc.

Well, as we know "the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." In this case, there was a malfunction in the helicopter that meant the 5:00 p.m. departure was going to be delayed. When it became 7:00 p.m. and the mechanics still hadn't arrived, I knew it was very likely going to be almost completely dark when the helicopter took off.

I started looking around for another shot and tried to work a bit of the sunset color into the frame. I couldn't get the color on the horizon in the frame (we were in a supermarket parking lot) but as I walked around the aircraft looking for a shot I saw the sunset lighting up the underside of one of the main rotor blades. I thought that glow with a silhouette of the rotor head might just be interesting. Snap! Here's the result. Click on the image for a larger view.

Nope it's not as exciting as shot of a pilot giving me the "thumbs up" as the aircraft flies by but I'll settle for this one. (THIS time.)

Image © 2008 Bill Webb, All Rights Reserved
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