Missing from the EXIF – Spitfire Ready for Take off

Time for another behind the EXIF data post…. This time taking just one of the shots of the Mark VIII Spitfire at Point Cook.

Firstly, Point Cook RAAF Museum do what they call Interactive Flying Days every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 1pm, so there is always one plane flying at the museum on these days.  Put that info in your diaries now if you are a plane spotter and either live or are coming to Melbourne.  I knew in advance that the Spitfire would be flying this day (by phoning the Museum they can often tell you up to a month in advance what planes will be flying).  Note there is very limited public transport to Point Cook, so far easier to drive out or get a lift from someone.

So once again like my last post a bit of research never goes astray.

The Spitfire is one of those must see aircraft – to see flying whilst you still can.  The purr of the Merlin Engine is one of the sweetest sounds you will ever hear.  Great aircraft like the Spitfire come to life when in motion, the pilot on the day describing the Spitfire as a temperamental race horse. Even if you’re not a plane spotter you’ll still love the sound and vision as the Spitfire goes screaming over head.

Sorry back to the photo…

I had my standard kit that I usually carry with me but could have just taken the D90, a fully charged battery some spare SD cards and my Nikkor 70-300mm, (because that’s all that I used).

The interactive day consisted of the pilot talking about the plane and what he was going to do, then a 10-15min flight followed by the pilot returning for questions and answers.  My shot was taken just after the intro as the Spitfire was warming up before taxing off.

The reason I only have a few in flight photos up on Flickr is that the lens is crap at doing panning shots with any movement at the longer end.  I have the non VR version and whilst it is great at steady long shots… get a long lens with VR if you are going to shoot planes in the air.  On my possible to-buy list is the new Sigma 50-500mm OS when it comes out and I have a spare $1500 or so… until then ground shots mainly for me.

I had two spots I could take photos from… one up high over the heads of people to get the in-flight shots and one where I could get right up close to the plane.  This shot was taken from the second of those spots.  As the plane takes a few minutes to warm up I could also try a number of settings to find the sweet spot especially for the prop blur effect I was after.

When trying to get a partial blur on the prop, the trick is to use a slow shutter speed of around 1/125 to 1/250.  Obviously if you want the prop to be a complete haze in front of the aircraft slow the shutter even more.  And if you want a frozen prop use a faster shutter speed.

With high speed jets you’ll want a fast shutter speed around 1/1600 to get the vapour off the wings during high speed banking, like this shot of a F-18 Hornet

The tone dropping was done in Photoshop CS4, even in the coloured shot the red of the prop and sharks mouth stood out so well that in my eyes this treatment just suited the shot naturally. This other blog post I did has the details on how to do the effect – Tone Dropping in Photoshop in 7 easy steps)

Ready for Take Off

And the EXIF Data.

Camera: Nikon D90
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/18.0
Focal Length: 70 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: -11/3 EV
Exposure Program: Manual
Date and Time (Original): 2010:04:01 13:18:11.00+11:00
Subject Distance: 7.08 m
Metering Mode: Multi-segment
White Balance: Auto
Focal Length In35mm Format: 105 mm
Scene Capture Type: Standard
Gain Control: None
Contrast: Normal
Saturation: Normal
Sharpness: Normal
Creator Tool: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Lens: 70.0-300.0mm f/4.0-5.6
GPS Latitude: 37°55’49″S
GPS Longitude: 144°44’59″E

I was also trying to find the essence of the Spitfire in one shot and this really captured it.

This shot is also For Sale on Red Bubble.

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