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It’s been 6 years since I was last at the Reno Air Races. I had forgotton what a great event this is. After serveral years of trying to get Sony Pro Support in to support the press – they finally agreed that they needed support for the photographers.

The Pilot Rookie School allowed me to get the lay of the land again and to hone some of my skills that I had not used for a while. I won’t publish any of those – it woud be too embarrasing. Shooting airplanes (both static and in the air) is a very different type of shooting. It had been 6 years but it came back quickly – sort of like riding a bicycle.

 © 2019 (Photo by Bill Pekala)

In Sept I was back for the main event – 4 days of shooting and reaquainting with old friends. It was great to be back.

When shooting airplanes with propellers – shutter speed becomes important. I used to be able to pan at 1/160th – that is the best speed since it gives you a nice “propeller circle” where you can see that the plane is moving.  It takes practice to reliably do that – easier if they are on the ground but difficult in the air.

Since I was there to work – my time shooting was limited. The best shots in the air come from the Pylons but I was there to help others and taking a spot on the Pylon bus would be counterproductive and just plain NOT RIGHT. I was happy to be back and just walking the line was very rewarding. 






While shooting near the ramp and runway is not ideal – there are still shots that can be rewarding. You get more of a side view instead of “looking into the cockpit”.

Lots of good closeups as planes head out to the starting line. 








Below is a slide show of some of the days take.


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