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©2023 Bill Pekala

Those of you that know me – know I love early morning light. It can be painful to get up before the sun – but the images sometimes make it very worth while. 

While I was shooting this morning – another photographer and I simultaneously started laughing watching the photographers – I thought I would share a little of our early  morning calisthenics.

©2023 Bill Pekala
©2023 Bill Pekala

Aviation photographers often find themselves contorting into rather humorous positions to capture that perfect angle of airplanes on the tarmac. It’s all about getting the ideal separation between the aircraft and the pavement, which can lead to some comical stances. Imagine a photographer lying flat on their belly, trying to squeeze under the airport fence or peering through a gap in the crowd at an airshow. These antics might draw curious glances from onlookers, but for these photographers, it’s all in the pursuit of the perfect shot.

Achieving that essential separation between the airplane and the ground can indeed result in photographers bending, crouching, or even squatting in peculiar ways. They might resemble contortionists as they strive to frame the aircraft against the sky or capture its underbelly without any distracting elements. It’s a reminder that photography often involves getting down and dirty, quite literally, to achieve that unique perspective.

In the world of aviation photography, having the right equipment is an absolute necessity. A tripod plate (Like Robert Shellabarger is using above on the left) or a short tripod can be a photographer’s best friend in such situations. These tools not only provide stability but also allow for greater flexibility in choosing those quirky angles without compromising image quality. So, next time you see a photographer in a seemingly amusing position, remember that they’re doing whatever it takes to capture the magic of aviation, and their dedication to their craft is no laughing matter.


Here are a few of this mornings

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One Comment

  1. George Tiedemann

    Similar to shooting race cars and trying to get some light under the chassis at 150 mph.

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