OK, not really – it’s WINGS Over Houston, but I figured, with the wigs on the site and all…you get the idea.
Going back to October, this year’s Wings Over Houston Airshow was Oct. 17th, and I went with my dad (as usual) and my boss/friend from work. She’s a former employee of US Airways (now part of another airline, can’t remember the name right now) and loves airplanes, too, so it was fun to share the experience with someone else.
I told myself that since I wasn’t very satisfied with my aerial pics last time, I’d focus on shooting the planes during the viewing hours of the show, when you can get up close with them before they take off. However, once the planes got in the air I couldn’t help myself, and since I knew a bit more this time about what settings to use on the camera for decent shots, I managed to get some really nice ones this year. I also made sure to try for shots that would be more unique or interesting than the typical stuff everyone else snaps – the two above were taken during a war simulation, and I particularly liked the effect the smoke from the faux-bombs created.
The Thunderbirds were there this year (instead of the Blue Angels who performed in 2014) but my friend and I were wise enough to leave before the final show; my father and I spent over an hour in the shuttle line the year before since we left with everyone else, and since there were two performance jet teams this year, I still got to see some high flyers before we took off. It was a good idea, since it meant we walked right onto a shuttle instead of waiting in line forever.
In 2014 I saved my camera strictly for photos of planes in the air and didn’t even take it out when we were wandering around viewing the planes, but since this year I wasn’t planning to take any aerial stuff anyway I took my camera with me to the touring area earlier in the day, and got some nice shots there too:
I took my telephoto lens again this year, but am considering taking the wide-angle next year; it was hard to get all of the planes in my shots while we were walking around with the zoom lens, and it wasn’t the most convenient lens for these types of shots. We stood in line to tour the inside of the C-17 and my lens was pretty much useless inside it; I could not even get a shot of the cockpit once we got in there because it was so small – and we stood in line for over an hour to get up there! I did get a shot of the stairs leading up to it, though:
I also got a few shots of one of the servicemen standing in the cockpit and looking out the little round window that overlooks the huge cargo area where we were all waiting in line, but with the lack of indoor light and my inability to get my settings right, all the shots of him looking through it were crappy and blurry. I processed one of the shots, though, and just edited the hell out of it to disguise the fact that it’s a bad photo – I had to process it, because the dude was looking right at me in the shot.
There was also a nice big United 737 that I took some snaps of; I tried to keep all the crowds of people out of these shots so it might appear that I was actually just getting super-close access to a plane on a runway instead of at an exhibition; for the most part I think I pulled it off:
Another thing I wanted to try this year was taking pictures of interesting people, as well. There certainly are a lot of them:
I love it when I get to piggyback off someone else’s staged shot; this veteran was posing for someone else so I snuck up behind them and snapped the same photo:
That’s actually a composite of two shots I took of him; in one, a woman walked into the frame right as I snapped the shot, and her body covered up half the flag. In the other, she wasn’t in the frame, but his features were not as clear and the shot wasn’t quite as focused, so I layered that less-focused shot over the better one and erased the woman’s body out of the frame. And there you go.
Last shot for now – I snapped this one quickly while we were waiting in that hour-long line for the cockpit of the C-17; I snapped a bunch of one-offs through the open cargo doors since there wasn’t much else to do and nothing I could get decent photos of inside, and right after I took this one I looked at it on my LCD screen and realized it was a nice one. How much more alike could these two look anyway?
I processed this one in black and white because the color just didn’t add anything to it. I especially like the young guy’s shadow on his dad’s (I assume) shirt. They were probably looking up into the cargo hold at all the people standing in line inside and thinking to themselves, why on earth would those idiots stand in line so long just to spend two minutes inside a stuffy cockpit? Well, because we can, dude. That’s why.
I edited most of these shots over the past two days; that’s how busy I’ve been and have just now gotten around to really editing these photos. I’ve decided I need to start dedicating myself to editing at least one photo a night since I’ve got such a backlog of stuff and what I’m really craving is a good old portrait-and-jumping photo session. I don’t want all this other stuff to get completely forgotten, though, so I’m trying to work through it all now. Still lots I’d like to edit from this set, as well as my trip out to IAH back in September, so more planes to come.
Next week – vacation! I can’t believe it’s Thanksgiving already. A whole week off, and I’m going to try and take my portrait shots then.