Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Family That Flies Together...Stays Together

Today is one of those days in which my photography was able to bring fun and excitement to the whole family. For those of you who read my blog regularly (all 2 of you I am sure), you will remember that I photographed some of the vintage airplanes in Sonoma many months ago. Well...the Vintage Aircraft Company asked me to come back during the fall colors to take more aerial photos...and invited the family to come join me for the rides.

This is one of the shots from the plane to plane segment. Yep, that is Annette and Connor cruising at 1500 feet.

This is a shot of the vineyards below. If you look closely, you can see some of the colors in the vines.

Ali went up with me on the second flight of the afternoon and said that it was "Awesome!". I like this shot of her with the late afternoon sun on her face.

To get this shot, I asked the pilot to make two low passes over the vineyards so that I could take a wide shot of the vines and their fall colors.

And here are some random shots from the afternoon that I really like.

And if you thought that the landscape was nice from the air, you should see the Napa Valley from the ground! (And for those that might ask...I did not increase the saturation in this image, it was really this colorful.)

The whole family loved this experience so much that we may make another trip up to Sonoma in March to catch the landscape with all of the mustard flowers in bloom. Look for more aerial shots then (I hope).

Note: For those photo enthusiasts who want to get the "technical scoop", here are the details of the shoot. I took two Canon 5D Mark II cameras up with me, one with a 28-300 lens and one with a Fish Eye lens. Both cameras were set to Aperture priority and I was constantly changing the aperture to isolate the other plane from the background or to have both foreground and background in focus. One of the bigger challenges in this situation is to have a shutter speed that is fast enough to get a shot with perfect focus, BUT, with a slow enough shutter speed as not to freeze the propeller (which would look bad in the final images). I looped both cameras into the seat belt harness to make sure that the cameras stayed in the plane. I shot on 4 Lexar CF cards, two of the new 16GB 600x cards and 2 of the 16GB 300x cards. On the first flight (which was the longer of the two), I ended up switching out all memory cards mid-flight. That was challenging!

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