I was fortunate to be able to grab some pictures of this P-51 Mustang on the ground at the Alliance Air Show in Fort Worth before the general public was allowed in the show. I wanted to get more angles but I was already encroaching on an off-limits area and wasn’t going to push it.
I used 8 exposures for this and took a few liberties in processing to amp up the colors just a bit. I wanted to clone out the light pole above the plane but as simple as that looks it can be hard to get it right when there are slight gradients in the sky colors. I’ll work on it…
My wife saw that quote on a billboard as we drove out of the DFW area last weekend (I believe the billboard used a military ship as the backdrop). I had just attended the Alliance Airshow in Fort Worth the day before and I thought the quote was appropriate for a shot of the Thunderbirds.
A friend and I bought photographer passes for the show. The passes were sold to 70-ish photographers and granted access to the show 2 hours before the general public so we could photograph the static displays without the crowds. We also had a designated area at the flight line — just to one side of the show’s announcer at show center. Plenty of room, free water ($3 per bottle if you buy at the concession stand), and lunch provided. It was well worth it.
Editing was simple: “Auto” preset in Lightroom, set daylight white balance, added some clarity and a little fill light. Vignette and deep blue sky are courtesy of the polarizing filter I was using.
I had to snap this photo of all the glass in the photo area. All I could think of is Mark Garbowski’s blog title “Too Much Glass”. It was entertaining to watch the chorus of lenses scanning the sky in synchronicity as planes flew by. I had some serious lens envy with my puny 70-200mm f/2.8 IS.
As mentioned several times before, military jets seriously impress me. The amount of thrust generated by the engines above allows this jet to do amazing things. I took a shot of these F-18 nozzles at the Wings Over South Texas air show a few months ago. I’ve peeked at this photo here and there and finally decided to share it.
The final image comes from just playing around with Topaz Adjust, Photomatix, Lightroom, and Photoshop. The rough process: tonemapped a single hand-held exposure in Photomatix and brought it into Photoshop. I ran it through Noiseware to clean up the sky then masked the rest of the original tonemapped image back in. Played around in Topaz Adjust to taste and ran the sky through Noiseware again. Adjusted levels, curves, and used a black and white adjustment layer to fix up a bit of the clouds that Topaz had overdone color-wise. Sharpened the final image then used this tip from Nicole Young to fix a bunch of chromatic aberation.