I was able to go to another Planes of Fame Living History Event. This one was about the Thunderbolts of the Hell Hawks, and featured living legends from the actual Hell Hawks. If you weren’t aware, the Hell Hawks flew P-47’s in the 365th Fighter-Bomber Group in WWII. Click on this link and go to their website for more detailed info – Hell Hawks.
As usual, the Planes of Fame had several Warbirds out of their hangars on display, in addition to their P-47G. It’s always fun to walk around prior to the presentation and grab a few shots. I brought my Canon 60D, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 and Tamron 200-500. I haven’t used this stuff in a while and thought it would be fun to get it out again. Normally I use the Canon gear for air shows, so it hasn’t seen a lot of use lately. One thing I noticed right away was the size and weight of the Canon gear. It reminded me why I purchased my Olympus E-M5! Size and weight aside, it was fun to use the bigger stuff again! I also brought along my Sony RX100 for quick grab shots (and even a short video clip).
As for the presentation, what can I say? It was outstanding! The speakers were actual Hell Hawks during WWII, and they shared their stories and adventures, including being shot down and taken to German POW camps. All I can say is Wow! I am in awe of what these gentlemen did and sacrificed to the benefit of us all. They are truly Living Legends! Although my butt wasn’t happy with the folding chair, the 2 hours went by quickly.
The final part of the event usually includes a flight demo of a Warbird related to the monthly theme, and this time it was the POF’s P-47G. There’s also a museum members raffle for a ride in the Warbird, and unfortunately I didn’t win. Oh well, maybe next time!
And now, it’s photo time. With an event like this, it can be hard to get a clean shot of a Warbird. This is a popular event and can get crowded very quickly, so if you’re not careful you’re going to get people or sometimes parts of people in your shots. You really need to pay attention because people are moving everywhere at once and not always stopping so you can grab a shot. If you notice after you’ve taken a shot, you can just wait and try again. If you don’t and wait until you get home to look at your photos, it’s too late. Unless you’re very good at post processing, your perfect shot may be ruined. There is one more thing you can do. Get in close to your subject. Look for unusual angles or details. You don’t necessarily need to physically get close, you can use a zoom or telephoto lens to fill the frame. If you do have a wide angle lens, then by all means get close and fill the frame. Get low and shoot up. Try walking all around the plane so you don’t miss anything. By doing this, you lessen the chances that you’ll get unwanted people in your shot (unless of course that’s what you wanted).
If you still haven’t been to the Planes of Fame Air Museum or one of the Living History Events, you need to change that. Especially if you are interested in WWII history and Warbirds in general. And don’t forget the Planes of Fame Air Show in May, it’s not one to be missed!
That’s it for this post, until next time – Happy Shooting!