Having a new camera in the bag really has me itching to get out and do some shooting! Today I went to the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California. Since it’s been almost a year since my last visit, this seemed like the perfect time to go!
The Planes of Fame also puts on a fantastic air show every May. If you love air shows, and especially want to see rare World War II aircraft in the sky, this is the place to be.
One of the nice things about the Planes of Fame Museum is most of the planes from the annual air show are on display. There are also other displays of equipment, clothing, vehicles, and other “stuff” from the World War II era.
As usual, I set up my Olympus E-P3 to bracket 3 shots (normal, +1, -1 stop), and make RAW files rather than jpegs. I set the camera to AE (aperture priority) and ISO 400. Just for fun I also brought my Sony NEX3. That’s what I love about these ILC’s (interchangeable lens, compact) cameras. They are so small and light, (but have larger sensors than typical Point & Shoot camera’s) that I can carry 2 of them in my bag and not be bothered at all!
I got to work once I got into the 1st hanger. While I was enjoying framing each shot, and looking for new and different points of view, I noticed something. Even though it had been almost 1 year since I last visited the Museum, if felt like I was taking the same pictures as the last time. There wasn’t a feeling of creating something new and exciting, just a sense of doing the same old thing.
It was because of that feeling that I started to look around. Instead of looking at the planes on display and trying to capture them, I began to look around the hanger at some of the other displays. And in those displays, I looked deeper trying to find something different, out of the ordinary.
I guess it was then that my eyes really opened to new photo possibilities. Different scenes started popping up. It seemed as though I had blinders on before. There were all sorts of neat little scenes with wonderful texture and detail waiting for me to discover. Here are just a few of those scenes:
Above – World War II Flight Gear, Olympus E-P3, 3 shot HDR image from RAW files.
Above – WWII Sherman Tank Track, Sony NEX3, Single RAW file converted to B&W in Photoshop.
Above – Mig 17 Fuselage, Olympus E-P3, 3 shot HDR image from RAW files, processed in Photomatix and Photoshop.
I’m very pleased with what I was able to create. Now don’t get me wrong, I did take plenty of shots of the airplanes on display, I just can’t help myself. I’m glad I took scenes out of the ordinary, to make images that I felt reflected my vision as a photographer, not just shooting the same old thing.
One of the things that sets a photographer apart from a snap-shooter is inner vision. It’s that inner vision that takes time to develop. It doesn’t always come easy (at least to me). It takes work to try and create new and fresh images. But I think it’s worth it! When you really nail that one image, it’s hard to put into words how satisfying it can be. You may never get rich selling you photos, but that’s ok (again, at least for me). It’s a labor of love and getting that special wall hanger makes it all worth while!
That’s it for this post. My advice, get out there and start looking for those out of the ordinary scenes; those behind the scenes places, hidden from the casual viewer, waiting for you to discover them!
Until next time – Happy Shooting!