Airport Portrait Panorama

Over the summer I spent several weeks documenting a family in Chicago. We had only a few hours one day to get this shot of seven planes and the eight family pilots and their spouses. We came up with the idea on the day of the shoot so no pre-production. Three of the planes had to be flown in from other airports around chicago to our shoot location at the Dupage Airport. Once the airplanes where arranged and a private jet was moved out of the background we were ready to go, but we only had a few minutes to get the shot. It was a beautiful day, but as you can see by the shadows, not ideal lighting conditions. I tried to wait for a cloud — but none would not cooperate. The panorama was shot in four pieces.  My solution was to set up one flash head directly over the camera and rotate it (my assistant) on the axis of the camera lens. This gave me just enough light to open up the shadows. We were all extremely happy with the results, especially considering in was an impromptu shoot. The final image was put together from five exposures in Photoshop.  It’s hard to show how much detail is in this photo. Click on the photos below to see it bigger and broken into three parts.


Airplanes pictured from left to right: Beechcraft Bonanza, Piper Super Cub, de Havilland Turbo-Beaver, Pitts Special, Cessna 421 Golden Eagle, de Havilland Beaver, Cessna 172

For the tech geeks out there. The flash was a Speedotron 206VF head w/11″ reflector connected to a Speedo 4803CX powerpack at full power (4800WS). For everyone else– about equivalent to 10 or more on camera flash units firing at once ( flash guide number of 1000 with this reflector).

Posted via email from Philip Nealey

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