Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
Those of you who have followed this blog for a while would know that I love photographing just about anything, especially if I can find an unusual angle for a shot. These shots of a Curtis P40 Kittyhawk were taken at an air show, and I was just thrilled to have the chance to photograph an aircraft of World War II vintage.
If you've been to an air show, you'll appreciate how difficult it is to work the angles or get close-ups. You see, aircraft are always cordoned off to prevent people getting too close to them. And because there are always crowds at each exhibit, it can be quite a challenge to get just the plane in the frame and not the bobbing heads and waving arms of hundreds of excited planespotters as well.
Yup, aviation photography on an airfield or a tarmac is very different from the challenge of aviation photography at an air show. I have always been a keen student of aerodynamics, the history of air combat and just about anything that flies. The first frame (above) is a deliberate attempt to show just how slender the fuselage of a fighter was, is and always has been.
It's great fun photographing a sleek jet fighter, but I really appreciate the chance to train my lens on a red spinner, propeller blades and a beautiful set of fishtail exhausts. That sort of thing doesn't happen every day.
By the way, if you have an interest in stories about fighter pilots of World War II, then you might appreciate just how privileged I was to tell the stories of two RAF pilots of that era. It was my very great privilege to painstakingly piece together the heroism of a Typhoon pilot and a Hurricane pilot; stories that would have been impossible to tell without the power and reach of the internet. The first feature is Life And Death Of A Hurricane Pilot and the second is displayed in full on Terry Fletcher's wonderful Anglo-Indian Portal at The Story of 'Tiger' Rajan.
By the way, I am currently working on my third novel, called The Jadu Master. A couple of significant chapters deal with the fighter pilots of the RAF and the Luftwaffe, as well as the aircraft they flew. In this instance, I am doing extensive research on the performance (and all other relevant data) of the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt Bf-109. Yes, I'm enjoying myself. Yes, I have lots of data. And yes, I'm acutely aware there is always more information just around the corner ....
The quest for knowledge and understanding never ends.