They Zoom Overhead, And We Zoom In As They Fly
It's not often you have the privilege of photographing one of the most iconic fighter aircraft in aviation history - but as some of you would remember, about six weeks ago I drove 1200 kilometres for the chance to shoot some images of Spitfires at the Temora Aviation Museum.
The Museum has the only two airworthy Spitfires in Australia and while there are always some amazing photo opportunities in the Outback, this was one rare photo shoot I wasn't going to miss for anything.
The first image, of the Spitfire Mark XVI climbing into the sky over Temora, was taken with a 70-300mm zoom lens. I was in the stands with hundreds of others and I shot an entire series of images as the fighter started its takeoff, the tail came up and finally the aircraft became airborne.
The first image in this sequence, shot without a tripod, shows the distinctive undercarriage retracting into the wheel wells in each wing.
The second image (above) shows the Spitfire in tandem with another World War II-vintage fighter, the US-built Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk.
This shot (above) shows the clean shape of the Spitfire's distinctive (and famous) eliptical wing, which was inspired by the late Reginald Mitchell's observation of seagulls and their wing shape. In the shot you can actually see the fighter's original 20mm Hispano cannon, the distinctive scoop or air intake under the fuselage, as well as its angled tailwheel.
And when a Spitfire, flying inverted, reaches the topmost point of a loop, several hundred metres above you, there is one other thing you must remember to do as you watch and admire the beauty of its performance. You have to remember to press the shutter on your camera.
If you missed my earlier series of Spitfire images at Temora, you can see them at W Is For Warbirds.
It's fitting that these images were shot on 6 June, which as you would know is the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings. There is a very neat symmetry in being able to shoot these images on such a historic day.
And yes, I'd drive 1200 kilometres again, to capture images of this aircraft in flight. Wouldn't you?
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