Desperate for some aviation photography

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Summertime while living SW Michigan was the worst when it came to aviation photography. As a guy who craves the big stuff, it’s really tough living around a bunch of little airports which are only served by regional jets. Even tougher that my nearest big airport (ORD) is pretty much un shootable in the summer due to runway configuration and traffic patterns. The sun angles are no good when most of the traffic came and went via runways 27L and 9R – which seems to occur 90% of the time.

So there I was, having been a long time since my last real photo session, sitting at home on Friday evening craving to do some hard-core aviation photography over the weekend (sounds kind of dirty, doesn’t it?). Even though I knew the sun angle wouldn’t be any good, the forecast was calling for sunny and warm conditions on Saturday morning at ORD. Do I stay or do I go? Perfect conditions be dammed, I decided to make the two-hour drive west with a plan to be there before sunrise. Yeah, I have a sickness.

All in all, this turned out better than I had expected. I had been planning for the worst for the entire two hours of the drive to the airport, but all in all it wasn’t so bad. Yeah, the sun angle was totally wrong for shooting arrivals on 27L but it did force me to get a little bit creative and play with some different camera settings and angles that I had never tried before.

United Airlines 737-300

United Airlines A320

United Express Bae 146

The result was a small semi-interesting set of backlit silhouette shots with a lot of nice color from the sun rising through the typical midwest summertime haze. The only real bummer was that one of these photos included a Delta 727-200, which is pretty rare these days. Man, would I have loved to get a shot of that thing up close and in good light!

I drove home somewhat satisfied with my catch, but the aviation photography itch has not yet been scratched.

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