Fill the skies

Cap­ture air­craft at take-off and learn how to cre­ate an in­cred­i­ble com­pos­ite. James Pater­son turns plane-spot­ter for the day...

NPhoto - - Photo Contents -

Cre­ate an in­cred­i­ble com­pos­ite of air­craft tak­ing off in a con­voy, us­ing Adobe Bridge

Plane-spot­ters may be the butt of jokes, but when you get up close to air­craft at the air­port you can be­gin to see the ap­peal of the hobby. It’s gen­uinely thrilling to see th­ese huge machines soar­ing up­wards in a grace­ful, end­less pro­ces­sion. What’s more, there’s a sur­pris­ing amount of dif­fer­ence be­tween planes. They come in all sizes, with var­ied mark­ings, wings and noses. As such, they make the per­fect sub­ject for an epic com­pos­ite im­age. With a tri­pod, a clear sky and a few hours to spare, any­one can do it.

So per­haps plane spot­ting isn’t as nerdy as some peo­ple think (and we pho­tog­ra­phers can get pretty nerdy about our gear too!). What’s more, at the ‘Googling stage’ of plan­ning the shoot here we re­alised how most of the prob­lems we might en­counter had al­ready been tack­led many times over by th­ese in­trepid hob­by­ists. Air­ports the world over had been scouted out, the best lo­ca­tions marked down, se­cu­rity is­sues con­sid­ered and sun po­si­tions charted. This led us to the roof ter­race of Lon­don Heathrow’s This­tle Ho­tel, where we spent a few un­in­ter­rupted hours pho­tograph­ing planes (you need to take lots of shots for this project) be­fore head­ing home to piece to­gether our mon­tage in Pho­to­shop. Read on to find out how…

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