Practice Panning To Perfection

Getting any moving object is difficult, getting a fast moving object crisply is near impossible…unless you practice, practice and practice some more. It is easy enough to do, you don’t need anything more than a busy street, road or highway to practice the technique. Once you mastered large objects then you can start on smaller objects such as someone tossing a ball such as a softball, football or someone tossing a tennis ball for their dog. Then you’ll be ready to go after the hardest thing to pan…birds.  Canon 7D MkII  Canon EF 100-400mm L  f/5 1/60 100mm ISO 125 Light conditions: Overcast at dusk.

Access Denied

An opportunity missed is a loss for many. As we spend time in Arizona I have made it a point to capture as many images of the aircraft graveyards adjacent to Davis Monthan Air Force Base. These are privately owned businesses that acquired surplus aircraft for many reasons…resale, parts and recycle the raw materials. At some locations there may be a single aircraft and in others there are rows upon rows of aircraft in various stages of dismantle.

As a Veteran and as an Aviation Photographer these places are a treasure trove of memories and endless imaging possibilities. The aircraft themselves are a part of history and have a story to tell, but more importantly those who gave so much to build, maintain and fly them.

I am quite aware of the potential hazards of poking around these hulks. Not only are there the dangers associated with the aircraft but also those that Mother Nature provides…poisonous snakes, spiders and vegetation that pokes and scratches. These things contribute to why these aircraft are secured behind high fences and locked gates. But it is also an opportunity missed by those who possess this pieces of aviation and military history.

Photographers like me would be willing to sign a waiver and pay a nominal fee for access to these lots to capture images of these hulks. Most of us would be willing to comply with common sense rules and safety requirements to gain access during the golden hours in the morning and evening. When scrap metal prices are low…maybe capitalizing on an income stream utilizing the same resource is both practical and profitable.

Walkabout Lens

7diisigma18_300Normally I’m always toting my Canon 7D MkII with a EF 100-400mm telephoto lens. Its my daily driver so to speak I use it for just about everything. When I need a second lens, I’ll grab my backup body with one of two other lenses mounted on it…either a 17-40 or 28-135. But there are times when carrying a big lens or multiple cameras isn’t conducive with what we’re doing. So I’ve been searching for an affordable “walkabout” lens that gives the best of both worlds…wide angle and telephone.

quailonfenceSo after seeing the work done by a fellow photog and his recommendation we purchased a Sigma 18-300 f3.5-6.3 DC Macro. We’re about to embark on a trip that involves flying and we need to travel as light as possible so I plan on only taking one camera and this is the setup we’ll be using…the Sigma 18-300 mounted on my 7D MkII. I look forward to sharing my experiences with it and the images I captured.

In addition this trip will also be heavily documented through Social Media so we’re also going to link the 7D to a smartphone via an EyeFi card. I’ll talk about that in a future post.