The trials of an aviation photographer (amateur)

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The trials of an aviation photographer (amateur)

Postby VH-WAL » Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:06 pm

Some of you may have seen examples of my photography over the years many taken during my holiday visits to the UK. I only started visiting the RAF bases last year.. first Coningsby (Eurofighter base) because it is "only" a 100 minute drive from home. This year I ventured to Lakenheath (F-15s) and Marham (F-35s).. which requires some dedication.. best part of 3 hours travel. When you get there there is never any guarantee of suitable weather / light / parking / or indeed any flying! To be fair Lakenheath and Coningsby are pretty good thet seem to fly every day.
This month there is a squadron of Italian based USAF F-16s on exercises at Lakenheath. I was waiting for a Runway 06 wind day and when the wind started coming in from the Northeast for a few days I set off down there leaving at 0500, Got there at 0830 to an almost full carpark! (too many bloody idle people on furlough) and Nothing flew till 1030 when a few F-15s went out (and Runway 24 was in use doh! forecasts! pfft!) a lot of heat haze so generally crappy photography was to be had...a few of these follow:
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No F-16s flew by the time I left at 1500..it was a long day, I stopped at Marham on the way back hoping to catch some USMC F-35s, but drew a blank there as well. Then midweek reports came out that the F-16s started flying lowlevel through the Lakes district, it just so happened we had planned an overnighter thursday / friday so I was going to try my luck. Vantage points in the lakes are many but few..the area is huge, the vantage points remote and usually require strenuous trekking also the valleys are broad with few "pinch" points where you can get a close up looking down on the aircraft. One such point is Dunmail Raise between grasmere and thirlmere. So we got there climbed the western wall waited saw bugger all, climbed back down crossed the highway and climbed the eastern wall (well half way anyway.. I was discouraged) waited saw bugger all and left to do other stuff. (my camera back pack weighs a bloody ton I will have to reduce what I carry around in it for these exercises, besides the effort of carting it while scrambling up hills and (sliding down them) the load puts you off balance while stumbling along increasing chances of tripping and falling. About an hour after we left a number of F-16s flew by!
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So we then did the usual lakes stuff, more walking, afternoon tea etc. Friday's plan was a non aviation day, we went to Honister to walk to Great Gable and back, on the way back whilst taking some landscapes a pair of Hawks photobombed me as they flew up the Ennerdale valley, over Hay Stacks, Fleetwith Pike and through the pass. I only had my small camera and 45mm lens! Crap! As we went further down a pair of F-16s did the same! Double crap! We got back to the car at the Honister slate works and another pair of F-16s flew over! Triple crap! my heavy photographic "artillery" was inches away unassembled in the bag with the car boot open.
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The joys of the hobby! It requires dedication but you know it is fun..of sorts, one day, one day I will I WILL get "THAT" shot!
VH-WAL
 
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Re: The trials of an aviation photographer (amateur)

Postby hrtpaul » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:47 pm

Despite your bad luck you still captured some amazing shots and I'm jealous AF of you. Take care, stay safe and take more pics man :)
Head A/CAM Phantom Phanatic, Shit Stirrer and Karma Bus Driver toot toot :twisted:
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Re: The trials of an aviation photographer (amateur)

Postby tor lives » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:54 pm

hrtpaul wrote:Despite your bad luck you still captured some amazing shots and I'm jealous AF of you. Take care, stay safe and take more pics man :)


What Paul said.
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Re: The trials of an aviation photographer (amateur)

Postby VH-WAL » Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:56 am

Thanks guys, more pics from what wasprobably my last vist to Lakenheath today,
Probably my last visit to Lakenheath this year a selection of pics below more if you go to the flickr photostream

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Re: The trials of an aviation photographer (amateur)

Postby Adam the Akrodude » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:21 pm

Great pic's Wally! At least someone is having some nice adventures!

Any idea when you'll be back, or are you hunkering down in the UK until things improve?
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