F15 Eagle sitting on the tarmac (under close watch)

I’ve never shot the Reno Air Races which is pretty much ridiculous for a Reno based photographer who loves aviation. So when a buddy said he could get me pit access at night, I jumped on the idea. By the time I got out High Tech Lighting Diagramof work and reached the airport, the sun had already gone down. In the evening, the aircraft are bathed in ugly glow of the bright sodium vapor lights, making it very difficult to get any decent photos. As a result, I improvised with my own lighting.

Just as I unpacked my gear, the Military Police showed up and told me I wasn’t supposed to be near the military aircraft, but they decided to give me a few minutes to grab a shot. I scrambled to set up my lights, stands, gels and tripod. Considering I literally had 5 minutes to set this one up, I think it turned out pretty well. There is just a hint of blue in the sky that really stands out when the photo is viewed on black (click on the photo to view on black).

Thanks to my buddy Cliff for the pit access (and keeping conversation with the MPs) while I ran around like a photographer on speed adjusting and position lights.

Lighting Specs: 5x bare Nikon Speedlights (4 with CTOs and one under with a heavy red gel).  Basically, the CTO speedlights are positioned in an X pattern shooting at 1/2 power at 24mm. All triggered by Skyports.

Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm, F15 Eagle

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  1. Aviation as of October 4, 2009 | Zeet's World Of Travel's
    on October 5th, 2009

    […] the ramp is enough to keep aviation enthusiasts walking around for the entire day! read more She gets me from “a” to “b” – liquidinplastic.com 10/04/2009 I’ve never shot the Reno Air Races which is pretty much […]

  2. udi
    on October 5th, 2009

    A wonderful shot, Dan.
    Great effect with the red gel on the bottom.

  3. Tom Compton
    on October 5th, 2009

    Nice posting again. good lighting diagram too. You nailed it.