Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby Andrew McP on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 1:26 pm

This post is sponsored by...

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...suppliers of superficially competent post processing since 1846.

It's Saturday. It's 7:40am. On your marks...

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Get set ....

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Get some water and sun screen...

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Wait for it! Especially you down there on the left pulling faces!

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Go!

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Saturday the lighting was pretty good up to around midday. So there some some nice arrival opportunities, including...

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...and then some decent light for Brendan O'Brien's stunt flying...

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...but not quite enough to allow some of Brendan's harshest critics a decent aim when trying to shoot him out of the sky.

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Later on life got more "entertaining" for anyone trying to wrestle some halfway decent pixels from a day's flying. But for anyone lucky enough to be going both days there were more than enough great opportunities to get at least 1 salvageable shot out of an 8Gb card. (Maybe even 2 if you apply enough post processing, and sacrifice an assortment of first-born, virgins, and Tesco value chickens to the Photographic Gods). So let's just get on with the show, eh?

Some of this stuff will be Saturday, some Sunday. Chances are if the lighting's shocking it was Saturday... or I just ran out of talent. ;-)

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Despite the low ceiling and lack of smoke (temporarily withdrawn after several failures, apparently), the Falcons were up to their usual high and dramatic display standards. Well, except for this guy doing handstands...

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And their Chinook was suitably wokky.

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The later role demo with dangling jeeps and assorted manoeuvring was good entertainment, but I won't bore you with any photos of that. Neither will I confirm that most of mine are already in pixel landfill due to my annoying insistence on trying to take a sharp shot at 1/80th, down the little f28 hole where the dust and blur fairies live.

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Sadly the consistently superb glider display was only able to fly on Saturday (another low ceiling issue perhaps?) but it's always a very welcome change of pace and a great sight in the air.

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Heat haze (enhanced here by the second Tornado) was soon a real problem on both days...

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But at least there was a little vapour action in evidence to cheer us up through the haze...

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The role demo put on by the circling Tornados was suitably impressive. And there's no such thing as too much pyro, is there?

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Ok, maybe sometimes there is, especially if you're the one who's got to sort out the damage. It took a loooong time to put the grass fires out on Saturday. But even the earlier flares from the Falcons' ground crew had set some grass on fire, so that was no surprise really. And it did at least provide an interesting backdrop on both days. There were some great opportunities for those who got lucky with aircraft flying in front of, or from behind clouds like this...

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I seemed to miss them all though!

Let's have a chance of pace now. How about something big...

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And while we're looking in that direction, my only halfway decent Lanc shot of the weekend. Shame about the static props...

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Now a much smaller guest appearance from Saturday...

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And something just a little larger from Sunday....

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This, however, is how I prefer to see passenger jets on a show day...

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And while we're contemplating the Lynx effect (which really does attract the girls now, right into the pilot's seat) a couple more...

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That would've been a nice 'yes we're definitely at Biggin' shot if the Saturday light had been a bit more like this...

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Time to step up the action I think. How about...

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...complete with a guest appearance from the shadowy 5th reserve member of the Blades...

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And now for my personal favourite from the weekend. A 'Stella' solo performance if ever there was one...

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While in vapour mood I suppose we'd better get the obligatory Reds shots out of the way. :-)

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It was a great display, despite the limitations on both days. However if I'm honest I think the support team flies a tighter display down the runway.

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Now for a quick run through of some aircraft I didn't get too many decent shots of. First the sporty little French Alpha...

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The compulsory Miss D shot...

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Team Viper, who I think got bumped from the end of Sunday to allow the show to finish on time (unlike Saturday where we got an extra hour's flying for free!)

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And this might have been a Harrier shot if my camera hadn't been so easily distracted by lens porn.

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Now for the big theme of the day, the 70th Anniversay of the Battle of Britain. It's a hard experience to capture properly, but the sight of so many WW2 aircraft taxiing or in the air at once was a very special experience. Probably one best experienced rather than shot. Still, a few pictures came out ok.

This was probably my best panning attempt, but there really should have been more given the amount of practice I had with so many aircraft movements...

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No prop blur, but I am a sucker for a bit of glint...

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And although I'm not a big fan of effects, this crop into the smoke was so grainy it was begging for a bit of gratuitous sentimentality...

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Though I'd have been happier if it looked more like this...

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The Biggin skylarks, however, would have been much happier with a bit less of this...

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The finale of this sequence was a very tight display by the Typhoon and single Spitfire. They've clearly been working hard on this since last year, and it was a great sight even if the lighting didn't always live up to the spectacle.

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Fortunately the lighting was a bit better for Sally B on Sunday, though the sharpening fairies needed reinforcements to bring this one back from the brink. ;-)

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With the WW2 section over, and this post already longer than a daytrip to Bognor in January, or even a King Air display (sorry ;-)), I really must shut up. However I can't go without paying tribute to the amazing flying from The Red Bull Matadors, to my sunglasses, and to the art of extreme squintography, without whom none of this would be possible.

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And of course no Biggin, least of all the best Biggin for years, would be complete without a brief excursion into the valley...

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And so, ladies and gentlemen, we come to end of another show. But before we go, there's just time for a few parish notices.

Sorry lads, but you won't be able to spot Wayne Rooney's missing talent even with binoculars...

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Please note that the toilets are behind the crowd line, not in front...

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And please do not panic next time some chav in the valley torches his ride...

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Finally, would whoever left a corpse on the runway please collect it from the lost children's tent.

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I don't know about anyone else, but after a long, blistering weekend in the heat that's how I felt too! :-) Anyway, if you got this far, thanks for looking. If you've still not had enough, the best way to view all this (and more) is at http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/mcp.andrew/Biggin2010

Just click on the slideshow button up at the top left.

Andrew McP... in front of the Merlin, just to the right of the headlamps.

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Apologies if you were sat behind me and saw too much of the back of my head, or beside me and had to put up with my chatter. It was a great weekend though, and I met some really nice people. :-)
Andrew McP

Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby MrAngry2 on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 1:30 pm

Erm wow, Absolutely stunning set through and through. Hope your chuffed to bits with them.
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Biggin Hill international cheese fair 2011 (TBC)
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Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby DamienB on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 1:49 pm

Best Biggin thread so far I think, for the effort put into the narration and some unusual and well-seen shots.
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Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby Lomcevak26 on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 1:50 pm

Andrew McP wrote:...down the little f28 hole where the dust and blur fairies live...


:grin: :grin:

Terrific post Andrew, as they always are: perfect blend of technique, description and humour. Too many great shots to list individually, so it's probably easier to list the shots I don't like...



...that's right: there's none!!

:biggrin: :biggrin:
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Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby Andrew McP on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 2:25 pm

MrAngry2 wrote:Hope your chuffed to bits with them.


Let's just say I am inching nervously towards a state of semi-satisfaction based on apparent superficial competence, as indicated by an extended, statistically significant, sample of shutter activations. However I do not anticipate achieving a state of chuffedness until I get back to the 3 decent shots out of 36 ratio I used to hope for from a roll of film.

Given that I used about 20Gb of RAW+jpg storage over the weekend, I think I'm about four hundred and ninety seven years (approx) away from that target. :->

Lomcevak26 wrote:it's probably easier to list the shots I don't like...
...that's right: there's none!! :biggrin: :biggrin:


You're too kind. I suggest you look at the 'full' size versions before you're so positive. :-). You can hide a multitude of sins between the original processing in Bibble, then the resizing Picassa does for upload, then the extra processing Google does to delivery them at either 800 or 400 widths. Actually it's amazing any of them look any good at all!

Thanks for the comments guys. It's a pleasure to be both a consumer and occasional contributer to the forum. :-)

I must admit though, my favourite shot of the last week doesn't have an aircraft in it. I nearly didn't go on Saturday because I wanted to try and perfect shots like this while my favourite swifts are still using the nest...

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Still, I'm glad I did. Biggin's too close not to make the most of the opportunity, and it's always a great day out.

Andrew McP
Andrew McP

Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby Seamus on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 3:50 pm

Quality thread, some great shots and a thoroughly entertaining read :clap: :clap: :clap:
My shots on Flickr and Airliners
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Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby Vodka on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 4:01 pm

hey nice!!! and a refreshing look, welcome change from the norm, cheers for these..

by the way what's the kit your zapping with
Vodka

Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby strangelookingalien on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 4:07 pm

Very nice! Clearly got a bit of a talent for writing, so why not do some full blown reviews?

Really enjoyed this set.

- Alex
strangelookingalien

Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby Downes0106 on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 6:28 pm

Great set and story. Panning on spit is perfect. BUT, one little issue - those aren't swifts, they are House Martins I think :smile:
Scott

Canon EOS7D, with 30D Back-up
Canon 100-400MM IS, 70-200MM plus some wide-angle/macro stuff
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Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby MUSTANG on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 7:16 pm

Very nice set...really like the Sally B take-off shot.

Peter
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Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby SEMAE on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 8:04 pm

A very nice set of images on UKAR and I agree something completely different from the usua andl with a nice story attached. Funny too.

I have not seen a better Spit/Typhoon crossover pic so far and your one is better looking than mine despite attempts trying to get the shot over two days. Keep up the good work.

Well done :clap:

Martin
SEMAE

Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby Andrew McP on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 8:37 pm

Downes0106 wrote:BUT, one little issue - those aren't swifts, they are House Martins I think :smile:


My cover as a complete photographic chancer is blown yet again! :-) Thanks for helping push the boundaries of my ignorance back just a tiny, tiny bit. Several series of Springwatch have clearly taught me nothing. My excuse is that my membership of the RSPB expired about 40 years ago. ;-)

Andrew McP

PS Thanks for all the comments. It's a pleasure to add to the cocktail of experiences around here.

PPS Vodka: 40D and 100-400L... a really rare combination along the crowdline. ;-) Mind you, I had 7D's next to me on both days, and I think my resistance to an upgrade this year is crumbling fast. Must... re... sist. Need... more... willpower. And cash, obviously.
Last edited by Andrew McP on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew McP

Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby Rover75 on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 8:39 pm

I loved this thread so much I read it twice...An excellent narrative of the events topped off by fantastic shots.
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 40D
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Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby raiford on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 8:58 pm

absolutely brilliant :clap: a great mix of shots and thoroughly entertaining, well done and thanks for providing 10 minutes of humour! :clap:
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raiford

Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby AndyBeau on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 9:18 pm

Fantastic thread. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Best read I've had on this board in a long time. Well done on some great captures and excellent narrative too. :clap:
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Re: Flying or frying? A pic-heavy Biggin 2010 diary

Postby T_J on Wed 07 Jul 2010, 8:54 pm

Another vote for the Matador image, Andrew. The Spitfire panning shot also caught my eye.

:clap: :clap:

TJ
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