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Photography, Camera

[Photography] The Wings of the Past...

Originally uploaded by RainPacket.
Took a bunch of pictures today at the Museum of Flight. A total of 220, of which I uploaded 17... a few of planes in the main display hall, a few from the WWI exhibit, and several shots from the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.

Some of the shots were challenging; I didn't really have time or space to conveniently put the tripod out. I'd like to go back sometime earlier in the day and try some of the WWI and WWII exhibits properly, with the tripod. But even still, it would've been hard to get the right composition with the tripod!

So, I shot almost every single picture with my 50mm lens, using wide apertures and a high ISO. It was enough to let me take stuff handheld, and the lens is good enough that the shots still came out reasonably well. I /do/ definitely love my nifty fifty...


The pic you've got here is of an F4U Corsair, similar to the type flown by Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, who wrote the book (and inspired the TV show) Baa Baa Black Sheep (of which book I have an autographed paperback.) Pappy was from Seattle; there was a big foo-faw-raw on UW campus last summer as to whether they were going to put up a statue of him.

The Corsair is one of my favorite WWII birds; it's fast (by sheer dint of horsepower, 2000 to 2300 of them depending on the engine), climbs like a scalded cat, is built like a tank, and can carry plenty of extra load. And it just looks snarky. The Mustang and Spitfire are your classic gentleman's fighters... the Corsair is built like the Marines that flew it. Ooh-rah. :)

You're right, the Museum isn't really set up for good picture taking, particularly the Lightning, strung overhead as it is.

I really like the mirror shot. Most people don't think of deliberately using the reflection... but I like the effect.
I took lots of pictures at the Smithsonian, as well, but not that many came out as well as I'd have liked. If I go back to DC sometime, I'll go through with the Nifty Fifty, now that I have it.

I will admit that while WWII planes are fun -- and I certainly took some pictures of the Lightning and my personal favorite, the Spitfire -- my true military aviation interests have always fallen more in WWI.

Relic of Times Past
*nods* Ye olde classic stuff.

I don't see how the Sopwith pilots did it, breathing castor oil fumes all the time....
What's absolutely stunning are the Sopwiths modified for night flight. It's one of my favorite exhibits at the Smithsonian. It leaves me in awe to think about pilots doing night flights, trying to be 'stealth,' in open-air cockpits of these specially-modified (and almost dangerously responsive, even by Sopwith standards) planes...
OMG. That *is* scary. You got a pic of that?
Unfortunately, not a good one. I didn't have the 50mm when I was at the Smithsonian back in November, so I had no good low-light lens. I got /a/ picture of that, but not one that was worth uploading.

If I go back to the Smithsonian any time soon, I definitely will want the 50mm with me.
Agree with you on the nifty fifty, love that lens. I use my rebel as therapy, better then pulling weeds or crying...my camera is with me everywhere, even if I do not share many photos.
It really is, hands-down, the best quality-to-price ratio available in a Canon lens. (Possibly in any SLR/DSLR lens, but I don't know the Nikon lineup well enough to say.) At $68-90, depending on where you look, even at the upper end of the range it's well worth the price.
I'd also love to see some of your photos someday!
You have serveral very neat shots from today, and it was all kinds of fun to be there with you for this.
Still think you should post the snowman, too, either here or on Flickr.
If you like historic planes, and you ever get the chance to come to England, be sure to check out the Imperial War Museum Duxford, just outside Cambridge.

It has collections of British and American aircraft from WW1 to the present day. The American Air Museum houses a remarkable collection of historic American warplanes including a B-52, a B-29, a B-17, an SR-71 and a U-2.

If you're lucky, you may even see a Spitfire or a Mustang flying.

Bring a large memory card for your camera :-)
Thanks for the tip. I plan on visiting the U.K. this summer and I appear to be collecting aviation museums.

There's also an awesome collection at the Australian War Museum in Canberra.
As a fan of aviation history 2006 was a good year for me. I also spent a day at the Smithsonian - there's something about going in under the Gossamer Albatross and leaving under Space Ship One. Then a month later I happened to be in Toronto the day they rolled out a replica of the Avro Arrow.

When we go to Potlatch in March we're going to try to get to McMinnville to see the Spruce Goose.

Are you interested in going to The Future of Flight museum at Paine Field?
Yeah. I always mean to see more of the Smithsonian when I'm in DC, and I always end up blowing the majority of my time at the Air and Space Museum. (Where I /really/ want to go is their huge hangar of aircraft, but it's out in Dulles, quite a drive from the rest of the Institute's museums.)

I've been curious about the Future of Flight museum, but haven't heard any real detailed reviews one way or another.