Every picture tells a story, and its all part of the fun to try to research what that story is and put the pieces together to bring that story to life. When, however the picture, story and subjects can be brought together for a recreation over 70 years later than that is too good an opportunity to miss.
Its the fourth year that the September evening airshow has been run as a special type of event. Basically the aircraft a brought to the public. The majority are all parked in the paddock where the cars are usually parked so the Public can get up close and personal and its bloody brilliant. Its my favorite event of the year at Shuttleworth and its fast becoming the highlight of the UK Airshow season. This particular show was the highlight of my 30 years of attending airshows.
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools
That verse from the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling encapsulates in verse the season so far at the Shuttleworth Collection. After weeks, nay months of the wettest drought on record the weather appeared to turn and it looked like there would be an airshow in the skies over Old Warden.
The last time I visited London Heathrow to spend time taking pictures, I was in my early 20s and I used film. So the opportunity to spend a couple of hours photographing the airliners on approach, while not my usual aviation photographic subject, wasn’t one I was going to pass up.
Back in the 80s when I last went, no two aircraft types looked the same. They made noise and you could spot them miles away because of the smoke trails they left behind them. Now they are all soulless computer designed clones without an ounce of character between them. Then we had Tridents and 737s we now have various flavours of A320. Where there were 707s, and DC10s we now have A330s and the ungainly looking A340. At least the Boeing 767 and 777 retain some charm and the 747 is clinging on but they too are now starting to sprout the dreaded sharklets. Modern aircraft design may be more efficient but its lost its style.
That said I did have a fun hour or two, the light was superb (too good in some cases) and I started to get back into the swing of things, I haven’t so much as looked at an aircraft properly since October last year, let alone photographed one.
Here are my favourites from the afternoons shooting, there are more on the link below them. Now all I need to do is warm up!
Click on this link for more (more…)