Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Six thousand, one hundred and four

That's the number of photos I took at the last open day at Ardmore..... kinda easy to do when your new toy is shooting at up to 10fps :)

After a nervous week of weather watching, it all changed and we had an awesome day (apart from some cloud cover in the morning).

This was the first real test for the the 7D mk2. I'd only spent a bit of time of playing around with the AF and tracking options. Initially, I had thought just a small AF square of around 5x4pts would be best due to the AF jumping around. But.... during the day, I opened it to cover the full set of AF points... I reckon I got some of my best shots this way.

I'm still not sure about the tracking option. It stills jumps around a lot, so I may not have it on the right setting or may just have to see if I can adjust the sensitivity. More playing required!

Of the 6,104 photos I took... I deleted that down pretty quick to just over 2,000. Annoyingly, a lot of photos were just out of focus! For shooting these are the settings I used...

Prop aircraft: Tv: 1/200th, ISO: auto, centre-weighted metering
Jet aircraft: Tv: 1/3200th, ISO: auto, centre-weighted metering

One other thing I did was try and shoot more at the end of my focal range on the Sigma lens, so a lot of the shots are at 400 - 500mm. Nice and close!

Initially, I had thought I may have been pushing it too low with the 1/200th setting, but I had similar issues with the jets at 1/3200 (normally I wouldn't go this high, but I just wanted to see what happened). I do know the Sigma can struggle a little right at the end (500mm), but generally it is very good and a lot of these shots below are at 400 - 500mm focal lengths.

During the day, I also switched optical stabiliser modes on the Sigma lens to the panning OS mode. Normally, I don't bother with this as I found it a little too hard to stabilise the lens and then track the aircraft.

Based on how my later photos look.... I think I need to get used to this setting! For some of the faster prop aircraft, I think I should probably look at popping up to 1/250th.

Anyway on to the photos....

The show opened with a glider display which made a nice change:

 And then it was into the jets...


'92's solo display was fantastic. I don't think I've seen a display so low. Was amazing to watch!

Ryan & Chipmunk:

Some of the other aircraft flying (Yak, CT-4, Beaver, Tiger Moths)


Awesome display as always.

Then the big ones... Spitfire & Mustang!

The Spitfire solo display was unreal. Low, fast, tight. Not a display you get to see often I think.

Looking through the photos, I seemed to have a lot of really good ones of the Mustang, but less so of the Spitfire. Camera settings were the same. Seems a little odd? But maybe it's just the colour of the Spitfire and the conditions? This is were I do wonder if a touch higher on the shutter speed would have been better?

Still... I did get this one... vapour trials and a shadow!?

Talking of annoyingly just out of focus photos...

And someone going for a joyride... bought back memories of my own :)

A random visitor...

Rob/Mark.... did you notice this one... :)

Finally, some general shots...

Overall though. I'm pretty happy with my new toy :)

And as for the day, a big thanks to the Warbirds Assoc., all the pilots, owners and volunteers for another awesome day!

Hope you enjoyed.


  1. good stuff, you got some nice close shots.

  2. Yep nice ones. was not overly happy with mine should have changed lens and setting for comparison , never mind, next time

  3. Thanks guys :) Yours looked fine Mark, but I do find the Ardmore days are good days to have a play around with camera settings.