The airshow


Back in March 2014 (yeah, where has THAT time gone??) I attended the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force at Point Cook, armed with nothing more than my iPhone.

Surprisingly for some, it was a calculated move. I knew I’d be frustrated, then disappointed, by the performance of my entry-level DSLR – especially the tendency of my zoom lens to go ‘soft’ in the tempering heat of a long flying day.

Running counter to that, I understood that the iPhone (a 5s, for the record) had no real zoom to speak of, an average processor, and quite noisy compression.

Super Loud… Stepping back gave this Super Hornet’s dirty pass real context. (I wish it was sharper though!)

Less is more

Still, what happened next was kind of surprising. My self-imposed ‘restrictions’ were actually quite liberating, as I was forced to look at the day from a completely different perspective. Instead of shouldering up to the crowd line to chase frame-filling pictures of air planes, I was forced to step back and take photos of an air show.

The difference won’t please everyone. After all, some of the planes look like they’re miles away. And a more advanced processor would always deliver better images. (So would a better photographer, for that matter.) But then again, even when I have the camera of my dreams, that little iPhone camera will have freed me from the tunnel vision of a DSLR and its drainpipe lens.

I literally learned to look at the bigger picture, and take photos of people enjoying a day of aviation. And isn’t that what airshows are all about?

3 thoughts on “The airshow

  1. I’m impressed with what you got outta that iPhone. It really does force you to look at things differently, doesn’t it? Almost all of my pictures are taken with the iPhone 6 but that’s because –as they say — the best camera is always going to be the one you have with you. And the phone is definitely always with me!

    I’ve come to respect the iPhone’s macro capabilities. You can see a lot of that in my photos.

  2. So true. Of course the most important thing about any camera is what you choose to point it at. My favourite ever photo (of mine) from Warbirds Downunder was when I turned around and took a shot straight up the bleachers steps. It’s a photo full of people craning and leaning in to get a better view or a better shot of the show. On the downside, you could recognise every one of their faces, so I can’t share it anywhere!

    (Thanks for updating the link, btw.)

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