How did he do that?

February 29, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

 

I took a lot of photos while I was deployed to Nellis Air Force Base for a recent Red Flag exercise.  I was able to get a photo pass as a representative of my squadron to document the exercise for “historical purposes”. That just means I have to give my squadron a copy of the photos. This one particular photo was a last minute idea and has become viral here at Edwards AFB. I’m getting great comments everyday about it. I was walking out of the building just before sunset and the sky was just starting to change color. I knew this was going to be a great sunset so I ran to my car to grab my camera equipment and head out to the flightline. With limited time, I searched for a good vantage point to get a shot of the aircraft at the right angle. This was proving difficult. A building, light pole, and ground equipment were all in the way. I wasn’t going to lose this natural light. I setup my camera on the tripod and took a shot of the aircraft. I didn’t have enough flash power with me to get a good even low noise shot and the distracting items on and around the jet were just too much. I re-composed to the back of the jet and changed settings to go with a three exposure HDR (High Dynamic Range) shot. The lighting for the aircraft was good for HDR since the whole area was lit up by a large stadium style lights. But, that same lighting was washing out the sky. I took my camera and changed the lens to my 10-24mm wide angle. Knowing that the distortion effect of going wide would enhance the overall shot later, I walked away from the large lights and buildings and shot the sky.  I took several shots of different exposures until I got the one I wanted. Later that night I created the HDR shot of the aircraft on my computer and removed the aircraft from the photo. I then placed the aircraft into the wide sunset shot and blended the edges a little to merge it all together. This is the first time that I have merged different photos taken with different type of lenses. The aircraft is normal shaped and the background sunset is showing the awesome diverging effect in the clouds. It’s as if the clouds are all emanating from a single point behind the aircraft. In a nutshell, I used four different photos to make this one.  This particular one is the third version. Numbers one and two just didn’t look right. I hope you all enjoy this photo as much as I did creating it. Comments are welcome!

 


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