It’s a good 39 Celsius and we’re hiding in the shadows.

For this shot I was just trying to get the plane in between the two pylons.  The cool thing here, and what makes everyone go “wow” when they see it is the obvious timing involved in getting the clean cut, the trail of paper on the wing and the stopped propeller. Of course the smoke doesn’t hurt either.  Of the 500 other nice shots I got, this one is the standout in everyone’s mind.  I certainly didn’t see anything like this in the press, who seemed to stay down around the main viewing area, which was, stupidly, looking into the sun a lot of the time.

With the Canon 1D3 and a 500/4 lens, I was shooting at the maximum 8fps, using the middle focus point so the AF system doesn’t get confused with collateral clutter (i.e. the Pylons in this case). For those wanting to understand how some of these miracle pictures are taken, it’s usually a combination of luck (Being there when it happens), persistence (getting to where you need to be to get some luck, and keep on shooting until luck happens) and some planning. Luck happens more often when you have planned the shots.  We’d seen a few pylons clipped, but they were always out of range. By placing ourselves in a shootable distance of these pylons, it was just a matter of time.

So we now know that luck is:-

    • Right Place;
    • Right time;
    • Persistence;
    • Planning and
    • Eight frames per second.

With photography, we make our luck.