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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Photographing The RAF Red Arrows

This week I wanted to get back more to my roots and into the world of photography. Those of you know or follow me that I have a preference for portrait and event photography with one golden rule. Fill the frame and use plenty of colour. This means I often stray into the macro world as well but my golden rule always stands.

Having this rule can lead to some frustrations as well. I read somewhere that in photography you are only limited by two things 'Your imagination and your wallet' and as the contents of your kit bag can be related to either, every now and then certain opportunities arise where you decide the contents of your kit bag just don't fit the bill.

Last weekend I was able to visit the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta which presents some wonderful opportunities for photographs of balloons in various stages of flight but one of the highlights, for me at least, is the attendance of the The Royal Airforce Aerobatic Team, The  Red Arrows which never fails to impress the audience.

So I did my homework and got a prime position where I could capture the display head on, the sky was mostly a dark blue, the sun was bright and when the aircraft were highlighted by the sun the were a deep red against the blue sky.

So, perfect position, perfect colour, perfect action though not always able to fill the frame. The individual aircraft make quite small targets for my 200mm lens but the groups shots really come together.

With an aerobatic display team for me you can't beat action shots that show movement, colour and angles.

There is a tendancy for display teams to keep clean lines and perfect formation so I also try to capture shots showing them in transition from one state to another whilst still keeping the shot interesting

But when it comes down to it some of those formations can be absoutely stunning in their own right.

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. These are some of my favourites from the show. I hope you enjoy them too.

What do you think? Do you photograph action events? What do you like to shoot and how do you do it? I'm off to the Bournemouth Air Festival this coming weekend. What's your advice?

Kevin Leighton Photography

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  1. Hi Kevin, the shots yu have taken are amazing and show what the Red Arrows are all about. The final picture above i think is my favourite of the selection.

  2. The second photo is my favourite - two Red Arrows passing simultaneously and you captured it perfectly! Love it!