Saturday, May 13, 2017

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum

I live very close to Dulles Airport, and the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.  The museum is incredible, and the collection includes many one-of-a-kind aircraft, including the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.  Yet, I've always had trouble photographing there.  Essentially one huge open space, it's difficult to focus on any one thing or type of aircraft.  I'm shooting a jet fighter, and there's a biplane or helicopter, also in the field of view.

Well, today, I tried something different.  In order to isolate my subjects, I shot with a long telephoto lens (200mm f4 Micro-Nikkor, manual focus), which allowed me to focus on details of various air and space craft.  I cropped tight enough that the identity of any given aircraft is not obvious.  I also used a strong flash.  This allowed me to close down to smaller apertures, increasing depth of field, but more importantly allowed me to make anything in the background go completely black.  In other words, I only lit what I wanted to see, and the ambient light in the background was too low to show up in the pictures. 

Here are a few of my favorite results: