|A Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A sits on the tarmac at Darwin - Pitch Black 2014|
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While the recent Pitch Black exercises were a great display of fast military aircraft and a spotters haven for a whole bunch of aviation enthusiasts with ridiculously long range lenses I found myself snapping off photos that were just too similar to a lot of other images I could see populating the same social media feeds I was posting in. Although there were some obvious styling differences in the use of natural light direction and settings tricks that I have picked up from doing motorsports photography the angles and composition were very much the same.
Wanting to be able to share something different I jumped at the opportunity to get on base and slow the shooting process down. I wanted to get plenty of detail that would hold up under scrutiny when zoomed on a computer screen or TV rather than just glanced at on a mobile device. I also get a kick out of people saying they've printed one of my free releases so of course I was going to go for something high-res too.
All of the images I had seen from Pitch Black this year were single frame shots, resolution is limited by the maximum possible pixels the camera will handle ... enter the panorama. The KC-30A tanker was a perfect subject for this, it's long and relatively large. I stood back a fair distance and used the 70-200 zoomed fully in to avoid too much distortion around the edges of each shot. Oriented portrait till I could fit in the tail meant plenty of details would be picked up on a zoom. In all seven portrait shots were stiched together to achieve this shot.
It is available totally free for download and may be shared freely to friends or on the web : http://goo.gl/kvNvhL