"Catalina PBY-5A Canso"
Propellers, gears, wheels, rivets, wings. I had no idea I would become so enamoured photographing planes on an outing last week. But I think I spent nearly four hours within the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario, and easily came home with approximately 400 images to sort through. And images I'm so excited about too.
Sometimes I visit a new location with the camera and I have to feel my way around for a while, get a feel for it's story or it's possible subjects. Sometimes I return to my desk knowing there's only one or two gems to be harvested from all my efforts trying to really see the true essence of a place or thing. Often you really make those first visits, scouting visits, so you can have a good handle on the best time to be there, and how best to approach photographing an area.
This was not one of those times. The obvious potential was nearly overwhelming, and it did not take me very long to find the less obvious rhythm and approach to photographing the museum either. Every plane had fabulous light, or details, or presence. And the space itself, the hangers where they display these thrilling workhorses of our war heritage, for me ended up being a subject all it's own with fabulous angles, spaces, lines, and light. Before I knew it, four hours had passed and I was dying to get back to the computer with my load of images. That's when I knew I was in love.
And the craving for B&W? I can alleviate it here, in many of the images to follow over the coming weeks. I saw the potential for mono in nearly everything. And I shot with it foremost in my mind, as I composed, as I assessed the light and the angles. I was a kid in a candy store friends.
In fact... yep... still giddy!
The shot for today was taken from underneath the wings of a massive PBY-5A Canso. It is tempting to try to get the entire plane in a shot, and the space is big enough to, let me assure you... but I didn't want just any shot. Especially when you considered the backdrop of the girders above in the hanger's ceiling. The Canso itself is white which only adds to the multiple dimensions of the composition for me. And the giant propellers? I was in awe.
And a bit of history. The Catalina first flew in 1935, and apparently was used for naval rescue and reconnaissance for a period of time before it was used for more industrial purposes.
Quite a few other photographers there that day, but none of them got up close and personal with the planes from what I could see. But I have to say... I wasn't looking at them as planes. I was looking at them as designs, as lines, as spaces, as powerful shapes. And when you remove the label, you remove yourself from the average approach. And you find a new love.
I'm already yearning to return... and I've only just skimmed the surface of images to edit or post. A few are already up on my website here. And here also. A new love, a new photographic obsession.
War planes! Who knew?
Hope you all find something to thrill you into picking up your camera with fresh eyes this week! Have a good one, thanks for the ramble friends!