"I Am..." A Pilot

It's been a little while since the last instalment of the "I Am..." Series, but it's straight back into the action with another 'high-flying' career.

Panshanger Aerodrome was built during the second World War as a decoy location to divert German bombers away from the factories in Hatfield. Complete with a Bellman type hangar, dummy aircrafts and smoking chimneys, the diversion was so successful that even a few British Pilots proceeded to land there. Now home to the North London Flying school and teaching the general public to fly since 1993, it's a great feature with a brilliant story behind it.

Working at one of the busiest flight schools within the United Kingdom, Ivan has flown for 8 years, 4 of which as an instructor at Panshanger. With the original hanger still standing, it was a great opportunity in which to photograph Ivan and the type of plane he commonly flies.

Until recently, flying is something that has been quite 'alien' to me. It's strange to think that this method of transport is deemed 'normal' for those who work at Panshanger, as I never before saw flying as an everyday occurence. Panshanger and its 875m grass runway is regularly used as a commuter route, with more than 400 pilots joining in the last year alone.

Although I was offered the opportunity of a flying lesson, judging by the amount of controls in the picture below, I think it's best I stick to the controls of a camera for now...

Despite our short amount of time with Ivan, it was a fascinating insight into the world of flying and great fun to photograph. The "I Am..." Series has some great features lined up, be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter to stay updated. If you have a career that you think is worth featuring then please feel free to get in touch, I would love to hear from you!


Focus On Imaging 2012

Well that's Focus On Imaging over for another year, a great chance to catch up with everyone at Domke, The Flash Centre and our American friends PocketWizard. Early that morning some may have noticed I posted this on my twitter account...

With the overwhelming response i've received for the ongoing "I Am..." Series, combined with my love for themed and theatrical environmental portraits, the idea of expanding my location lighting setup has been around for sometime. It's a good job I didn't make any promises earlier as thanks to Chris from The Flash Centre, i'm now the proud owner of an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra setup will allow me to explore new possibilities in the world of location lighting.

The way I work and my style of imagery has always revolved around lighting, and to date the speedlites I use have been nothing short of brilliant. I'll still be keeping the speedlites and aim to use them alongside the Quadras in my pursuit for the ultimate lighting setup. Over the next couple of weeks the Elinchrom equipment will be put through it's paces and i'll report back with a review shortly. Initially though, I love it!

Less about my shiny new toys, it seems that "Focus" this year is bigger and better, with manufacturers pushing the boat out on their displays. Hannah and I spent the entire day there and between us must of spent a small fortune.

We both agree on the fact we shouldn't of picked up the new 5D Mark III. Canon have listened to what photographers want and created what I think will be the new 'industry standard' body. Little features like dual card slots (CF/SD), 100% viewfinder coverage and a silent shooting option alone make this camera a worthwhile upgrade, but that's before you even look at the new focusing system borrowed from the 1D-X. 61AF points and 41 cross type points make this camera a revelation. The 5D2 has been known for having focusing issues on low contrast areas, particularly when using outer focus points, but in both AI Servo/One Shot focus modes, the 5D3 was accurate and held focus on solid dark objects.

Being a location photographer there is always travel involved, and the ability to rate images in camera ready to use in your workflow is a nice little touch. I could rabble on for hours about how great this camera is, but i'll save that for when I can afford one... ;-)

Last and by no means least, I want to give a brief shout out to my partner Hannah, who i'm extremely proud of as we spotted five of her images on display within the exhibition! She's awesome and you should check out her website here. More to come soon...