Monday, December 24, 2012

Greetings and Merry Christmas!  This post is to announce that I have some really great things planned for 2013!  I look to release some new and improved productions throughout the year, including several interviews.  One of the first things I have lined up is an in-depth look at a local restoration of an extremely rare WWII fighter/bomber.  All of the attention has been on New Zealand's Mosquito restoration that took its first flight in September.  However, very few people realize that there is an original Mosquito (bomber version!) being restored in British Columbia.  Also, I am hoping to get some interviews and a few status updates on an original A6M3-22 Zero with an original Sakai-21 engine here at Paine Field.  They've been making great strides in its progress.

In the meantime, enjoy this video I put together.  Please, share your ideas as to why you think we should (or shouldn't?) keep these warbirds flying.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Here's a fun spotting video from this summer.  This video features an IL-2 Shturmovik, B-25D Mitchell, Boeing 777, 787, and 747 LCF!  A little bit of something for everyone, all in one afternoon! :-)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ok, so I'm not so great...

OK, so I'm not so great at the whole blogging thing!  Sorry!  From time to time I will try to keep this thing updated with projects I'm doing.  It's been a very FUN, and BUSY summer and fall and now it's time to start preparing for the next year.  I've officially made video my primary medium now, and am actually trying to "crowd-fund" a fancy new camera to help improve the quality of the videos I provide.  Being practically unemployed (substitute teaching) there is no way right now that I could afford a brand new professional-quality camera.  So far folks have been incredibly generous, and I am encouraged that I can actually meet my goal by next summer!

At any rate, I've been reading, and watching tutorials and trying to learn everything I possibly can about film making.  I'm hoping I can start enough projects to keep me busy throughout the summer months. 

Anyway, I've added some "widgets" to the blog here so folks can donate to my new-camera fund.  If you don't want to donate, you can still help support me buy clicking on all of the ads in my YouTube videos! :-)  Also, check out my Photoshelter website.  That money also goes toward the new camera, and that way you also get a beautiful photo! Win-win!

Thanks for your time!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012 Flying Season

It's September and the 2012 flying season is already nearing a close.  We have had several flying events and I have been able to capture some AMAZING flying displays so far!  Flying Heritage Collection has added yet another aircraft to flying status, the A6M3-22 Zero.  When FHC moved from Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, to Paine Field in Everett, Washington, they brought along their unfinished Zero and had it on display for about 18 months.  At that time it was sent to Wenatchee, Washington, for its final restoration to flying condition.  In April of this year it arrived back home all done and ready to fly.  As of this posting the aircraft has already flown for two displays.

The much anticipated Il-2 Sturmovik has flown many times for pilot certification and flight tests and is now ready for its public debut on September, 15!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Black Death" has arrived!

Saturday, February 4th marked the arrival of Flying Heritage Collection's Il-2 Shturmovik, the only one of its kind in flying condition, despite being the most widely produced military aircraft in history.  Even though it is so rare, this aircraft will in fact be participating in this summers free fly days. 

Here is what Flying Heritage Collection says about the aircraft on their website (

Place in history: The Il-2 operated close to the ground, attacking enemy tanks, trucks, and troops near the front line. The job was dangerous and though the IL-2 was heavily armored, many of the planes were lost in battle. As Germany threatened western Russia, Soviet factories moved east, to ensure new Shturmoviks arrived to take the place of recent casualties. The enemy called the plane "Black Death" or "Betonvogel" (loosely, the Concrete Bird). Soviet pilots lovingly named the plane "Ilyusha." To the Soviet soldiers, the Il-2 was "the Winged Tank" or, perhaps most endearingly of all, "the Flying Infantryman."

This airplane: The FHC's Il-2 was constructed in Kuybyshev in mid-1943 and was assigned to the 828th Attack Aviation Regiment on the lower Karelian Front. On October 10, 1944, the plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire while attacking an airfield and crashed near the Titovka River. The plane was discovered in a nameless lake by searchers scouting the area with a helicopter in 1991. When the recovery crew raised the Il-2 to the surface, they found it still had its complement of rockets and bombs under its wings. The plane was restored using parts from four wrecks discovered in northwestern regions of the former Soviet Union. Il-2 serial number 305401 makes up a large percentage of the aircraft.

Latest news has them installing the wings this coming Friday, February 10th.  Stay tuned for updates!!  Until then, enjoy these photographs I shot after its arrival on Saturday


As with the other aircraft in the FHC collection, even the manner in which the paint was applied in 1943 was replicated with this aircraft.  When it was originally produced, the manufacturers were in such a hurry to get the aircraft on the front lines, they didn't even apply primer to the airframe, thus, the paint chips and peels very easily! Add to that the long trek from Russia to a port in Germany and this aircraft has already been through a lot!



For those with an eye for detail, there are also a few remaining bullet holes in the fuselage.

Come see this aircraft and many others at Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field in Everett, Washington!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

IL-2 Arrival - Flying Heritage Collection

This just in!  Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, has just announced that its highly-anticipated IL-2 Shturmovick has arrived via ship at the Port of Tacoma early this (Feb. 2) morning!  I have not been able to get a time as to when it may arrive at the museum, however, they said it should be very soon.  I will keep you posted with news as it becomes available. 

They will be reassembling the aircraft in the hangar so visitors may be able to view its assembly process.  This is very exciting as it is the only IL-2 in the world that is in flying condition, out of 35,000 that were built during WWII.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

100 Hour Inspection Complete

This last weekend was a nice tease of things to come for 2012.  Historic Flight Foundation finished the 100-hour inspection on their B-25D Mitchell "Grumpy" and took it out for its first flights on Friday and Saturday.  And sure enough, I was there to catch all the fun and excitement, with my camera in hand!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sweet Sound of Warbirds

What's better than the sweet sound of airplanes?  The sweet sound of Warbirds!  I have started an account over at where I will continue to add sound files of the various WWII aircraft that frequent Paine Field.  My page is  and you may download and enjoy these various aircraft sound files.  At the time of writing this I only have seven that are "live" but have about ten more waiting for moderation before becoming "live." 

One of the most difficult things about video is capturing decent audio.  As much as I like hanging out with my friends and fellow photographers, the constant chatter of shutters becomes quite apparent when listening to the audio.  With the windscreen I have on my camera right now, I am able to cut down quite a bit on chatter and shutters, and completely eliminates wind noises, so that has helped a great deal in the last couple of months.  Now the search for next Summer is to find places that provide an appealing view, but also separate myself from the noise of other people.

Those problems aside, I hope you enjoy the growing collection of aircraft sound effects!!



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meet the Hawker Hurricane Mk. XIIA

This is the first video in a series where I take a closer look at the local warbirds of Historic Flight Foundation and Flying Heritage Collection.  This video series is actually made for my aunt who lives down in Oregon and LOVES these vintage warbirds.  I figured I would share it with the rest of the world as well. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Rumblings

 [edit] Ah, helps to have a working link!

With annuals underway at Flying Heritage Collection, winter is a great time to get a very rare view of the unique collection with inspection panels open, cowlings removed, and even the rare opportunity to view some maintenance runs. Friday the thirteenth was just one such day. The Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk and Republic P-47D Thunderbolt have recently finished their annual inspections so the FHC maintainers decided to take advantage of the nice weather to runup the engines. Below is the video I shot on Friday. If you enjoy the music of Warbird noise, you will enjoy this 14-minute video as a tease of things soon to come this Spring! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Shooting Lessons pt. III: Shutter Speed

     In my opinion, there are two requirements for a good image/video when it comes to shooting aircraft:  proper shutter speed, and great panning.  In this lesson I will speak about the first, shutter speed.

     First of all, the goal of anybody shooting propeller driven aircraft or helicopters should be to shoot at the slowest shutter speed possible so as to obtain a good amount of prop/rotor blur.  A stationary propeller or rotor makes the subject look like it is just a toy, suspended in the air.  An image with a full-disc of prop/rotor blur makes the picture pop with energy and excitement and more accurately portrays how the human eye sees it

     When shooting propeller-driven aircraft, I suggest shooting absolutely no faster than 1/150 of a second.  When I'm out of practice I will still shoot still photos at 1/125, but when I have been out shooting for days on end, I can handhold my 500mm lens down to 1/50 to get a nice, full, disc of prop blur.  If your shooting jets you can certainly up the shutter speed, but keep in mind, tracking a fast subject with a completely stopped background is not nearly as exciting as one with a tack-sharp subject and a completely motion blurred background.  When shooting jets I tend to keep it around 1/200.  That keeps my autofocus happy, and it provides a nice amount of blur.  Helicopters are the tricky buggers!  Those you absolutely want to shoot as slow as possible, as the main rotor blades move much slower than propellers.  Those you want to shoot under 1/100 second when at all possible.

     While shooting video I am able to get a good amount of propeller blur when I select a shutter speed of 1/100 second.  Sometimes, if I do not have to pan a lot, I will slow it down to 1/60. 

Equipment consideration:  slow shutter speed may make it more difficult for your cameras autofocus to track the subject!  As I hinted above, there are very few times I will slow it down to 1/60 second using my Canon HG20 due to the fact that any slight shaking or movement of the subject will cause the autofocus to get confused.

Enjoy these tips and be sure to comment if you have any questions or need clarification!  Eventually I hope to turn these into video tutorials.