Chino, CA – Planes of Fame Air Museum (HDR)

Plane Crash HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

While enjoying my afternoon a few months ago at the Planes of Fame Air Museum with my father-in-law..we had a great time walking in and out of the hangars to see what planes were next.  In one hangar was this World War II display of a crashed airplane ….with the palm tree I would assume in the South Pacific.  I thought the detail of the display may work in HDR.   I set up my tripod and took 5 exposures using a cable release.

After a day of shooting in hangars, I realized the best way to photograph planes it outside.  If you have a local air museum, wait until they have a specialized event where the aircraft are outside for better views!   Or flying in the air!!  I just didn’t get the shot I wanted at the inside displays.   But of course it is your choice!  Enjoy!


Chino, CA – B17 Bomber – Tail Section (HDR)

B17 Inside HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

Here is a photo from the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA.   As you walk up to the museum this lovely B17 Bomber is out front on display.  I crouched inside and set up my tripod and cable release to catch this HDR.   The circular tail section gets tighter and tighter as you get near the end!  I was fun getting in there with all my gear!

Here is some info on the B17 from the web:   The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), introduced in the 1930s. Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and more than met the Air Corps’ expectations. Although Boeing lost the contract due to the prototype’s crash, the Air Corps was so impressed with Boeing’s design that they ordered 13 B-17s. The B-17 Flying Fortress went on to eventually evolve through numerous design advancements.

The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial, civilian, and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force based inEngland and the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy complemented the RAF Bomber Command’s nighttime area bombing in Operation Pointblank, to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for Operation Overlord. The B-17 also participated, to a lesser extent, in the War in the Pacific, where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields.

I bet this plane at the museum had some stories to tell!!  Enjoy!

Chino, California – Planes of Fame Air Museum (HDR)

Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk (HDR)

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

(Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk in the photo above) I was in SoCal a week or so ago and always wanted to photograph airplanes in HDR.  I looked up the local museums and found the Planes of Fame Air Museum located in Chino, CA.   I asked my father in-law to join me and we took a trip down on a Saturday morning.  Traffic was light at the museum and we walked around for a few hours and I got to shoot many great war planes.  It brought me back to the days when we would watch war movies on TV.  Maybe some of you have flown in these planes?

Check the website for details on the museum.  There are a few locations in the US.  The have yearly air shows and “Living History” flying days.  Not sure how many planes there are at this facility…hundreds.  Most are inside the hangars and some a located outside.  Here is a little clip form the website…The Air Museum was founded by Edward Maloney, who recognized the importance of preserving WWII aircraft at a time when most of these planes were being cut up into scrap metal. Although the United States alone produced over 300,000 military aircraft during WWII, most of these were destroyed at the end of the war and many types disappeared entirely. Even fewer of Germany’s and Japan’s aircraft were saved. In his attempts to save endangered aircraft types from the scrap heap, Mr. Maloney pleaded, bartered, and even purchased the discards by the pound.

For this shot I set up my tripod and cable release and took my first ever 7 exposure HDR’s!  I post processed in Photomatix and added a little grain and filter effect using Color Efex Pro 3.0 – to give the photo a little extra.  I shot the entire day using 7 exposure HDR’s.  My thoughts were that the chrome and ruggedness of each plane may show up better with a higher dynamic range.  I took about 80 HDR’s this day and have post processed only a few to date.  7 vs 5 exposures…I will talk about this later on as I get through my processing and compare.

Some classic planes I was eager to see were the Japanese Zero, Lockheed P-38J Lighting and the P-51 Mustang.    If you are ever in Southern California and want to see some great aircraft…stop by the museum!   I’ll post more photos from here in the future.  Hope your day is not grounded!