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!

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