I would love to be one of those ‘finger on the pulse’ people but the truth is I’m not. I’ve just taken the Seamaster off to type but don’t envisage a digital watch sitting beside my keyboard in the foreseeable future.
Thursday’s shoot was the last of this year’s calendar bikes, provided by Bridge Motorcycles of Exeter to be photographed at Capital Air Charter’s hangar at Exeter Airport. It’s not been easy this year, the weather has been awful and even as we were being escorted to the site specs of rain appeared on the windscreen.
When Photographing Have a Plan But Be Prepared To Reassess It
Plan B was both bikes in the hangar, Plan A was the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP (to give it its full title) to be photographed outside, probably just natural light and the Yamaha YZF-R1 was to be photographed in the hangar. I was pleased the Yamaha was a red one but would love to see the yellow and black one when it’s out.
Malcolm Humphries managed my expectations by letting me know the hangar might be empty but as it happened there was a Beechcraft King Air to sit by the R1. Well actually there were some aircraft manoeuvres in the hangar before we could get going. John Greenwood from Bridge was a fantastic help throughout.
So, the scene was set, an aircraft that has been developed since 1964, a Honda that is the last of the ‘simple’ superbikes and the Yamaha which is as far removed from my mechanical Seamaster as one could imagine.
Photographing The Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP
The weather cleared slightly, so I asked John to place the Honda in the middle of the road (whatever you call a road that planes go on). Being a long lens chap I retired to a suitable distance and laid down in the middle of the road to shoot and after a short while we found that planes were coming directly at us, albeit at a distance; this added value to the shot.
This was the point when John (armed with a smartass phone) was able to capture the planes subsequently taking off above the Honda, where as I, who was running a two second mirror-shutter delay on the Nikon D800e failed to capture the moment. John is a pleasant chap and handled my abuse well.