A Cathartic Experience

Last month I went in a downwards direction, as all Scotsmen generally do to Cambridgeshire to attend the premier warbirds flying display at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.

The sheer number of flying aircraft at this display was awesome, I’ll post a link to my other pictures of the static aircraft on Flickr at the bottom of this post if you want to see for your self.

Anyway having never been before to this show I went with a completely open mind with no preconceived notions of what the show would be like, which was just as well as it was a dramatic experience for all the wrong reasons. It turned out to be a glorious day, the temperature was up in the 30s, Celsius not Fahrenheit. Far too hot for a pale skinned Jock like me and I was suffering from the heat. By the time the flying display started, I had developed a pounding headache, which is not a good sign as a Migraine usually follows such headaches. So my patience worn thin by the headache and my general disgust at the scrum for photos by the photographers around where I was sitting made me put my camera down and start to see things in a new light and I did not need light I needed darkness to minimise the headache.

So off I went seeking shelter from the merciless sun which in turn led to me seeing a different set of aircraft from the thousands of photographers at Duxford that day.

At one point I was moving among the crowd and I realised that I was surrounded by a a mass of middle-aged men (like me) with 400mm lenses all clicking away furiously at the  same aircraft, at the same time, at the same point in a clear blue sky and I just knew that the vast majority of those photos would never see the light of day and I had to ask myself what was the point of it all?

I should have taken a photo of the scene.

I got the idea for this picture from another photographer, he saw the picture and I saw the potential. The picture isn’t great, it certainly would have worked better had the reflection been from a larger aircraft but I had neither the time nor the patience to wait for one to come along. A bit of Photoshop work went into this to get the effect that I wanted.

I want to be free!

I want to be free!

A variation this theme was this one.

Free at last

Free at last

The caged U-2 and the flying German Ju.52 making the comparison. It would have been better had the window frame not cut the aircraft but perhaps it emphasizes the caged effect.

Silhouettes of flight

Silhouettes of flight

A bit of Photoshop work went into getting the effect that I wanted, if you looks closely you will see that I was a bit over enthusiastic with the Tiger Moth but the effect seems to work.



My friend saw this picture, this is my version, I am looking forward to seeing his take on this.



I am a fan of knowing how things work, so it was nice to see what was behind the chin turret of this B-17. I knew there wasn’t a man in that turret and there is surprisingly little behind the fairing. A wee bit of Photoshop work went on to isolate the B-17 from the rest of the hangar… oh now you see it!

Standing guard like a real dummy.

Standing guard like a real dummy.

This scene has a story. When this Me.109 was shot down during the Battle of Britain a photograph appeared of this aircraft in a  cornfield with the Home Guard soldier standing watch over the wreck. The aircraft later went on to form a traveling exhibit to raise War Bonds or whatever. So the scene was recreated at Duxford and this is my take on what is a common picture within the aviation photographers community




Anyway don’t get me wrong I was happy to attend the show, and the experience was unmissable, so if you were there on that day then I hope that you had a good one.

Here is the link the full set of photos on Flickr

There is one thing for sure, one day I’ll go back and….Mair tae come


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