I attend the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) annual convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin every year. The EAA calls it AirVenture, but most pilots still just call it “Oshkosh.” For pilots and flying fanatics, it is the ultimate destination venue to appease the aviation addiction.
Regardless of your specific interest in aviation or aircraft in particular, Oshkosh is also a unique opportunity for photography, with first class facilities, and a vast array of aircraft (literally thousands) to view, watch fly, and photograph. Featuring homebuilt custom aircraft, vintage and classic aircraft, warbirds from every age, and the latest in aeronautical technology, there is something for everyone to see and enjoy.
If there may be a negative to shooting photos at Oshkosh, it would be the large number of attendees on the field – this often makes it difficult to get isolated images of the aircraft without spectators in the frame, particularly people with distracting or modern clothing, inappropriate to the vintage of the aircraft being photographed. Despite this, patience has its virtues, and one can often squeeze in a well composed picture that omits the unwashed masses and the distracting snow fences, safety cones, and port-a-potties that conspire to ruin your composition.
For myself, each year I try to approach this specific genre of aviation photography a bit more deliberately. Where I once was content to just get an image of aircraft that I liked or found appealing, I now am trying to find more creative angles and perspectives. I am also trying to address details and perhaps abstractions of line and form versus just capturing a reference or recognition image.
I normally shoot both digitally and with film, and try to concentrate my efforts in the dawn and dusk golden and blue hours – I have included some of the digital images here, and will have some of the film images available in the future.