(Move cursor over thumbnail images below and click for larger image. Click square top right to close.)
Thursday 25th: Having missed the arrival of the Camel/BE.2c/He162A-1 aircraft from London the day before, I wasn't expecting much to be happening during my visit. How wrong could I be. As I waited outside for the museum to open, I watched the two seat Spitfire being taken from Hangar 2 down to ARCo and thought I'd missed a photo opportunity but once the museum opened I could see the doors to Hangar 3 were open. As I came around the corner of H2 there were two Mk.1 Spitfire's sitting unattended side by side next to period buildings. What a photo opportunity.
It was now a question of getting as many photos as I could of the pair before the public found them and got in the way. Weather conditions were not ideal as it was a bit foggy and the ground was wet but I still knelt down and got a wet knee on my trousers as I went for the low level angles. Trying to keep it in period, I had to position my self and the camera to use the aircraft themselves to blank out bits of modern background. I used the wing of the Mk.1 pointing into the gun butts to hide the picnic tables that were stored in there .
Both aircraft were not going to be flown over the winter period so had their engines protected by basically spraying inhibiting oil into the engine so everything is coated to prevent corrosion forming. The exhaust stubs had polythene taped over them to stop anything getting in. They were parked side by side in Hangar 3 in the spot that the Blenheim used to occupy. Now that the B-17 and Catalina were tucked up in Hangar 2 for winter maintenance, the Ju.52, that had been sitting on the grass, was moved into the B-17 parking space to sit out the winter.
Friday 26th: Still getting to grips with using the smaller, lighter Sony NEX-5N camera. One thing I missed during the Spitfire shoot the day before were some high angle shots. I have a strong/long monopod for my bigger heavier camera so I called into Cambridge after I had left Duxford yesterday and bought a small lightweight monopod for the NEX. I spent most of this visit waving the NEX around on the end of the monopod for high angle shots. Fortunately the NEX has a tilt screen so I can see what I'm pointing at.
Unlike my SLT-A57, there is no remote shutter cable release slot on the NEX and the only way to take a picture on the end of a monopod is to use the 10 second timer. Although the camera is lightweight, there is some movement of the camera on the end of the monopod when held above my head for 10 seconds. I use manual settings and found that 1/15th second and above, along with the anti-shake mechanism in the lens, more than compensated for this movement.