Hiding in the Past

A few weeks ago I went on a field trip with my local Camera Club over to the Oregon coast (see previous Post). As a camera club, one of the things we like to do is to challenge our creativity. That was my goal when we stopped at the Air Museum in Tillamook, OR. 
The museum is housed in a WWII era building that was used to build blimps that patrolled the West Coast searching for enemy submarines.  Now it’s home to various vintage aircraft and related memorabilia, mainly from the WWII period.
I spent several hours photographing various aircraft, old engines, and even the unique building, always looking for that creative shot.  However, there was one particular flying machine that caught my eye.  I found myself returning to it time and time again.  Why… I’m not 100% certain but my guess is that it brought back memories from some of the classic WWII movies I watched when I was younger. For me this was something hiding in my mind that I now was able to witness first hand. I knew right away that the BF-109 Messerschmitt would be the subject used to “stretch” my creativity that day.
To me this aircraft was the villain so I wanted the photo to somehow portray that.  Since it was sitting in the middle of a brightly lit building I knew it would be a challenge and force me to be creative.

BF-109 Messerschmitt
PLEASE Click for a Larger Image
There were several spotlights shining down on and around the plane so I decided to use them to my advantage.  By using a small f-stop (f-22) I could create a starburst effect and add some additional drama to the scene. I also took this image from a low vantage point, sitting on the floor with my tripod down as low as it could go. That also helped line the lights up right where I wanted them. Using a 24mm lens, I took several images using different exposures.  Those combined with some major post processing adjustments, helped me succeeded in getting the results I wanted…  Dark, Mysterious and Hiding in the Past
Until next time.

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  1. Quite a good capture and love the title being “Hiding in the past.

    Very difficult to take this as due to the bad lighting in this display hall.

    As a small note and not to distract from the photography at all….This looks like a Hispano Buchant rather than a “true” Messerschmitt ME-109 E

    Many museums use this approach of using Buchant’s to depict Me-109’s in their collections as they are not as rare as the few remaining (30 or so examples worldwide)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispano_Aviaci%C3%B3n_HA-1112 based on the chin cowling shape

  2. The final image was actually a blend of 3 photos. One for the light’s, one “properly” exposed, and one for the darks. I hand blended then together to get close to what I was looking for. The rest was done in post processing to get that dark, moody look. You really need to see the large image to appreciate it…

    As far as the model, when I spoke to one of the folks at the museum they confirmed it was a ME-109. Bought from a collector a few years ago. Regardless it’s a pretty awesome looking machine!

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