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Night Flights

At the annual Sun-'n-Fun airshow in Lakeland, Florida, the night performances are incredible to see from the ground. For the Saturday night performance, I worked with Gene Soucy, one of the top airshow pilots, to get something a little out of the ordinary from the air. I attached my Sony α6300 with fisheye lens to the wings “N” strut with a modified photo clamp and many zip ties. The rig is facing the aircraft. The camera was set with a slow shutter speed so as Gene "slow rolled" his Show Cat (a highly modified crop duster) heading straight up, it would capture the airport lights as streaks of light rotating around him. 

To trigger the camera on the wing, I've made up a Sony multi-terminal connector that will fire the camera continuously. I set the camera motor drive to low and use a slow transfer-speed 128GB SD memory card. This will have the camera take a photo about every second. Once the camera is mounted and in position I place my multi-terminal connector into the USB slot. When the pilot is about to start up the aircraft we simply turn the camera on and it will keep shooting 1 frame per second until the plane gets back from the performance.

Photo by Dennis Biela. Sony α6300, 8mm fisheye lens, f/2.8, 1/40-sec., ISO 800