August 3, 2018

Capture Stunning Chicago Air & Water Show Photos

Aeroshell_Dennis_Biela.jpgLooking to capture stunning images of the 60th Chicago Air & Water Show? Then register for Helix Camera's Tips & Techniques for Taking Great Aviation Photos event hosted by Aviation Photographer Dennis Biela.

Biela says it doesn't matter what type of camera you have as long as you know the limitations of that camera and take photos that suite the camera's capabilities. For instance, if you are using a phone or a camera with the limited range he suggests "Watch the smoke trails written in the sky. Focus on the interest beyond the little dot in the sky." A perfect act for this is Team Aeroshell, flying four T-6 Texans, that throw down a lot of smoke. Dennis suggests capturing shots of them performing loops and using the smoke trails to drive interest.

Biela points out that a propeller driven plane with a still prop looks weird. Be sure to play with shutter speeds of 1/25th to 1/60th to capture some prop blur. Also, consider panning rather with the aircraft to capture some blur in the background.

He suggests finding your way to show center to increase your odds of getting a great shot. For the Chicago Air & Water Show that is North Avenue Beach. It offers a great spot to capture the action but can be overcrowded. Another great option is to get up high in a skyscraper to capture a unique view. Check out our Chicago Air & Water Show viewing guide for some additional suggestions.

You can get more tips by attending the Helix Class on Wednesday, August 15th, the class costs $39. The timing of the class is perfect as performers begin arriving on Thursday and will be flying over Chicago on Thursday and Friday practicing for weekend event.

Dennis has been photographing airplanes for most of his career. His father made him a deal in High School that he would fund any flying lessons his son wanted if he agreed to wait until after graduation to drive, sounds like a great deal to me. He went on to earn his license and has ratings in gliders and hot air balloons. His work has been published in Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine and EAA's Sport Aviation. He embedded with the Blue Angels a few years back and is finalizing a book comprised of photos from this experience. Check Dennis Biela out on Instagram to see some of his great work!

Posted by at August 3, 2018 6:48 AM

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