Friday, April 02, 2010

Easter, Hornets, Numbers, Ratios

For the last twenty years or so, easter has been less about religion and chocolate for me than it has been about aircraft. Two of the big regular airshows are held over the easter weekend, Wanaka, and Omaka, (on alternate years, this year it is Wanaka) both in scenic South Island locations. Since first attending Wanaka in 1992, easter weekend has been associated with travelling, beautiful landscapes, and fun things to watch in the sky. An easter at home is still a novelty.

I'm not at the Wanaka show this year for various reasons, but have been compensated somewhat by getting to see two of the star attractions anyway, the Zero in the previous post, and the visiting Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Hornets.

The Hornets arrived at RNZAF base Ohakea during the week, and on Wednesday I took leave and made the two hour drive north to watch them practice their routines for the show. Conditions were perfect.

They had two one hour long practice sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with two complete runs of the routine per session. Over the two sessions, and from three locations around the base fence, I shot 238 photgraphs.

The first edit dropped that number down to 98 images with potential.

After the second edit, 73 images were left.

The third edit and manipulations resulted in around 40 I would keep if I had to sacrifice the rest (I am still not as ruthless a photo editor as I should be). Back in the day, if I had shot a 36 image roll of film (which usually yielded 38 or 39 images, 36 was only the guaranteed number) and thought them all worthy of keeping I would have been pretty stoked. That left me a 1 in 4 keeper to delete ratio, which is above average for me. I have no idea what sort of ratio the people who do this for a living work with. I am a long way from being that skilled.

Anyway, here are some of the keepers. As usual, click to embiggen.

This was my shot of the day (albeit a massive crop. I need a longer lens). I would have been happy with a 1 in 238 keeper ratio if this was that 1.

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