Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hardcore Photography

Found this the other day, some awesome in cockpit video from the back seat of a Blue Angels FA-18:

Video Linky

It's in two halves; the first focuses mainly on the external shots, while the second focuses mainly on the very hard working photographer in the back. The bits where he looks like he is grunting and straining are where he is fighting the G-forces to stay conscious (he is actually performing a specific physical exercise to try and reduce the blood flow away from his brain). At about the 6:30 mark he manages to both stay conscious and still keep shooting, which isn't bad considering everything in his world including the camera will be weighing several times more than normal.

Aside from the "How close?!" sequences at around 0:30 and 1:50, my favourite part is the inverted run from about 5:20. Photog calmly goes about his business hanging upside down in the seat straps, with three other aircraft within a dozen metres or less of his, before being slammed from negative to positive G in about the space of a second at the end of the pass. I haven't done anything like as extreme G in the video, but the rare occasions when I have done similar +/- transitions I know they can be uncomfortable to say the least (my personal experience is about -ve 1 to +ve 3G on an aerobatic joyride).

I'd love to have an opportunity to take photos like that, but I would need to be doped to the eyeballs on anti motion sickness pills beforehand to keep my breakfast where it should be :).

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