On a wing and a prayer

The Hood Aerodrome in Masterton is home to a fairly decent collection of replica World War one aircraft and yesterday they hosted an airshow to commemorate the end of WW1 on 11 November.

It was only the second time that I had attempted to shoot an airshow, and this time I had two advantages over the last one. The first was these planes fly a lot slower than their WW2 counterparts, and secondly I had borrowed a 600mm F4 lens. This lens was massive and best worked from a tripod.

Being a fixed length introduced a challenge when you were trying to get all of the plane in the shot. I have selected a sample of images below. I am not a plane enthusiast so couldn’t tell you exactly what plane was what, but at least you can work out which side their were on.

AIrshow-1

There were six German plane in this formation, three Fauker Triplanes make famous by the Red Baron.
There were six German plane in this formation, three Fokker Triplanes make famous by the Red Baron.

AIrshow-14

The 600mm did let me get in close to the pilots
The 600mm did let me get in close to the pilots
A pilot of a German plane did say that he was never allowed to win a dogfight and was alway shot down.
A pilot of a German plane did say that he was never allowed to win a dogfight and was alway shot down.
AIrshow-11
The smudge is someone head getting in the road, but I liked the shot too much to not include it
AIrshow-9
The angle of the planes makes it look like a little wing walking was happening

AIrshow-10 AIrshow-8

I was suprised to learn that this British Triplane actually inspired the Germans to create the Red Barons famous aircraft
I was suprised to learn that this British Triplane actually inspired the Germans to create the Red Barons famous aircraft

AIrshow-6 AIrshow-5

The front gunner of this bomber has a great view but it must be really cold
The front gunner of this bomber has a great view but it must be really cold
The one French aircraft
The one French aircraft

AIrshow-2

Country Fair

On the way to the Masterton Airshow we stopped at the Gladstone School fair. This school in a small country settlement was founded in 1876. It was times with a local scarecrow competition, and judging by the amount of cars in the parking area very well attended.

I just love taking shots of people enjoying themselves. While it would be a temptation to use a longer lens all of these images are shot on 24-70mm.

A fine selection of wares for sale
A fine selection of wares for sale
The school pool was used for a lucky duck
The school pool was used for a lucky duck
Face painting was another crowd favorite.
Face painting was another crowd favorite.
A collection of scarecrows adorn the school fence
A collection of scarecrows adorn the school fence
The kids really love it even if the ferris wheel is tiny
The kids really love it even if the ferris wheel is tiny
Hot dogs on a stick with tomato sauce. You can't something that yells fair more
Hot dogs on a stick with tomato sauce. You can’t something that yells fair more
She happily posed for me
She happily posed for me

Gladstone-7

A lot of fun can be had with car inner tubes
A lot of fun can be had with car inner tubes
How the juggling is supposed to be done
How the juggling is supposed to be done
Parent helpers get into costume
Parent helpers get into costume
Kids try their hand at juggling
Kids try their hand at juggling

 

 

Roadtrip

While I have travelled fairly extensively through the North Island it is very rare that I do a trip that has no purpose other than to see the country. However after many comments from my wife we decided to head away for a week and drive to New Plymouth.

As we decided to travel by unusual routes we started by taking the most direct route out of Upper Hutt which is via the Akatawara Valley. This road is very windy and not one for the faint hardy. At the top we discovered this site.

I suspect that this car was taken for a joyride and then touched. In the middle of nowhere everything burned up
I suspect that this car was taken for a joyride and then touched. In the middle of nowhere everything burned up

The en route to New Plymouth you pass through many small towns and wide areas of cultivated lands.

The seagulls were following the ploughing intently
The seagulls were following the ploughing intently

At Patea we tuned off and drove down along the river and parked opposite the ruins of the freezing works. The works closed a long time ago and are slowly collapsing. We were surprized though at the state of what must have been wharfs on the opposite side of the river.

Vegetation is slowing taking over from the concrete.
Vegetation is slowing taking over from the concrete.

Roadtrip-6 Roadtrip-5 Roadtrip-4

Timbers are all that remains of this wharf
Timbers are all that remains of this wharf

As you move further up the country there are lots of examples of where businesses have closed and the structures left behind.

I love how the creeper had used the bars on the window to grow
I love how the creeper had used the bars on the window to grow
These are all that remains of an old wharf
These are all that remains of an old wharf
This house looked derelict so I was shocked to see someone move around the back
This house looked derelict so I was shocked to see someone move around the back

The only thing that I did want to shoot in New Plymouth was the Te Rewa Rewa bridge. The bridge is part of the coastal walkway and it both a functional structure and a piece of art. We waiting until we had golden light to shoot it. The biggest challenge with something like this is to ensure that you take something different.

Trying to be little creative.
Trying to be little creative.
This bridge in New Plymouth is both functional and a piece of art. Mt Taranaki stays hidden in the cloud behind.
This bridge in New Plymouth is both functional and a piece of art. Mt Taranaki stays hidden in the cloud behind.