B-24 captured by D4 / 200-400VR2

The smoke you experience at airshows at times can be a choking experience, a photo killer for sure. The one aspect of performer smoke that drives me nuts is the horrible color cast it can produce. In the start I would just not shoot when the air quality got so bad, that’s until I had one of those “what if” moments. I wondered if I could use that smoke to tell a story, though a tragic one of our past. I started to look at the smoke as a layer, an element that in part needed to be set apart to make the rest of the photo work. I’ve found that when I have clouds behind the smoke, any plane flying through the smoke finishes the story the smoke starts. This isn’t a photo you can plan but rather have to keep in the back of your mind as you pan with the plane and when the moment comes together, hit the shutter release. It is a low percentage shot as there is so much at play in the frame, but smoke tells a story.

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