A few weeks ago, Abby, Erin, and I went to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. It is only a few minutes drive from our house, and yet in years of living here I had not managed to visit it even once. Not once! And I love planes! And guns! And planes bristling with guns!
So, like a giddy little kid headed off to the museum (yes, that was me as a child, and, yes, I was a huge nerd), I packed up the baby and the camera so we could go stare at idle jet engines with tiny seats bolted to them.
My wife is a trooper. She didn’t even bat an eye at going to a museum that would probably have nothing the slightest bit interesting for her to look at. She’s already been to the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum with me, and back then she didn’t have to be solely responsible for the baby while I ran around with my camera the whole visit. (I think she is a closet war buff that stays up late to read my military equipment guides by candlelight in the basement.)
In addition to the fun of seeing several still-operational vintage fighters, I also took the trip as an opportunity to challenge myself as a photographer. Planes are, by their nature, large. And my lens (a 50 mm prime) does not like large objects. It likes people, and it likes details. Could I capture interesting pictures of planes without the ability to catch the entire machine in the frame at once?
A crew manifest from a Lancaster Bomber. The Lancaster has always been my favourite bomber, and seeing an operational model along with so many pieces of WWII history was very humbling.
It took some coaxing, but I finally got the mannequin to look in my direction. It took all my willpower not to steal his jacket, though.
I love this picture mostly for the expression on Abby’s face as I explain to her why the deHavilland Vampire is my favourite jet fighter of all times. I imagine she will wear this expression frequently in future visits to museums and galleries when I try to explain to her why something is “important.”
From a book memorializing WWII casualties. Erin suggested looking up Stirlings, and we found a few listed there. William Stirling is a family name, but William Stirlings are probably a dime a dozen across the pond.
A detail from one of the plane engines on display. Not being mechanically inclined, I couldn’t tell you exactly what this is, but I thought it looked cool and industrial.