Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Air Traffic Controllers, Hawaii and A Photograph
Two weeks ago, before all the controversy and news around air traffic controllers sleeping on the job and watch Samuel Jackson DVDs, I found myself on a jet landing at the Maui airport. On my lap was my Canon 1DS MKIII with a L-Series 100-400 zoom lens mounted. As we taxied towards the terminal I scanned the scene through my window for anything interesting to photograph. The only thing that caught my eye was the airport control tower. I squeezed off a half dozen frames with the lens fully zoomed in to 400 millimeters.
Shooting From A Moving Aircraft
I have to say I love that lens! Mine is exceedingly sharp. Even shooting from a moving aircraft, and through a well-used porthole window, I managed to get one pretty sharp shot of the tower. The trip to Hawaii, I might add, was intended not for any specific shoot, but rather to “harvest” images for future projects…and to do so in a pleasant environment. An aside here, pictures of Hawaii still sell even though one has to question how there could ever be a need for another tropical beach scene! I have had great success at making travel into profit centers through my stock photography.
A Control Tower, A Dramatic Cloud and Photoshop
So here we are two weeks later and air traffic controllers are dominating the news. Hmmm, says, I, an opportunity for a stock photo! This is one of those insanely easy to create images. I simply used the Photoshop Pen Tool to create a clipping path around the tower, turned it into a selection with a one-pixel feather, and then hit my good old “Command-J” to create a new layer of just the control tower. I went back to my Hawaii photographs and found a dramatic cloud I had photographed at Ho'okipa Beach Park (near Mama’s Fish House). I copied it and pasted it underneath the control tower layer. I duplicated the tower layer again, used a layer mask to “paint out” the actual room at the top, then dragged the remaining structure down to create the effect of a much taller structure. A little “dodging” around some of the antennae, and of course spotting, and Voila, a new stock photo!
A Digression To Sensor Cleaning
BTW, I bought the 1DS MKIII when they first came out…and have never cleaned the sensor! Hey, it is dirty, and I do need to clean it…but how clean it has stayed, with repeated lens changes, is pretty amazing! I was even changing the lenses between the 100-400 and a 16-35 zoom on the beach with the wind buffeting me like crazy. But I digress…back to stock photography!
A Concept Stock Photo About Management, Vision and Change
This airport control tower image is about not just the turmoil around the air traffic controller problems, but is a concept stock photo about management, vision and change. It can be used for editorials about everything from turmoil in the air traffic controller industry, to airport expansion plans, to more general advertising uses for products and services that can help companies manage operations and communications more effectively. This tower image can be about management, control, communications, change, and who knows how many other uses. It took less than an hour from start to finish for the post-production and other than my general travel expenses cost me nothing to photograph. How cool is that?