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Glider Rides

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© Chuck Place

In the Santa Barbara area, fall is a time of cool mornings, warm afternoons and trying new things. A glider ride is something I had never experienced but had always wanted to try. I photograph most everything I do and when I got to the glider port, I realized that a glider cockpit is so tight that there would be no turning around to photograph the pilot in the air.

A digital camera made the process quite simple, however. I set my camera exposure on the ground before we took off and mounted a wide 20mm lens, set to auto focus, on my full-frame camera. Once airborne, I placed the camera on my shoulder, pointing back toward the pilot. I checked each shot, moving the camera slightly each time until I had the image I wanted. It was simple.

The feeling of soaring freedom in virtual silence was quite an experience, and it was all mirrored in my pilots face–a perfect shoot.


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