I find that flying alone with my camera is the only way to seek out art from 3,000 feet above ground level. I can just go sight seeing and if I see something interesting then I can just go over and investigate and maneuver for the best shooting angle without having to explain to anyone. Having another pilot on-board might be handy if I was doing any heavy duty work then I could concentrate on the images and they could concentrate on flying the plane. But, I’m not. I think that if I had someone else with me that I might self edit what I shot because I know that where I might see an interesting composition of cows in a pasture, most people would just see another bunch of cows just like millions of others all over the country. As long as I can fly safely then I'm fine.
It took 2 hours 45 minutes for the whole trip. On the way up I loitered around at about 85 knots most of the way. On the way back I had the Cessna 150 up near it’s max cruise speed which isn’t all that much faster at about 105 knots per hour.
I learned a few things on this expedition. First, I got lucky with the positioning of the sun. I left early and caught the early morning sun which cast a nice golden glow but, probably more importantly cast shadows revealing the depth of the objects on the ground in the photographs which otherwise would all look flat in the direct daylight.
The angle of the camera to the horizon or to the object being photographed is also important because if the camera is off axis to whatever you are photographing then the resulting image appears just off-balanced and awkward. If the image is framed along the same lines as the lines of a field, for example then it somehow just makes sense and feels right. The basic rules of composition were established by the master painters centuries ago and they still make sense today even with my cow pie field exposures.
Admittedly, most of the end results of this first real trip with a mission were less than spectacular. But, this was only a first attempt and I have a lot more ideas to investigate. The worst thing that happens is that I spend some time doing what I love to do anyway. It’s kind of like fishing. It really doesn’t matter if you catch anything but, it’s nice if you do. I’m sure that I’ll reel some in eventually.