Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Seafire PR503

This airplane flew last week, following a 40+ year restoration by at least three owners. It probably will be the warbird sensation of the Oshkosh airshow later this month, when it makes its public debut.

I wish that the picture were better. It was taken around 2000 near Minneapolis with one of the plane's previous owners. I was in town on a business trip relating to a corporate acquisition. I was not expecting to have spare time to see old airplanes or other sights, so I didn't bring a camera. One day the deal cratered (as corporate law jocks like to say when a sale is abandoned) and we all found ourselves with a free afternoon. The museum that owned the Seafire was closed that day, but I called and talked someone there into letting me in. I bought some disposable cameras at a drug store on the way there, and did what I could with them. In the ill-lit hangars, that wasn't much, and I came away with no photos of some pretty neat planes, including a Lockheed P-38 that was about to be sent to Duluth for static display that I'll probably never see again. The Seafire was in an open restoration hangar and I was at least able to get some poor pics. That was about the last time I went on any trip without a decent camera.

An old-time photojournalist -- nobody is sure who -- when asked how to get good news pictures, said "f/8 and be there." "F/8" is just a typical lens setting; the point is that a lot of photography is just about being in the place where something happens, whether it is a war or a sunset, with a camera at the ready.

1 comment:

  1. Update: last night, on 31 July 2010, the Seafire Mk XV was awarded Best Fighter at Oshkosh, and Jim Cooper, who spent the last four years meticulously restoring this beautiful plane, received the Silver Wrench. We are so proud of Jim!

    John Cooper and Lynsey Matheny
    Liberty, MO