Sunday, 31 July 2011

My Community: The Cody Flyer

As part of the Strobist Bootcamp III, I had to photograph a local object of significant importance to the area. I went down to my local air museum - Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST).

Despite living in Farnborough for the last 30 years - I'd never been to FAST before. They have a wide range of memorabilia "From Cody to Concorde". Since the first flight in 1908 Farnborough grew to become a vital aviation town, its very survival owed to these historic facts.

For those of you that don't know Farnborough, Hampshire, UK, has been the testing ground for many of the most influential planes, jet engines and advances in aeronautics for the last 100 years.

The first of these was on October 16th 1908 when Samuel Cody flew the first powered flight in the UK (just 5 years after the Wright brothers flew in the USA). There was no airstrip then and the learning was very much on the job! The learning went on and Farnborough tested many RAF and commercial planes and helicopters including testing wing designs for Concorde.

I had a great time with the team at FAST and will be sending them both some prints and negatives. They have expressed an interest in using these photos on their new website.

If you do live in or near Farnborough and, like me, have only ever driven past the planes on the Farnborough road, I suggest you get on over there and take a look around. Its free entry but I'm sure once you've been round you'll be happy to make a donation or join up as a "Friend" of FAST.

They even have a flight simulator :)

Special thanks to Brian, David and Valerie who showed me around, it was brilliant listening to their enthusiasm and introductions to the visitors.

You can find out more about them here: or here:

Strobist Info: Through out the shoot I used a combination of only two flashes on either 1/2 or 1/4 power.

Apart from the question of how on earth to photograph something with a wingspan greater than 50ft, I also had to contend with the canopy of the building its housed in, you can see in some of the shots the white roof, which is made of a translucent white material. I've included one last shot to give you an idea of what it looks like in its natural habitat ;)

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