Capturing the British Airways BOAC Boeing 7470-400
EOS R Long Term Review
- Introducing the Canon EOS R
- City and Street Photography in Brussels
- Urban Exploration with a Model (featuring the RotoLight NEO II)
- Aviation Photography in Manchester
- Night time Model Photography
- The British Airways BOAC Boeing 747-400
- Living pains with the EOS R
- Studio Photography Life
- Not a conclusion, but the next steps forward
Editors notes: IMAGE HEAVY.
In addition, you might have seen a lot of the photos in the previous BOAC Articles. I’ll keep repeats to a minimum. ish.
Well, it’s been more than a few months since the EOS R has entered action with me, and it’s time to put it to a real world use – one that had actual consequences for me in terms of a very delayed article if I didn’t get it out in time.
I’m referring to the launch of the British Airways Boeing 747-400 painted in the BOAC Golden Speedbird livery to kick off the British Airways 100 Celebrations.
My brief was very simple:
- Capture the images at the event.
- Use the right tool at the right time
- Get those images online as fast as possible with an article to match
As I would be seeing the plane both from a distance and up close, there were only two real lenses for the job:
- The Canon EF 24-105 f4 L – Good for in the hanger work and when the plane is close up.
- The Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-f5.6L L – Because I’d need to capture it far as well as near.
- The Canon EF 70-200 f4 L – This lens is a nice middle telephoto lens, which can be used effectively.
- The iPhone Xs – fast becoming the second camera, and the primary camera when attempting to get content out to social media fast.
- And the EOS 6D, which would have whatever lens wasn’t in play.
I’ve been through the alternatives a few times in this EOS R Long Term Review, so I’m not going to go through them again.
The day of the shoot
With some of the press pack, I headed towards Technical Block N (TBN), where this plane would be received by the British Airways London Heathrow Team. TBN may be familiar to readers – as it was the ex BMI Hanger at Heathrow Airport, on the east side of the field
With welcomes and meeting other members of the press pack, the blogging community (including some of The Points Guy UK staff, seeing a few news reporters, the aviation reporters), it was soon time to get down to work.
We were briefed where we could (and not go), keeping within certain lines and certain areas
After a short wait, it was time for the hangar doors to open at TBN.
With the doors open, the press flooded out onto the tarmac – a rare opportunity at Heathrow Airport.
From there, it was a matter of watching FlightRadar24 and tracking BA100 as it closed in on Heathrow Airport
This is the perfect time to get some practice in and see what a camera can do. Because when that BOAC painted Boeing 747-400 arrived – I’d get one shot only.
For me – shooting with the massive 100-400 with a lightweight camera at the other end still poses a challenge (along with some of the autofocus/exposure logic).
There were some interesting things on the tarmac, with two Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9’s photobombing (and lacking…. engines).
First things first – work out the hazards in the area – in this case, building and wings
Once you start working out where the obstacles to your photos are, what edit methods you might use, or if the intrusion adds to the image, it’s time to shoot at full pelt.
Because this is why you have the massive 128Gb SD Cards to dump data on as fast as possible.
You’ll notice the images getting slight darker – mainly because the rain decided this would be the perfect moment to close in on such an event. You can tell with the camera working a little bit harder in this picture.
Other airlines outside the Oneworld and British Airways bubble that I live in – as you can see with this United Airlines Boeing 767-400ER
WIth BOAC retrojet on final approach, we all had a last shot at practice with British Airways Boeing 747-400s in the Historical Chatham dockyard livery approaching Heathrow and coming into land
With all the practice out-of-the-way (or rather, no more time to practice in, it’s time for the main event of the morning – the BOAC retrojet to land.
This is where a steady hand, knowing a bit about the buffer on the camera, and a silent prayer to help.
Now, these are some of the better photos. How many did I take?
And were there mistakes made? You bet. I’ve highlighted some for comedy purposes. It also shows that I need to pull back my focus a bit and pause between photos.
With the plane down, I whipped out a quick post to Twitter. Sadly, I’m still learning how to use the Camera as a hotspot to download pictures from.
— Kevin – Economy Class & Beyond (@EconomyBeyond) February 18, 2019
With the plane on the ground, it made a fast taxi over to TBN, where photographers, videographers and reporters were waiting.
Meanwhile, I was swapping the 100-400 zoom lens for a smaller 24-105 lens, which could work the area a lot better than the zoom.
With the plane taxing in, the British Airways Brand Ambassadors were out to greet the plane. This poses a challenge – what are you trying to capture in the soaking rain?
I went for what I could do. The movement of the union flags and the plane arriving.
With the plane on the ground, it was time for the captains to disembark. Again, another retro “Jet-set” age photo.
With that pose done, it was time to get the plane in the hanger. For some of us, we chose to go to the other side of the plane (the side where the steps weren’t attached, as this would lead to interesting angles of the plane.
British Airways granted us access to the upper levels of the hanger.
With that done, and many catch ups done, it was time to head back to my temporary office to get stuff to the Internet. My office – being the Holiday Inn Ariel where I had stayed the night before.
Whilst some had got their PR ready photos and quotes out already, I had my strategy decided, with a half-written article and time to process the images before I left the hotel. All that was left was to proof check the text, drop in the photos and off we went.
That took longer than expected, thanks to the proofing and double checking of content.
Time to file pic.twitter.com/9SdcjhWzEF
— Kevin – Economy Class & Beyond (@EconomyBeyond) February 18, 2019
Eventually, I was happy, and the post went out to the real world.
And then I was unhappy and started work on processing more photos on the train home, that lead to a second article coming out.
And this marks the trilogy point – as I shot this with the EOS R.
As you use a camera more, you learn what parts of it you use, what you can take advantage of, and what not to use – or what can speed your workflow. With me, I’m getting to the point where using it for real work is now natural to me, and ignore certain features of it for convenience sake.
The EOS R is becoming a fast friend in terms of its ease of Autofocus management (if exposure management is a little less than I like), and it generates some gorgeous files and content.
I’m finding the adaptor is doing an amazing job, translating from old EF lenses in RF compatible lenses – and at speeds that I’m not expecting (ie – it’s fast).
Which if a camera is going to be used for any purpose – is what you need.
We’re going to take a look at some of the living pains of the EOS R. It isn’t all a bed of roses. And I’m not just referring to a single SD Card socket…
Until then, happy shooting
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.