Monday, April 20, 2015

Dragon Rapides and selfies

click photo to enlarge
A visit to the Imperial War Museum site at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, gave me the opportunity to photograph, once again, the De Havilland Dragon Rapide. The aircraft shown is one of two that gives pleasure flights from the airfield. I've always had a soft spot for the design of this aircraft. It manages to combine elegance with seeming fragility, yet still remains airworthy more than seventy years after its manufacture. In fact, this particular aircraft was built as a trainer for the RAF in whose service it was designated the DH89A Dominie. The military markings allude to its origins.

I took the photograph with a lens with a maximum zoom of 210mm (35mm equivalent) - too short for this kind of shot. However, the camera's 24 megapixel sensor can be cropped and still produce a very detailed image, hence the shot above. When I zoomed in on the computer I noticed that one of the passengers appeared to be taking a "selfie", with hand outstretched and cameraphone pointing at the owner. I've taken a few selfies in my time. However, they have been with dedicated cameras not phones and employed a tripod, self-timer or my portrait in a reflective surface. I have yet to photograph myself with outstretched arm clutching a phone because the resultant image is usually poor. Moreover, I have no sympathy with the motivation for such shots which appears to be egocentricity - "look where I was/what I was doing/who I was with". Almost all my photography involves looking away from myself saying "look at this".

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 140mm (210mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On