Gareth Stringer's 2010 blogGAR Entries

APR 29 2010
Cometh the airshow season, cometh the weather!

The airshow season is here! Itís a season which promises much with important anniversaries, none more so than the Battle of Britainís 70th, and strong participation across the board. I think itís fair to say that a number of unlikely venues, in some peopleís eyes at least, have secured strong display programmes this year, so no matter where youíre based in the UK or how many shows you go to, you should enjoy your 2010 airshow fix.

Other than the obvious means of looking at a calendar I would instinctively know that the airshow season was upon us anyway for, after a couple of weeks of generally fine and dry weather it naturally looks as if it may all go down the pan in the run-up to the weekend with wet, windy and cold conditions predicted, hurrah! I donít know why we worry about it so much in all honesty Ė thereís nothing we can do about it, and what will be, will be.

Itís a debate Karl and I have frequently as, with his photographerís outlook in full operation he moans about the light and conditions for taking pictures. For me, a mere amateur snapper, I tend to worry more about what Iíll need to write about and if I get one or two good pictures then itís a bonus. Take Yeovilton last year for example. It was a round trip of something like 270 miles with a stupidly early start, a drive down in torrential rain, miserable grey conditions that affected the show and then a monsoon most of the way back to Birmingham. But I had a great day. I wandered around the static, watched most of the flying that took place, caught up with some friends, made a few new contacts, did some interviews and generally enjoyed myself. Karl would have hated it!

I jest of course but it is that kind of attention to conditions that I see from Karl that separates the really good snappers from the rank and file in my opinion. There are a vast number of people taking photographs of aircraft these days, be it at airfields, airshows or out in the wilds, and there are some great ones among them, but I think the best stand out from the rest very prominently. I would put myself very much in the rank and file category and am happy to admit that Iíve been blessed with great opportunities where you would essentially need to experience a complete shocker not to get at least some usable images Ė whatever the weather! The most important thing I think is that we all enjoy our photography and should keep plugging away for those elusive shots that are in focus, correctly exposed AND all within the frame! I also like it when I see some of the more experienced snappers offering advice, be it on technique or equipment, to the others, for that is what our community should be all about and I have benefited from having the other GAR photographers to help me along so much.

Weíve recently asked one person whose images and written content have impressed us if he would like to contribute a debut airshow review for GAR this season, and we look forward to seeing his report from Old Warden this Sunday. The airshow season is a busy time for us as you can imagine and as well as covering as many events as we can we also need to deliver content on non-airshow related subjects - and none of us can be in more that one place at any given time obviously!

This year we will also be running a Battle of Britain microsite, so some content will naturally be harvested specifically for that location, but we remain committed to producing our regular Tuesday update, and as such, BofB content will be in addition to that which youíve all come to expect from GAR. Itís going to be a manic few months, thatís for sure, and having an extra body on board could prove to be a very helpful move.

Plans for the season itself are beginning to take shape and all being well I will be at Abingdon this weekend and then the usual suspects as we look ahead to June and beyond Ė Cosford, Kemble, Biggin Hill, Waddington etc. We are looking at approaching some of these events from a different perspective so as to keep our content fresh, and Iíd like to take this opportunity to say thanks to all those organisers we have discussed plans with so far. If you believed some of the press you might think that they actually donít care too much, but we have found them all very open to talking through some of our requests and we should be able to provide some nice angles for GAR readers this season and give you some nice content from behind the scenes. We will hopefully be adding a whole new form of media to GAR soon too, so watch this space as the cliche goes!

On that note I guess Iíd better dig out my waterproofs and winter clothing just in case! Iíd like to finish by wishing all the aircrew and participants the very best of luck for a safe and successful season and I look forward to meeting some of you out and about. Whatever your plans for the 2010 season let's all hope that it's an exciting one that we can look back on and remember fondly in the years to come.

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