All of my friends know that I love to travel. But while I love seeing new places and countries, I don't feel the same way about flying....or rather the act of flying. And the smaller the plane, the more I tend to get that sinking feeling. My friend Bruce has been a bit of an aviation buff for many years. He can easily tell you the names and paths of just about every type of plane landing at the airport. So when a mutual acquaintance of ours made a suggestion to take a short flight around the island (for his pilot's license requirements), he was ready to jump at the chance. I will admit that I was lukewarm to the idea but their enthusiasm was infectious.
Maybe it was time to try something new. So, even with the initial misgivings, I decided to jump in. The first flight got cancelled due to the weather but the second one looked good. So on May 5 2018 (Cinco de Mayo), I decided to bite the bullet and packed up my camera to take in a side of Barbados not seen by many. I've been on a plane to and from Barbados before, but never circling the island at around 2,000 ft. And what an experience it was. For the aviation buffs reading this, our plane was a reliable Cessna 172 Skyhawk courtesy of the local aviation club. It's a four seat, single engine aircraft and surprisingly easy to push (easier than a car). Total flying time was exactly 30 minutes to complete a rough figure 8 shape.
I came away from this experience with a greater appreciation for my beautiful island and a few aerial photography pointers:
- Figure out your flight plan, ask questions and do your preparation. How long is the flight? Do you take or require medication?
- Take a good zoom lens.
- Follow your flight safety rules and listen to your pilot.
- Be patient.
- Fast shutter speeds above 1/500s.
- Remember the glass (assuming that you are in an enclosed aircraft) and the location of the sun.
Special thanks to our fabulous pilot, Mr. Ade Alleyne who kept us entertained while pointing out some famous landmarks. And finally thanks to the Barbados Light Airplane Club for hosting our group as visitors for the afternoon.
Please enjoy the short video that I put together and the images in the gallery below. I might do this again, never say never.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytgEu8GE_8E&feature=youtu.be
Camera and equipment details:
Camera: Nikon D7200
Lenses: Nikon 18-55mm G VR DX AF-S Zoom
Lighting: Natural Light
Video: Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70L
Video Editing Software: Adobe Premiere Elements
Until next time...do what scares you.