|The Shuttleworth Trust conceived the idea that instead of the more usual and popular night-shoot that an early morning dawn shoot would raise much needed money for the aircraft collection. I imagined what the images would look like as the sun came up over this unique airfield and quickly signed up for the shoot along with around 60 other photographers. The instructions were to arrive at 05:00 for a breakfast of sausage or bacon rolls and coffee. At 05:35 after a safety briefing we were lead towards the aircraft which had been towed out to the airfield over the previous hour. It was still quite dark and at least one floodlight remained on. I was first out there and got two shots off before, and for no reason I could understand, the lights were switched off and taken away.
Now as feared I realised it was going to be difficult to get any more really nice images. The problem being that weather was as overcast as you can imagine, with thick cloud without a hit of a dawn sunrise. None of the images taken at this time were of any value as there was so little light to work with. I eventually wandered off to go around the hangars, which was rewarding as there was very few people about and I could get some nice clean images. When I emerged at 06:30 it was quite noticeable how much brighter it was, even though it was still very dull and the thick cloud was lifeless through the view finder.
The organisers worked very hard to put on a potentially great event, period props including veteran cars and a motorbike were used to great effect. One young lady dressed up and posed for images and another chap worked a smoke or mist generator but this struggled to work really well.
The plan for a dawn shoot with mist unfortunately was flawed as anything other than just a few clouds would spoil the sunrise and without lights and a night-shoot you do not have any light to work with. Even when it is overcast night-shoots work very well using low powered floodlights. For this dawn shoot you would have needed to have started shooting at 04:00 with the lights on to have come away with any great shots and that would not have appealed to many photographers at all. So I recommend next time to stick to the night-shoot format and not be reliant on the weather and there is always a good chance of a nice sunset.