Unexpected photoshoots

Just the other day I was talking about taking advantage of shooting in unplanned circumstances. And so it came to pass, I got a call from a friend telling me about a way to get inside one of the old airship hangers in Tustin here Orange County. The base is still owned by the Navy and had been used as a Marine helicopter base and a blimp base among other things. I have taken pictures over the years of the hangers from the outside but I have never been able to get on the inside. So I get a call saying that there will be a tour on saturday and it’s now friday.

Saturday AM, I’m in a crowd of around 150 people, Boy Scouts, reporters and fellow shutter bugs heading down a dirt road to the old runway leading to the North hanger. We even had one of the few remaining airship pilots who used to fly along the coast of CA in WWII. Claude Makin had a wealth of stories and was happily sharing them and answering questions from the public during the tour.

I had my 5 year old in tow and was trying to work out how to shoot a structure that is 180 feet high, 300 feet wide and 1000 feet long. The SB800 is a bit underpowered for this type of “indoor” shooting 🙂

I had brought two lens, my trusty 17-55mm F2.8 and my 11-24 F4. I found myself wishing for a something like a 10mm fisheye but I made do. It was much lighter on the inside than I thought it would be even with the hanger doors closed due to three rows of windows on each side of the roof running the full 1000 feet. They do have lights on the inside but this time they were off. My typical exposures were ISO 200 at F2.8-F4 and shutters running from 1/25 to 1/160.

These selections of my images give a very good idea of what it’s like on the inside on the hanger. Most of these images were processed using the free Kodachrome actions from Michael W Grey. The actions work very well with many types of images, not all but many.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Flickr YouTube 

This entry was posted in commercial photography, editing, editing software, lightroom, photography, technique, Travel, workflow and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. Timothy January 29, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Something a bit abstract in these architecture photos. Love it. Trusses the most.

  2. Jason February 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm #


    Thought you might be interested in these.

    Also, forget the SB800–you should have brought a tripod!


    – Jason

    • Mike Sweeney February 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

      I tend not to carry one around when I have my kid(s) with me. Metal legs sticking out with a 5 year old bored is a bad deal 🙂 I like the shot and even more so since they are on film. Nicely done

  3. custom printing August 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    i like the shot where it have a cross sign

    custom printing

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *