Happy Flag Day!
In an attempt to stay topical, I went into my vault of file prints and found my favorite Old Glory image, taken in Warrenton,Va., on Veterans Day, 1993.
A first-century Roman philosopher, allegedly said, “Luck is where the crossroads of opportunity and preparation meet,” and that was clearly the case for me on this particular windy day.
I was on assignment for the Fauquier Citizen covering the dedication of the Fauquier Veterans Memorial in Warrenton.
A gigantic U.S. flag flew over the memorial site and I was told that a jet squadron from the Virginia National Guard would be doing a fly over directly over the memorial site.
As the jets approached, I crouched on my knees a few feet from the flag pole base and aimed my camera straight up, hoping to get the waving flag and the jets in the same frame.
A lot of people say when they first see this shot,”Nice Photoshop job Rob,” but that was not the case. To be honest, I am not even sure if I was using Photoshop in 1993. As a journalist, I would never alter the content of a news photo. I took this photo with a Nikon film camera and a 24mm wide angle lens, trying to avoid getting too tight. The wide lens also gave me the depth I needed to get both the flag and jets in focus.
The planes flew by, click, click, click, I got my shot. The next day I was thrilled when I got the developed film back and voila: the planes are right at the tip of the flag. The original was actually shot as a horizontal and to heighten the impact I cropped it into a very tight vertical.
It was a beautiful clear day which really added punch to the detail in this photo. The red in the white strips of the flag at right is red from the stripes of another part of the flag rolled behind. The light was that strong it bled the color forward. No tricks, just a smart job on cropping, and yes, a little luck.
All photos on this site taken by Rob Paine. Cannot reuse for any purpose without written permission from Rob Paine.