Getting Ready to Fly, at Girls Fly Too in Abbotsford
Getting Ready to Fly, at Girls Fly Too in Abbotsford

Girls Consider Careers in Aviation

The sun shone, the planes and helicopters were ready and hundreds of girls and women flooded the second annual Girls Fly Too event, held during the International Women’s Day weekend at the Abbotsford Airport. The event is to encourage women to consider careers in the aviation industry where currently they make up less than 5% of the workforce.

A group of helicopters were kept busy both days, from 9 am to sundown, taking girls and women on free flights over the Abbotsford area.

While waiting their turn for a flight, there was lots to see and do, from exploring inside and sitting in the cockpit of a Sea King or Cormorant helicopter to trying out a few hand tools and imagining being an aircraft mechanic.

Girls Fly Too is an entirely free event thanks to the many sponsors and volunteers.

It’s a privilege to be an event photographer for such a worthy cause. Last year’s event in Langley was not quite so sunny but just as successful.

Enjoy the pictures.

There were many things to do at the successful event.
There were many things to do at the successful event.
A young pilot shows girls how to use a flight simulator.
A young pilot shows girls how to use a flight simulator.
Checking out the controls of a Sea King helicopter
Checking out the controls of a Sea King helicopter
Northern Lights College was on hand to show of their career programs in aviation.
Northern Lights College was on hand to show of their career programs in aviation.
Are they excited?
Do you think they’re excited?
Inside a Coast Guard helicopter
Inside a Coast Guard helicopter
Meet the pilot of the Search and Rescue helicopter that flew over with a full crew from Comox.
Meet the pilot of the Search and Rescue helicopter that flew over with a full crew from Comox.
Air Cadets were on hand to help out in many ways.
Air Cadets were on hand to help out in many ways.
Air Cadets, there's no life like it!
Air Cadets, there’s no life like it!
Ready for flight after visiting the face painting table.
Ready for flight after visiting the face painting table.
Future mechanic at work.
Future mechanic at work.
So this is what holds the planes together.
So this is what holds the planes together.
Air Cadets provide great entry points into the life of an aviator.
Air Cadets provide great entry points into the life of an aviator.
Up to a dozen helicopters were on the job for the weekend.
Up to a dozen helicopters were on the job for the weekend.

 For Photographers:

Everyone was thrilled with the sunny and warm weather for Girls Fly Too, everyone that is, except the photographers. Working in strong, harsh light is very challenging when photographing people. It was easy to take photos for the aircraft glimmering in the sunlight or the helicopters as they flew in front of scenic Mount Baker (above). But when you’ve got people involved, you only have a few choices.

One is to put the sun behind the subject, as in the second photo from the bottom. Then, turn the power of your flash to overexpose by one stop. Also, use the exposure compensation dial on the camera to increase the ambient exposure by one stop or so. Both of these are necessary because the camera meter sees the brightness of the sky and tries to darken the scene down to an average tone.

Another solution is to bring your subject out of the strong light. The hangar at the airport was a great place to photograph because it was shaded but also, with one large door open, there was beautiful side light to work with, as with the photo above with the single young cadet holding the magazine.

Another challenging situation was inside the aircraft cockpits where there was an extreme range of tones from the dark shade inside to the very bright light outside. Here, it’s almost impossible for a camera to record this range of tones. My solution for most of these was to supplement the light with flash to add light to the dark shadow areas. Another option would have been to use HDR but with children inside who were active, I chose not to do this.

Event photography is challenging because you never know just what you will encounter and you need to be constantly observing, looking for the situations that will help to tell the story and then to find ways to overcome the problems that are presented. When all the pieces come together, photography is joyful indeed.

 

 

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