I am not referring to props as in objects used to compliment a photograph but props as in propellers on airplanes. The Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York had a mix of jets and prop planes. For that reason, I was using Shutter Priority mode. When a new plane took to the air I had to remember to change my shutter speed for the type of plane. Why would I need to do that? See below.
If you photograph a prop plane with a fast shutter like 1/1000th of a second, it freezes the prop and the plane looks frozen in the air. Not a good look for a flying plane. By slowing the shutter down to 1/200th of a second or slower, the prop becomes a blur and the plane looks like it is flying.
Here is a WWII P-51 Mustang fighter called Quick Silver streaking across a cloud filled sky. The blurred prop really makes the plane look as fast as it was going.
I tried slower shutter speeds but the older Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF VR Zoom lens and I were not up to the task. Still, I like how the B-25J WWII bomber named Panchito, after the feisty rooster from Disney’s animated musical The Three Caballeros, and a member of the 396th Bomb Squadron, 41st Bomb Group, 7th Air Force, stationed in the Central Pacific came out.
While I was panning for these photos, without any background objects close to the planes, you do not see any sense of motion behind them. I hope to photograph more airshows in the future.