This series of Aviation imagery of a Caproni CA100 float plane in Como, Italy, stills and video, was shot over 2 different days, both in late afternoon. The still images not taken in the water, were shot inside the hangar with the aircraft positioned just out of the direct sunlight, allowing Steve to use the sky as a giant soft light source. When the sun started to get too close, Steve just pushed the plane back into the hangar a bit.
The "On the Lake" photos were shot about 2 weeks later. Steve & his crew were in Sorrento, Italy on what turned out to be a 7 day video project. Steve got a message that Saturday may be a good day to shoot the Caproni in the water. So he bought train tickets from Naples to Como and at 6 am on Saturday he and his crew got into the van at the hotel in Sorrento to be driven to the Naples train station to go to Milan then to Como.
When the crew arrived in Como they grabbed a taxi, and went to the hangar but there was an event still going on there so he and his crew went to the hotel and checked in. After checking with his contact at the Aero Club, he went back to the hangar.
After the club got the plane into the water Steve then waited until the sun was covered by clouds before shooting any imagery. The Como Aero Club provided the manpower to launch the aircraft and then position it with the angles Steve needed. He is hopeful that he will be able to shoot more on this craft in the air when he returns to Italy with his crew in September.
The way this aircraft came to be restored is a story into itself. As we understand it, The Como Aero Club owned 2 of these, one was given to the Caproni family for their museum and the other one just sat outside for years. The club really wanted to restore it but the sheer amount of money to do so was staggering. One of the club's members said he wanted it and would restore it, so the club gave it to him, starting a 6 year quest for a long list of 70 year old parts, some rather obscure, others, like the engine, not.
He found a low run time engine in one of the seedy parts of Rome at a motion picture grip rental house. They were using it, and the original propeller, as a wind machine. The owner tells the story that he went dressed in a suit & tie and as soon as he stepped out of the car he knew he was in trouble. The owner saw him coming and saw money. He was finally able to work a deal where he bought a replacement wind machine and he wound up with the engine and propeller.
Another item was the clock. He had the clock and took it to a repair center, but upon opening it was discovered that it was missing parts. The repairman said that he thought he had one of these sitting on his fireplace mantle. He in fact did have one and between the two clocks he was able to get one working.
The owner was able to locate 2-3 additional engines and other high mortality parts that would give him the comfort of being able to not only totally restore this plane, but be able to fly it on a regular basis... which he does. The owner made the decision to come as close as he could to a 100% faithful restoration as possible. His other option was to re-power it with a newer engine, which would have been a great deal less costly with much less aggravation and effort. As it is now, this is the single best example of a restored Caproni model CA 100 in the world.
Steve wants to thank Cesare Baj and the Como Aero Club for all of their help in making this possible.
The Gear: Canon digital camera set to 1/2500 of a second shutter speed, 160 ISO and a Canon 200mm f2 lens set to f2 using a Sachtler fluid head on a set of Gitzo CF sticks.
The Light: Late in the day with clouds, here the clouds are hiding the sun.
We are based in New York City, Atlanta, Georgia, USA & Milan, Italy, and serve the nation and travel worldwide for projects, both video and stills. On average we travel 175 days a year from all over the USA, to Singapore to Japan, Europe and the Middle East. We are normally in Europe 2 or 3 times a year, mostly Italy and Germany, shooting for clients there.
If you would like to use this image, or any of my images for mock or comp use, please just ask. There is never a charge for this service. Educational use is permitted without charge, unless published, but please ask first. All commercial use is available only with a limited copyright release prior to use from the copyright holder, Steve Thornton. Thanks for looking!
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