After sketching several ideas on paper the only shot I could envision was this one. While several others may have worked, other factors had to be considered. Obviously weather, schedules of the carriers push backs and the cooperation of the three carriers for this. All three aircraft were scheduled revenue flights fully loaded with PAX. I spent the weekend before laying out model aircraft on my living room floor with a faux scaled runway taped out. I used my Nikon P7000 to simulate my D300's that I would use and record various shots for aircraft placement. I was only going to get one chance at this layout. As you can see the Delta 757's angle is not consistent with the others but it would have to do. Below me were about 40 or so personnel from the airlines, ad agencies, Port Authority and so on. The result was the layout evident in the photo. The whole idea of the plan was that these being revenue flights obviously the passengers would not be open to any delays. It was designed to only take 10 minutes to marshal the aircraft into position once all were on station. It would take another 10 minutes to capture all I needed to capture. All went as planned with exception of their arrival on station. This may have been Americans first "on time arrival!". They were first, Jet Blue arrived second, finally Delta. Their respective marchalers were in their positions and myself in mine. I asked for a hilo but wasn't happening so a 100 foot boom truck got me up about 60 feet with 2 cameras and three lenses.
The weather was forecast for Rain!...That morning we did not even have final confirmation from everyone involved till 1 hour before the shot was scheduled even though we had about a week and a half to secure all. I passed out a copy of the aircraft layout to about 8 individuals involved including the airline reps so we all knew how this would work.
So that is in short the story of the shot. These were in fact three fully loaded aircraft, these were the first to actually depart off the brand new concrete runway. The next day was the official opening of the runway and its kick off to "return to service". This particular shoot was the most fun I have had behind a camera in a long time. I do apologize for taking so long to answer some of the questions some viewers had about the shot...g