Terre Haute Air Show with the Blue Angels August 2018

pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooterwestern IndianaPosts: 14,316Super Moderators moderator

I spent Sunday afternoon at the air port watching the 2018 air show. I didn't take a camera bag nor a tripod - it was a hot, very humid, long oppressive day in the sun, and I was not wanting to carry very much, so all I brought was my 7D Mk II and a Tamron 18-300mm zoom - partly as an experiment to see if I could capture any interesting images with only 300mm. I think I might have a couple despite the large crowd of viewers. All images shot in RAW and edited in Lightroom and sometimes a bit of Photshop

Many of the propeller driven war birds were roped off to keep spectators from touching them or their propellers. There were B-25s, A-26s, P-51s, Texans and A-6s, and several Navy fighter bomber and torpedo bombers - There were several vintage jet fighters from the 1950s as well - an F 86, an F-100, and a F104. There was also an F-22, and of course the F-18s the Blue Angels were flying

The air show had a performance of "Tora, Tora, Tora" - a re-enactment of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941 which was very challenging to photograph as the smoke from the simulated bombs was so heavy it was hard to even see the planes flying along the runway in front of the crowd. I have seen it several times and it is still a very heavy emotional experience.

This image recreates a B-17 which actually landed at Pearl during the attack with one landing gear not working due to enemy gunfire, so the plane is over the runway in all the smoke and haze with only one gear down - not sure how you can even lower only one pair of landing wheels on a B-17. Photographed at 1/200th sec to catch prop blur

Here is an enemy bombing run to open the show - not actual Zeros but Texans ( i think ) painted to look like Zeros - 1/200th

Here is a F-86 from the Korean War in the clouds 1/1250th

Here are 4 Blue Angels making a group take off 1/1600th - notice the hot turbulent air behind them

One of the things the Angels display is their speed and agility - here are two F-18s approaching each other over the runway with over a 1000mph of closing speed between them - even high frame rate on a 7D Mk II is way too slow to catch this without a bit of luck 1/1600th sec

The Blue Angels fly with such precision it is truly frightening to watch - at least for me - sometimes less than 2 feet separates planes flying at 500mph sometimes even with one inverted. 1/1600th

I have images of them closer than this, but they begin to merge into one image that is a blend of two or more airplanes and just don't work well as an image for me

Comments are encouraged - especially on the quality of the images with the tools used for this effort. The shutter could have been faster if I had a faster aperture to work with, or better high Iso sensor, but I didn't

More images can be seen here - https://pathfinder.smugmug.com/Vehicles-and-Various-Things/Airplanes/Terre-Haute-Air-Show-w-Blue-Angels-August-2018/

Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin

Comments

  • CavalierCavalier Life is a Bokeh Foresthill, CaliforniaPosts: 1,892Registered Users Major grins

    Jaw-dropping shots. That last one displays an incredible feat by the Blue Angels with wonderful clarity. And the turbulent air around the take off in number 4 - love it.

    I miss the air shows that we used to go to at Moffett field in Mountain View, Ca - the props and jet tricks, the sounds, watching the Harrier bow to the crowd - all with the dirigible hangars as a backdrop. And I never took a camera with me :s

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,306Registered Users Major grins

    Woooooo! Cool shooting!

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,316Super Moderators moderator

    One more of the Angels in close formation

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,306Registered Users Major grins

    Fab Jim!

  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainPosts: 18,594Administrators, Vanilla Admin moderator

    Great stuff Jim. You've really got those long telephoto shots nailed. Kudos.

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,316Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 25, 2018

    Thanks guys - not bad far a $599 lens I think. I can see numerous defects in the images, but they still look presentable at normal viewing distances after a fastidious scrub through LR.

    This next image I hesitate to post because it is of birds flying away, and I generally try to avoid images like this, and I only post it because it is a 5 frame composite pano image - There were no frames with all 6 birds captured in any of the images - some frames has 4 or maybe 5 birds to the left, and some 3-5 birds to the right, but they looked like a series of pano frames in the Lightroom strip, and so I decided to see if LR would merge them into a single pano composite frame and indeed it did.

    I have never heard of anyone shooting panos of airplane formations in the sky, but I think if the frame rate is high enough that it is possible some times. Indeed, I actually captured and merged three different sets of panos that afternoon shooting with my Sony RX10 MK4 in high frame rate.

    This is one of them

    Generally I didn't like the images I got with the Sony very well, but that was the first day of the air show and the humidity was off the chart and the air was very turbid, so maybe it wasn't all the cameras fault. Its AF was sluggish and struggled a bit with the fast jets - maybe partly due to the dense haze, but no where near the performance I got with my 7D Mk II with the Tamron 18-300 travel zoom

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,306Registered Users Major grins

    Very cool!

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,316Super Moderators moderator

    Anyone every hear of merging panos of airplanes in flight with multiple High Frame Rate images?

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • GattoGatto Major grins Posts: 316Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 27, 2018

    I did some in the past as an experiment, but I am a purist (because i am to lazy to learn how to use PS or LR) and so i never kept the results
    I do a lot of Airshows flickr.com/gatto1000

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,316Super Moderators moderator

    And motorcycle races too.

    Loved your Spitfire images also!

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • GattoGatto Major grins Posts: 316Registered Users Major grins

    Glad you liked it. I am all over the place :-)

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 19,967Super Moderators moderator

    This series certainly puts the "Fast" in your fastidious!
    Really wonderful amidst challenging circumstances.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,316Super Moderators moderator

    Thanks Kevin - I am glad everyone enjoyed them - The Blue Angels were frightening to watch - they really are that good apparently. What a way to make a living.

    I just remember a quote from Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff" that in a 20 year career in peacetime, 20% of navy carrier based fighter pilots won't survive, due to non-combat fatalities associated with carrier landings.

    Apparently the statistics in the early 1950s for non-combat fatalities were very high. I don't think that is the case anymore. The transition from propeller driven air craft to jets landing on carriers with angled runways was very high in the early 1950's.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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