The air show was in town last month, and from where I work, the air show usually starts in the middle of the week and lasts through the weekend.
Some of the teams arrive early and spend the latter part of the week practicing, so we get to see and hear them quite a bit during that time.
I work close enough to Miramar to be able to hear the jets taking off, and the office is right along a flight path, so we’re pretty used to hearing and seeing the F18s all day long, year round… but during the air show, they crank it to 11!
In the week leading up to the air show, the weather was pretty bad; it rained on and off all week and the sky stayed an ugly grey color. I have to admit, though, the sunsets were a sight to behold!
By Saturday, the weather had started to clear up and we were back to our familiar, clear blue skies again.
This year, I was able to get some shots of some other planes in the air show, early on, as well as a hawk flying with the Golden Knights parachute team!
The F22 flying with the P51 was pretty cool to see. It made me think of that 80s movie, Final Countdown, where the USS Nimitz is sucked back in time to Dec 6th 1941… not that there were very many P51s around in 1941…but you know.
Then, a little later in the afternoon, the Blue Angels came out. They did their maneuvers over the air field, but their wide turns carried them right over the office, in formation and usually at pretty low altitude!
The sound of one or two F18s flying by is pretty loud, but when there are four to six…that low…and the after burners!! It’s like thunder passing right through you!
I used the Nikon D3200 with a Nikor 55-300mm lens for all of the shots. The aperture was set wide open between f/4.5 to 5.6 and shutter speed varied between 1/500th and 1/800thsec. ISO was set to auto, but capped to go no higher than 200. On the first day of shooting I used an ND8 filter, but wasn’t happy with the halo/vignette effect it was creating in the shots, so I removed it and used no filter for the rest.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the shots I was able to get, but I learned the limitations of the D3200 through the shots I missed; whether it was due to slow focus or buffering after four to five continuous shots. But considering that the subjects of most of these shots were moving at a few hundred miles an hour, I’d say that camera and lens performed very well.
Until next time,
Safe travels everyone!