Need help: Photographing Airshow, Blue Angels

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by R Pradeep Chandran, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. Hi Everyone,
    There is an airshow coming up in Huntsville, AL (link below)
    and I am planning to attend. The Blue Angels and Golden Knights will
    be there and many static displays and aerobatic flying. I have a Nikon
    D300 with an 18-200 VR lens. I also have a 50mm f/1.8 and a Tamron
    200-500 lens. I am not sure if either of them would be helpful. I don't
    think light will be a problem and the 200-500 would probably be overkill.
    Any advice? Any sense in taking ND/split ND filters or flash? I want to
    reduce the weight since I plan to spend a lot of time roaming around the
    planes. Another thing I am planning to take along is a pair of compact
    binoculars. Planning to buy a Nikon 10x25 Travelite. Any other
    Have a great day,
    R Pradeep Chandran, Jun 14, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. Leave the 50mm and ND filters home. Take a hat, sunscreen, insect
    repellant, and water. You may be able to use the 200-500 but plan on
    staying with the 18-200. Better yet, get a second body for the
    200-500. You will miss shots while swapping lenses.
    Towards the end of the Blue Angel show they will split up at high
    altitude. A couple will make a pass from in back of the crowd to
    distract you and immediately another will make a very high speed low
    level pass down the runway. If the humidity is at all high, you will
    get a nice traveling shock wave condensation cloud around the wings
    and possibly around the entire FA-18 crossing in front of you. Pre-
    focus and use burst as it goes by. Autofocus against the sky may be
    problematic. I've found manual focus or using a hyperfocal setting
    works much better for aircraft. You might try practicing near an
    airport or on flying birds.
    The Golden Knights will put on a good show. Try to get a couple in
    frame at the same time trailing red smoke spirals. Be sure to snap a
    few of the GK or BA cargo planes taking off. On a humid day you will
    get pictures of condensation vapor spirals from their prop tips even
    though you can't see them naked eye.
    Bob Kirkpatrick, Jun 16, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. R Pradeep Chandran

    Annika1980 Guest

    Good advice. I saw the Blue Angels a few years back and did most of
    my shooting with a 70-200 f/2.8L and a 1.4x.
    I think an excellent 300mm lens would be ideal.

    Here's a link to my gallery where you can see the EXIF info.
    Annika1980, Jun 16, 2008
  4. OK, I will stick to the 18-200. The larger lens weighs a lot more and is a
    little slow in focusing. Not the best choice for fast moving objects.
    That is one shot I really would like to get. Especially if they demonstrate
    JATO capabilities of Fat Albert. Even if they don't, I would like to get
    some pictures of that bird.


    R Pradeep Chandran, Jun 18, 2008
  5. Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, I do not have a 300mm with me.
    So, I will have to use the 18-200mm and try to make the best use of it.
    Very good shots. A lot of those shots capture the sense of speed and power
    of the machines quite well. I am sure that I would not be able to match
    those but it would a lot of fun trying.


    R Pradeep Chandran, Jun 18, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.