…morning light is magic…

Airshow

F18 Vapor at Wings Over Houston 2017

Made it to Wings Over Houston special show again this year and took photos from outside the gates with my 100-400 lens.  Got in a good spot across the road from the runway and got the F-18 coming in for a high-speed pass almost right over me (first two photos).  He came back for another pass and banked left and caught some great vapor on his wings.   Lots of fun trying to track him when he was flying around 600 mph.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 100-400 II with 1.4X III teleconverter, handheld

1/3200 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation

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1/2500 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation

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1/4000 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 1/3 exposure compensation

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F-22 Raptor

Got a chance to see the F-22 Raptor again for the 6th time at the Battle Creek, MI airshow over the 4th of July weekend.  It’s an amazing plane that never ceases to amaze me with its maneuvering capabilities.

While planning a trip home to visit family this summer, just happened to look up the F-22 schedule and saw it was going to be in Michigan fairly close to home.  Took my two brothers with me and they enjoyed the show as well.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 100-400 II with 1.4X III telconverter, handheld

1/1000 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, + 1 2/3 exposure compensation, 368 mm

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1/2000 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, + 1 1/3 exposure compensation, 560mm

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1/1600 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, + 1 2/3 exposure compensation, 560mm

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1/1250 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, + 1 2/3 exposure compensation, 318mm

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F-35 Stealth Fighter Over the Moon

It was a very busy weekend with my trigger finger needing some well deserved rest.  Between two days at Wings Over Houston air show and going to Bolivar Flats for the first time in several months, ended up taking over 11,000 photos over the last three days.

Friday started out with Doug, David and I taking photos of the abbreviated special show for Wings Over Houston.  The Blue Angels were back in Houston to show off their precision flying skills.  A first for Houston was the new F-35 Lightening stealth fighter, which was on static display and participated in the heritage flight with a P-47 Thunderbolt and a F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The moon was still out on Friday morning, which made for a cool back drop for this photo of the F-35 and the P-47.  Converted it to B&W to help bring out the detail in the moon.  When the F-35 took off, it looked like a F-22 Raptor from a distance.  Can’t wait to see it perform during an airshow.

Went inside the gates on Saturday to get some close-up shots of the F-35 and the usual array of aircraft on static display and when they performed.  More air show posts to come as there were too many photos to go through after a most excellent weekend of photography.

I’ll also be posting some shorebird photos from Bolivar with the action being off of the charts.  It’s prime time for Bolivar and I’ll be a frequent visitor there this fall/winter.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II, handheld at 500mm

1/2000 sec @ F 6.3, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Shoot the Moon

On the last day of the Wings Over Houston airshow, hung out with Doug on the north end of the runway.  Thanks Doug.  Got some good close-up photos that I’ll post later.  The moon was out and we tried to get photos of the planes flying near the moon.  Didn’t realize that I had captured this photo until I got home.  It’s a WWII Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter, handheld

Shutter priority, 1/250 sec @ F22, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Wings Over Houston in B&W

During the Wings Over Houston airshow, they have a Tora Tora Tora portion that simulates the attack on Pearl Harbor.  I arrive at the show when it opens to get a seat along the fence line so that I can have an unobstructed view of the action.  They blow up bags of gasoline to simulate the bombs, which can make for some cool photos.

My goal during this part of the airshow is to capture the action with more than just the planes flying by.  I’ve got tons of plane photos but like to get some of the smoke in the shot and other planes in the background to enhance the interest/story in the photos.  Use shutter priority to blur the propellers with 1/320 for the Zero’s and 1/250 sec for the rest of the planes.

Here are some of my favorites from last Saturday, converter to B&W with NIK Silver Efex Pro 2.  Gave me the opportunity to break out my new 100-400 II lens and it worked very well.

All were taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 100-400 II lens, hand-held.

Shutter Priority, 1/320 sec @ F22, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Shutter Priority, 1/250 sec @ F11, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Shutter Priority, 1/320 sec @ F25, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Shutter Priority, 1/250 sec @ F25, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Wings Over Houston 2015 Airshow – Friday’s Practice

Friday at Wings Over Houston is a two-hour show for special needs kids and the opportunity for the pilots to practice for the main shows on Sat/Sun.  It’s not open to the general public so I found a spot along Hwy 3 at the end of the runway to get some close-up photos.

This was the first time in a few years that the F-18 was back at WOH and it’s always my goal to get a photo of the vapor cloud when they approach the speed of sound, around 600 mph.  A cold front coming through this weekend reduced the humidity in the air so Friday was going to be the best chance to get that shot.   Caught him starting to form the vapor cloud as he flew over me and it fully formed as he got over the runway.  A head-on shot would have been better but I’ll take it.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter, hand-held

Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F5.6, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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They have one original Japanese Zero flying at the show, with the rest being replicas from the movie Tora Tora Tora.  Being at the end of the runway allows for this shot as he banks around back toward the field.  Converted this one to B&W as the colors were muted anyway.  Used shutter priority to slow down the shutter speed to get the prop to blur.  The Zero prop’s spin faster than the P51 Mustangs so I usually use 1/320 for the Zero’s and 1/250 for the rest of the prop planes.

Shutter priority, 1/320 sec @ F14, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Only 3 of the Thunderbirds flew at the show around noon, which was a surprise.  Minimal cropping on the first two shots with none on the last one.

Aperture priority, 1/6400 sec @ F5.6, ISO 400, evaluative metering, +2/3 exposure compensation

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Aperture priority, 1/6400 sec @ F5.6, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F5.6, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Memorial Day Tribute

In tribute to all that have served, here are some Blue Angels photos from the 2014 Wings Over Houston airshow.  The moon was out which made for a cool background.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 100-400 lens, handheld

1/2000 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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1/2000 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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1/2000 sec @ F7.1, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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1/2000 sec @ F8, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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1/3200 sec @ F7.1, ISO 800, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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