Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Blue Angels Give Me Goosebumps!

I love the BA's. Something about jets doing incredible maneuvers.. If you have never seen a show in is unlike anything that I can describe. It is not just about flying.. it is about the human spirit, the military, daring to dream. At least for me it is. My dad got me interested in shows when I was a kid, after all he was a defense contractor! We would go to shows, and we would go to airports to watch the planes take off and land and we went down to the cape for Apollo 11's lift off. So I was lucky the Jennie's brother has ties with the coalition forces stationed at Centcom on McDill.. so he had (and has had for the past several years) VIP passes for McDill airfest. VIP passes are the best. They park you in the front right where the maneuvers are executed. You basically have front row, center seats. Also, by having VIP passes, you are allowed to bring in back packs so it was easy to bring in my photography kit. (regular entry disallows backpacks). So this was my first try at photographing them. My lense (Nikkor 80-400 vr) is not known as the best lense, but I read up and I believe that this lense is capable of getting some good shots, with some major practice on my part. I only really use this lens to photograph whitewater boaters. So here are a few from my first try. I am going to try and get to a practice session or two this summer while visiting with Debra, and look forward to next year and hope that Ben invites me again to McDill Airfest!

For those interested in the photography aspects.. it is tough shooting.. You need to expose to the right more than you think.. because you are essentially facing into the sun, your camera will want to meter off the sky, spot metering is not possible because of the speed.. so you must over expose so that the jets don't wind up as a silhouette.. well I still had to beef up in PS. Also I would be too tight and lose them.. again, it is a matter of practice. I knew what a lot of their maneuvers would be, but I was too slow, or would lose them. It is a wonderful exercise and even though I don't have that many keepers... I know with practice it will get better.. I can't wait for the next opportunity!

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