Posts tagged “F-16

The Blue Ghost, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, And My Fabulous Grandfather

The Blue Ghost

Many of these pictures are reruns but I thought I’d post them in honor of Pearl Harbor Day.  The aircraft carrier in the top image is the USS Lexington (CV-16) which was in service from 1943 through 1991 and now sits as a (very cool) museum in Corpus Christi, TX.  This image is a 3-exposure HDR.  I’m getting some odd pixelization on export from Lightroom which I can’t figure out but the point of posting this is not for the image’s sake itself anyway.

My grandfather joined the Navy during WWII (sometime after Pearl Harbor due to his age) and went through training to become a Navy pilot. I am very fortunate to have a 90-minute recording of him recounting his Navy experiences. My favorite quote: “I graduated from flight school on August 14th, 1945. The Japanese heard I was coming and surrendered the next day.” This is the most recent snapshot I have of him.

My Grandfather - Navy Veteran

Hope you enjoy the rest of these photos from various air shows I’ve attended.

Thunderbirds Headed To The Flight Line

Thunderbirds In Flight

B-1 Bomber (Handheld 3-exposure HDR)

B-1 Bomber

F-18 Engines (HDR)

F-15

Vintage Navy

Modern Navy

Blue Angels In Formation

Navy Trainers

The Golden Knights (Army)


Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Those Who Threaten Them

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6281575027/in/photostream

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Those Who Threaten Them 135mm, f/2.8, 1/750s, ISO 100

My wife saw that quote on a billboard as we drove out of the DFW area last weekend (I believe the billboard used a military ship as the backdrop).  I had just attended the Alliance Airshow in Fort Worth the day before and I thought the quote was appropriate for a shot of the Thunderbirds.

A friend and I bought photographer passes for the show.  The passes were sold to 70-ish photographers and granted access to the show 2 hours before the general public so we could photograph the static displays without the crowds.  We also had a designated area at the flight line — just to one side of the show’s announcer at show center.  Plenty of room, free water ($3 per bottle if you buy at the concession stand), and lunch provided.  It was well worth it.

Editing was simple: “Auto” preset in Lightroom, set daylight white balance, added some clarity and a little fill light.  Vignette and deep blue sky are courtesy of the polarizing filter I was using.

I had to snap this photo of all the glass in the photo area.  All I could think of is Mark Garbowski’s blog title “Too Much Glass”.  It was entertaining to watch the chorus of lenses scanning the sky in synchronicity as planes flew by.  I had some serious lens envy with my puny 70-200mm f/2.8 IS.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6281573643/in/photostream

Too Much Glass 70mm, f/2.8, 1/750s, ISO 100


Thunderbirds In Formation

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5161176356/

Thunderbirds In Formation 178mm, f/5.6, 1/750s

I recently spent a day with friends and family at AirFest 2010 at Lackland AFB in San Antonio.  It was my kind of air show — lots of high-performance jets.  There were F-15s, F-16s, an F-18, and an F-22.  In addition, the Thunderbirds gave a great show.

It’s always interesting photographing aerial performances.  The brightness of the sky can fool you camera’s meter into underexposing.  If there are lots of puffy, white clouds it’s even worse and you’re often left with blown-out clouds if you want to get the exposure correct on the planes.

For the shot above I can’t even decide what exposure I like the best.  Deep blue sky with slightly underexposed jets?  Brighten everything up to lighten the jets?  Use an adjustment brush to lighten the jets while keeping the sky deep blue (tried it — doesn’t look natural).  You can see what I settled on above.  In-camera I over-exposed 1/2 stop and increased the exposure a bit further in Lightroom.  This is a shot which seems to vary quite a bit depending on the monitor you’re viewing on so your mileage may vary.

I spent the day shooting with my all-purpose Sigma 18-250mm because I didn’t want to lug my Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS around.  It did OK but there is noticeable vignetting in many of the shots and just doesn’t match up with the Canon in sharpness (of course I didn’t expect it to).  I’ll bring the Canon next time for sure.