Last summer my family and I made a visit to the US Navy Air Museum in Pensacola to watch a Blue Angels practice session. If you've never been, you should go... it's Awesome! The Blues fly a full show routine, sometimes repeating certain maneuvers until perfect. The spectators' stands are much closer to the action than at a typical airshow. I knew it was going to be a great photo op!
If I was going to shoot the Blue Angels, I wanted to take some serious glass! I decided to rent the Canon 100-400mm L series lens. Great reach, quick focus and super sharp image quality make the 100-400 a great airshow lens. I rented mine from Lens Giant, they had a good rate on an 8-day rental.
I shot several hundred photos each of the two days we went. I shot the whole time in high-speed burst mode, which on the 40D is 6.5 frames per second. My Auto-focus was set to Continuous AF (servo mode), with all focus points selected. I never use Multi-point focus for portraits because I can't control exactly where the focus goes, but it works perfectly shooting airplanes in the sky.
Going back for the second day helped me get some good shots that I missed the first time. I learned to anticipate what was about to happen. We were very lucky the weather was perfect both days.
6.5 fps is not fast enough! Took me several attempts to get this shot.
me with the big Canon canon
I'll definitely be going back again sometime. If you get a chance to go -the Blue Angels practice schedule can be found on the Navy Air Museum website HERE. note- Get there EARLY!
photo jabber blog by tim wyler
blue angels photos airshow photography
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