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Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Airshow - 4Sep2010
Lens: Sigma 50-500mm Camera: K20D Photo Location: Martinsburg, WV 
Posted By: MRRiley, 09-13-2010, 04:35 PM

A selection of shots from the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Airshow

P51 Mustang (not a great shot composition-wise but it just screams FREEDOM to me)


P51 Mustang Flyby (slight vignette applied in CS3)


Thunderbird Diamond on approach


Thunderbird Inverted Flyby


Thunderbird 7 takes a lucky VIP civilian for a demo ride...


Last edited by MRRiley; 09-14-2010 at 01:21 PM. Reason: post got truncated and mangled during last edit
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09-13-2010, 05:41 PM   #2
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Great shots! The second shot is fantastic, with that vignette and the star reflection!

I also can't believe that stunts like in the last are allowed, for safety reasons....

Adam
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09-13-2010, 07:46 PM   #3
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Fine shots Mike, gets me warmed up for Oceana on Friday. I also go for that cool Mustang shot; my fav WWII plane plus your capture and presentation talents.
09-14-2010, 03:06 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. Funny thing about the banked Mustang shot. Normally I will discard any shot where part of the aircraft is cut off, but in this case since it was symetrical it worked.

Lee, Hope you have a good time at the Oceana show. Wish I could come down but too much going on around here right now. You might want to PM "cdufor"... I think he is going down.

Mike

09-14-2010, 03:57 AM   #5
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Nice work Mike, that Mustang shot is fantastic.

Quick question - Do you find the Bigma a lot more practical than the DA* 60-250 at airshows? Or does it really depend on how close you can get?
09-14-2010, 05:05 AM   #6
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Thanks Jason. And yeah, the Bigma is much much MUCH more useful for airshows than the DA*60-250. The 60-250 just doesn't have the reach for typical fighter sized aircraft even when you are right at the front of the crowd. I'd love if it did as the constant aperture would make exposures easier, but the Bigma makes up for that with unparalleled "reach out and touch em" ability. I've also tried using long primes, and it just doesn't work. When the planes are at altitude or on approach they work fine, but unless you want a closeup of the cockpit they don't work for the show-center flybys.

My dream airshow lens is a Pentax DA* 60-600 f4. I don't care how big it had to be... And I would pay almost anything for such a lens.

Mike

p.s. another F-16 photo added to the OP. Thunderbird 7 taking some lucky shmuck for a demo ride (and no I have no idea who you have to be or how many babies you have to save from burning buildings to get such a ride...
09-14-2010, 06:05 AM   #7
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Sick shots, Mike--looks like you had fun!
09-14-2010, 06:08 AM   #8
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Nice ones Mike. Still wish I could have been there. And I'm bummed you won't be in town for the Culpeper one. It would be worth renting a BIGMA again for another shooting smackdown. But alas, Maine is gorgeous and worth it. Love the vignetted shot the best. But the inverted pass one is amazing.

09-14-2010, 06:19 AM   #9
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That inverted pass maneuver: I see the picture, but I know it cannot be done. Incredible.

As to your dream lens, a 60-600 F4, instead of a lens pouch it will probably come with an accessory pick-up truck for transport of lens and adequate tripod. I have a modified surveyor's tripod - double strut wood legs, spike feet with a little flange to step-force into the ground, about 18 lbs. Used it under a 1000 f11 reflex Takumar, but I was never able to get an acceptably sharp image. Interested? (tripod real, but offer just a jest).
09-14-2010, 06:22 AM   #10
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Great shots! I love the sweet sound of a Merlin engine blending with that huge 4 blade prop on a Mustang- can't get enough of it. Angels and Snowbirds coming here next month.
09-14-2010, 06:41 AM   #11
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Humbling..... Especially with Oceana a few days away.... Truly appreciate the Bigma comments... I guess the 300mm may fall short / shy.. Time will tell....
09-14-2010, 06:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cdurfor Quote
... I guess the 300mm may fall short / shy.. Time will tell....
I don't think you will need it for most of your good shots but if you WANT 510mm of Pentax goodness for the show, you are welcome to borrow my AF1.7x TC for your da*300. Cell# sent by PM.
09-14-2010, 07:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cdurfor Quote
Humbling..... Especially with Oceana a few days away.... Truly appreciate the Bigma comments... I guess the 300mm may fall short / shy.. Time will tell....
Thanks Chuck. Please don't take my Bigma comments as a discouragement. The 60-250 is only inadequate in situations like this when compared to the Bigma. Its a danged fine lens and it's IQ is awesome and if it was the only long zoom I had, I would shoot the entire show with it and just do a bit of cropping for some of the more distant shots. But when you have a Bigma in the bag all else fails for sheer versatility (if you have good light... LOL). And as for your DA*300... heck, I used to shoot airshows with a Vivitar 300mm f5.6 and did fine. The DA*300 should make great photos. They'll just require a bit of cropping on the more distant shots. Something your gear is more than capable of handling. The main problem with shooting these shows with a prime is that it's real hard to "zoom with your feet" as a FA-18 comes straight at you at 500mph or more. Heck for that matter it's hard to zoom with a zoom when they are coming in like that. LOL

Best of luck at Oceana... Wish I could go.

Mike

p.s. max shutter speed for propeller aircraft = 1/180 sec (lets you get blur in the props). If the props are frozen you might as well have shot the plane on the ground. With some of the newer high performance prop jobs you can sometimes go up to about 1/250sec. For jet aircraft, go with the fastest shutter speed the light will allow.

p.p.s. Pay special attention to the F-22. This aircraft defies belief and with the high humidity typical at Oceana you should get great condensation effects as it makes aggressive changes of direction or is flying at high angles of attack. Same goes for the other fighters, but the F-22 is special!
09-14-2010, 09:12 AM   #14
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Nice work with the Bigma. My favs are 2 n 4. Still making the attempt to get to VA for Culpepper and possibly the balloon fest. Just waiting for a couple of paid shoots to make it real.
09-14-2010, 09:16 AM   #15
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Mike thanks for the graet comments on the prop shots. It was not intuitally obvious to me. Thanks also for sending Lee along, I look forward to meeting him....
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