Nourify Photography

Planes of Fame Air Show

This past weekend (May 3rd), we attended Planes of Fame Air Show. It is an annual air show run by Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, CA. It was a sunny and extremely hot day with virtually no clouds. Air shows are generally fun for taking pictures, though they do call for longer lenses and some special techniques. You can learn a bit more about the required gear and the proper techniques in Moose Peterson’s blog where he dedicates a section to Aviation photography. You can also read about some of his tips here. One tip that we like to highlight is on the shutter-speed trade-off. On the one hand, one would like to increase the shutter speed in order to minimize any motion blur, and get sharp pictures of the planes in flight. On the other hand, one would like to reduce to the shutter speed in order to intentionally blur certain moving parts (e.g., airplane propellers) and convey a nice and clear sense of motion to the viewer of the image. This is where panning techniques come to the picture, where you would use a slower shutter speed (say, 1/80 sec or lower in this case), and try to move/pan the camera while tracking the plane in your viewfinder and pressing the shutter. Proper panning does require some practice, but once you get comfortable with it, you can take some beautiful shots of moving subjects where the subject would remain relatively sharp while its motion is nicely emphasized. Like any other dynamic subject, another key factor in taking sharp pictures of the planes in flight is to use a proper focus mode as well as good focusing techniques. We set our cameras in the so-called AF-C mode and use AF-ON button to focus. We had touched upon the different focus modes and the AF-ON technique in one of our earlier posts here.

Below are some of the pictures we took at this air show. We have tried to identify some of the planes in the pictures to the best of our knowledge. But neither of us knows that much about airplanes. So we would certainly appreciate it if you let us know about any errors we may have in identifying these planes.

First, lets start with the highlight of the show which was a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor Fighter:

Raptor F-22

Another interesting part of the show was USAF Heritage Flight where an F-22 Raptor, a Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt , and a North American Aviation P-51 Mustang flew in formation:

USAF Heritage Flight

Then there were amazing aerobatic performers. One was Sean D. Tucker and his Oracle Challenger II Biplane. Another one was Rob Harrison‘s Tumbling Bear show in his Zlin 142c:

Oracle Challenger II Biplane

Another highlight of the show was three P-51’s formation aerobatics:

And of course there were a few solo flights:

North American B-25 Mitchell

We did take a few shots of the planes on the ground as well, though, we had arrived a bit late and unfortunately did not get a chance to get closer to the airplanes where we could have used a wide-angle lens which would have given us a much nicer expanded perspective for static airplane shots:

And last but not least, there was this amazing race car with a jet engine:

Jet Car

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. As always, please feel free to leave comments and share your thoughts…

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