F-117 Nighthawk Early Preview at Palm Springs Air Museum

Went to an early access preview of the F-117 Nighthawk display at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The plan had just been received and they hadn’t started restoring it yet. So it’s shown with all or the RAM(Radar Absorbing material) removed along with the engines and some other vital components. The plane was an active participant in Desert Storm and other conflicts. Due to the secrecy of the technology and the plane Lockheed Martin and the Military wouldn’t allow for it to be decommissioned with the full technology that it had in production. The plane was impressive to see up close and in person, even in the drab gray and missing some of the bumpers around it. The engineer that spoke during the presentation was also interesting and told some good stories about his experiences with developing the plane along with stories from some of the pilots that flew the plane into battle.2020 11 27 F 1170702

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75th Anniversary VJ Day Flyover

On 9/2/20 was the 75th Anniversary of the VJ Day Flyover. They flew the WW2 planes over Souther California. Since I was working from home and was able to take calls from my car I went to the Chino Airport to stake out a spot to catch the planes as they flew over. It took a while, but I was able to get a couple of shots, I really hoped they were going to land, but they just flew over on their way back home. I shot the planes with my Sony A9II and the 100-400 lens. F16 at 1/320 ISO 100

Map of flyover

Planes of Fame PT-17 Stearman

Planes of Fame flew their Stearman on Saturday 6/21 and Sunday 6/22, they did a brief presentation on it talking about it and then took it up in the air. However the day was really overcast and the shots weren’t very good that came out of it. They decided to take the plane up again on Sunday so I went over and luckily there was sun out so I was able to get some much better shots of the plane as it flew around. I worked on testing out the wide focus tracking to keep the plane in focus and work on my panning skills. Pretty happy with how these shots came out and the level detail in them.

Memorial Day WW2 Aircraft Flyover

So the local airplane museums and aircraft historical societies setup a flyover of WW2 aircraft for Memorial Day to honor the veterans and front line works. The path was laid out in advance and started in Riverside and then ended in Chino. The flight consisted of DC-3s, C-47s, P51, and Douglas SBDs. I drove over to Loma Linda University Hospital to try and catch the planes as they flew over at the beginning. I then hightailed it over to the Chino Airport to catch the planes as they landed for the end of the flight. I was mostly happy with how the shots came out of the big planes, I wasn’t so happy with the smaller planes. I just didn’t get the close up shots I was looking for and wasn’t happy with the crop that I ended up doing. I think I just need some more practice with hand holding and doing the panning. I don’t think the problem is with the gear and the problem is more with the shooter. When shooting with the 100-400 on the smaller sensor it’s roughly a 150-600mm camera so I think I’ve got the reach. Just need to work on the hand holding to get the steadiness.
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Shooting the Thunderbirds flyover Los Angeles

During the Thunderbird flyover of LA I went to my local hospital that looked like it was going to be in the flight path of the F16s. Unfortunately they didn’t exactly fly over the hospital they were a little far out and flying right at the tree line in the distance. So by the time my camera was able to track them these were the best I could get.

Camera Settings:
ISO 400
100-400mm on an A6500 so the lens was 600mm

I kept the aperture wide and raised the ISO from 100 to 400 to make sure the camera was shooting as fast as possible to give me the best chance as possible to catch some images. Luckily I had setup for this ahead of time as I wouldn’t have had any time to make changes once I saw the planes flying.2020 5 15 Thunderbird Flyover 212020 5 15 Thunderbird Flyover 192020 5 15 Thunderbird Flyover 202020 5 15 Thunderbird Flyover 5