Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blue Angels Take To The Skies

On July 4th, the Blue Angels were scheduled to perform a fly over the U.S.S. Constituion at 12:22PM. They surprised me and other photographers when they took off from Logan Airport at 12:02. They flew right over Boston Harbor, very close to the Constitution and Fort Independence. There were four news photographers there and I believe that I was the only one to get the shot. It was quite stunning to see and hear them rocketing through the skies!

The Blue Angels took off in a formation of four.   A few minutes later two more came rocketing off the runway surprising us again. Finally, a lone Blue Angel flew across the harbor and into the clouds. When the Blue Angels reappeared, they were in a formation of six, with no sign of the seventh jet. They flew over the Constitution towards Boston at exactly 12:22. They returned for two more flyovers before returning to land at Logan. It was quite a thrill to see them and to be in position to photograph them!

  In order to make sharp photos of such fast jets, I set my ISO to 800 on my D7000 and 400 on my D90. THe D7000 does a much better job of handling noise from high ISO's than the D90 does. I could have set the ISO much higher than 800 on the D7000, but I didn't need to. With bright sunlight, I was able to achieve a shutter speed of 1/2500 of a second which was more than enough to freeze the fast jets in place. These images were all hand held. To be honest, I found the Blue Angels to be quite easy to photograph compared to most of the birds that I have practiced on in the past. For starters the Blue Angels are a significantly larger target than say a snowy owl or a tree swallow and they fly in a perfectly steady path, making it relatively easy to track them. It was fantastic to photograph them and I can hardly wait to get to another air show!

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