Monday, October 18, 2010

Wings Over Atlanta | davem photography

This is the first time I've been to the Wings Over Atlanta Air Show. I've always wanted to go, but have always missed it. When I found out the date for this year, I made a point to put it on my calendar.
I've always wanted to see the famous U.S. Blue Angels perform. I got lucky and got a spot right in front of their staging area. I created this panoramic above by stiching 6 images in Photoshop.

Details and lots of images from the show after the jump.

When I say I got lucky, I mean it. Gates open at 8:30 am and close at 1:00 pm, however the show continues until 5:30. I didn't realize that some people arrive as early as 5:30 in the morning and camp out while waiting for buses to transport them onto the base. I arrived just before noon. I got lucky and found a small park that still had parking available and within walking distance (.5 mile) to the main gate. Once in I was able to wander around and take some shots from behind the crowd. To get close to the runway, you've got to get there early. Individuals that got there early, brought chairs and staked a spot all day and were very protective of their view if you stood in front of them. I was able to find the spot in front of the Blue Angels, but I had to wait a while until people moved out. So if you're patient, you can move up, but you need to be courteous and respectful of others.

Lots of great images, so I need to narrow down to the best for the blog. I will create a video slideshow later and show more.
Viper F-16
Sean D Tucker - Oracle Stunt Plane
One of the things that made the show great was the ability for the pilots to talk to the crowd while in the air. Sean D Tucker, flying the Oracle plane was having a great time as he explained what stunt he was about to do and then hearing his excitement as he performed the stunt. Kept us all entertained. The sky was his playground.
Kent Pietsch - Jelly Belly
Kent Pietsch - Jelly Belly
Red Eagle Air Sports
The Canadian Snowbirds were really impressive. Their show was just a good as the Blue Angels. Their proximity and precision flying is amazing.
It was difficult to follow the planes as they flew past the sun. There were times I couldn't even see them. I don't even know how they could be flying straight into the sun and still pilot a plane. At first I thought the lens flares would make for some bad images, But I actually like how they turned out.

This is "Fat Albert", a C-130 transport for the Blue Angels. As large as this plane is, it's pretty maneuverable in the hands of an experienced pilot.
"Fat Albert" C-130
"Fat Albert" C-130
I grabbed this shot as one of the flight crew members walked by. From the patch on his left, he's a flight mechanic.
The entire Blue Angels unit moves in synchronized precision in the air and on the ground.
Being this close and hearing the engines fire up, is an incredible experience. I was wearing earplugs which made the day more enjoyable.
Here are a couple from the planes on display.

This is a C-5 transport and it was huge. The way it was setup, you could drive through it as if were a tunnel. You could easily park 3 vehicles side by side.
Had a great time and shot almost 1,000 images. If you have a long lens, it's almost impossible to grab a great shot.  I'll post a slideshow in a couple days.

If you're looking for a portrait photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio.

No comments: