I try to get to a few air shows each year. It takes a lot to get the right opportunities...a day, when I can go, with decent weather, with enough cloud to look dramatic, nice light too and finally a spectator area where you don't shoot into the sun!
I particularly love Old Warden, where The Shuttleworth Collection is housed, as this is a really intimate venue, with a display line close to the spectators, manageable numbers of spectators and is a comfortable size venue. You shoot with the sun to your side or back and they even do special evening air shows, where the light is potentially great. As the machines fly so low and close you can often get images which appear as if they were taken from another aircraft rather than terra firma.
We are lucky enough to have the Bournemouth Air Festival and it is certainly a dramatic location with a very comprehensive flying program. Lighting isn't always easy here because
you face due south and it can be hazy or harsh.
I was shooting with a Nikon 200-400mm f4 VR, which lens gives great quality wide open and is just about hand-holdable, if you fancy a workout!
As of 2016 I have introduced the Fuji X-system to my air show photography now that the 100-400 zoom lens is in my bag.
With the the X-T1 generation of cameras, tracking focus is more challenging than with the DSLR combo, but the lens is so easy to carry and handle and IQ is just great when focus is nailed accurately. Tracking certainly struggles more with the high performance jets but with most subjects I am getting a decent keeper rate.
Now I have an X-T2 the focus issues are fortunately a thing of the past as it is significantly more capable.
Keywords:Aeroplane, Air, Aircraft, Aviation, Show
© ATRAX PHOTO by Clifton Beard