The last two weekends I went to airshows. First I went to the Jesse James Outlaw airshow, which was fun and a bit crazy. Last weekend I went to the Sound of Speed airshow. Which again was fun. I’m not going to talk about what went well during the airshow, but what I should have done better and what challenges I had with my gear.
Let me first start off by saying I’m not a morning person. I do not like getting up early, nor do I enjoy waking up right when my alarm goes off. That being said, as a hobby photographer and someone who goes to airshows, mornings work out well. Mornings produce incredible light, and crowds aren’t usually big at that point. If you want to photograph airshows, and specifically the statics, go early. You’ll reward yourself.
That being said, both airshows were 2 days. The Jesse James Outlaw airshow I was there right when gates opened, even though I wasn’t there exactly when I wanted to be. So that worked out. The second day of the airshow, I got there with plenty of time, but do feel like I missed a bit of light. The first day of the Sound of Speed airshow we were late. They had moved up the starting time about an hour, and with traffic, I missed a lot of incredible shots. On Sunday I made a point of getting there early, and it rewarded me. I was able to see a de Havilland Vampire jet that had just arrived, as well as talk to the people on site. The other suggestion is to go both days, as things change day to day.
Now onto the gear troubles. I shoot on a Canon 6d with either my 24-105mm or 100-400mm lens. My camera is not designed for aviation photography, as I run out of buffer a lot, even with the fastest cards. I only use the center autofocus point, since I want to control what the lens focuses on. This might be short sited on my part. I shoot most times thousands of photos and have to throw many out because they are out of focus.
I have found out recently that after 64 gb written, my 6d slows down. Canon recommends not going over a 64 gb card, so that Lexar 128gb card I found on a good deal is not recommended for my camera. That means more changing cards as action goes by. Don’t get me wrong, I love my camera. I was able to shoot images I never would have been able to before, specifically low light. I love the battery life, and the lightness of it. I love that it’s full frame and small. That being said, I need to find something that can improve my aviation photography.
There are mistakes you make, but learning from them is the best option. I love aviation photography and will continue to do it. Until I have the cash ready, I’ll keep shooting using my 6d.
I was fortunate enough to see the B-29 Doc’s first flight since it was restored. Doc’s last flight was in 1956 and came to Wichita in 2000. I was in highschool at that time. I remember it being such a big deal when Doc was delivered to Mcconnell. Seeing Doc fly has made an impression on me that I will not likely forget. For one thing, Doc means a whole heck of a lot to a lot of people. It’s also a reminder that my photos are not for me, but the aviation community as a whole. I have been so fortunate meeting people, and strive to continually learn, which it was a learning session for me as well.
After seeing Doc fly we went to Dallas. Today we went through the Presidential Library of George W. Bush. He is one man I do look up to. Not because I agree with everything he’s done, but the down to Earth he portrays to be, and that he tried to do the best for the country. I’m not getting into politics here, but if I could meet the men I admire, he would be one of them.
As I have been doing photography, and even the trip to the Library has taught me, I can continue to learn and improve, but I was created the way I am. I am designed a specific way, and that is OK. Photography is an outlet for me, something I enjoy, and allows me to chase my dreams. I have no idea what the future holds, but I have many dreams. I don’t need to be the most outgoing of people, nor do I need to be the best at any one thing. Photography is about living the dream, and purusing it through thick and thin. For me, it resembles my life in persevering. I am exciting for what the future holds, and can’t wait to see it.
So, it is Memorial Day weekend. I am reminded and thankful for all those who have served. Without those who served I could not live the life of Freedom, nor having a safe environment to live in.
Retailers want you to believe that Memorial Day is a long weekend to get projects around your house done or cook up some burgers on the back patio. It is a day where pools open, and the unofficial start of summer. There is nothing wrong with that, but we forget that it’s about people.
Memorial Day is certainly about those people that serve in our military every day and those that once served. It is also about family and spending time with them. Even through thick and thin, and even when plans change suddenly, our families stick with us. Many times I’m amazed that they do.
I have to say thanks to my wife Susan for sticking with me, even during crazy times, and to all of my family. I don’t think I could survive this life without you all.
Airshow Season has officially started. We first went down to the Sunflower Balloon fest in Anthony, KS. It's always a good time, and a fun small townactivity. One that that really impressed me was the HUGE kites! These were massive! One thing I really enjoyed was the B-52 simulator, no photos of that.
After we left there we went to St. Louis where we went into the Arch, City Museum, and the Magic House. We finished it all off going to the St. Louis STEM airshow presented by Boeing. That was amazing! We saw the Canadian Snowbirds, F/A-18 demo team, F-22 demo team, Blue Angles, B-25, Corsair, and P-51 among others. On the ramp there was an F-4, a very strange looking Boeing 757 used to test F-22 electronics, as well as a Cobra and Huey! It was a packed week.
Coming up next will be the Salute to Veterans airshow in Columbia, MO. Shortly after that my wife and I will head to Vegas for a work trip (non-photography related). We should be home for a while after that.
I will say my photography has come a long way, and I'm amazed just how better I have gotten. If you are interested in any of my photography please reach out to me at [email protected].
I’ve been thinking I need to post this for a while. Now that we are upon Christmas, retailers are bombarding us with stuff to buy. They want you to open a credit card to get whatever back, buy with points, and buy more stuff than you can afford. On top of all that, non-profits are trying to rack in the last minute giving, and trying to get your money over to them. Don’t get me wrong, some material things are not bad. Giving is not bad. You have to be intentional with your money. I struggle with this as well.
During this Christmas season, set a budget, follow it, and you will be so much more grateful come next year. Imagine not having to pay credit cards next year? Imagine everything you buy is paid for! Retailers and credit card companies want you to buy a lot. Credit card companies also realize that most people don’t pay their balance in full, or doing a 0% for x amount of months deal, means you have to pay on time every month. If you miss one, you start earning interest, and most likely all the interest you avoided will be added to. Just be intentional with your money.
Christmas is a great way to give back. Check your budget and see if you can give a little bit extra as a tip, spend time helping families, or even give a large gift. Make sure it’s in your budget. My family and I have started giving 1 large tip a week. We never know how it will impact someone, but God has blessed us, and we feel we must bless others.
This brings me to my next subject. I know sometimes the Church hurts people, either by exposing their sin, not following their beliefs, or just being imperfect people. Jesus came to forgive us of our sins. He also said to love one another. I realize we aren’t going to agree with everything, but I do want to apologize for the Church not being a safe place for you, if you have been hurt by the Church, and that Jesus loves you. The real reason for Christmas to celebrate the life of Christ!
Have a Merry Christmas!
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