Another kind of bird

Okay, so this is another kind of bird.  The fact of the matter is that I was going through some old photo files and I came across these images.  I decided to talk about them because I got an e-mail from my niece in Michigan.  She had just got a new camera.  One of those types where there is no electronic view-finder.  You have to hold the camera out in front of you  look at the image on the back of the camera to compose the shot.

U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds

So she was at an air show in Traverse City, Michigan, featuring the U. S. Navy Blue Angels.  In trying to photograph them, she had to hold the camera in front of her and try to keep the fast-flying jet aircraft in that little screen.  It was very difficult for her. I think all cameras should have that little viewfinder that you can put to your eye.  You can hold the camera much steadier, too.

U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds

Photographing these high speed jets really isn’t that difficult.  Once you can get the aircraft in the viewfinder, just pan while following the jet, holding down your shutter button while you do so.  You don’t even need a fast shutter speed.  I think I shot these at about 1/200 of a second or even slower.  The aircraft are usually pretty far off and appear not to be going too fast.  That is, until they are right on top of you.  🙂

U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds

The above photos were all shot on my digital Canon SLR.  I actually was in my back yard about three miles from the airport where the show was going on.  I attached my 500mm lens along with a 1.5 teleconverter.  The whole unit was then on my tripod, of course.

The photo below was one that I shot on film about 12 years ago.  I was using an old Pentax with no auto-focus.  I was at the airport and I was hand-holding the camera.  The lens I was using was a 300mm tele-photo.  I remember that I shot seven rolls of 36 exposure film.  The developing cost me a fortune.  I am so thankful for the digital age.

U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds

Speaking of panning to photograph moving objects brings to mind what a friend of mine said.  She was marveling how she liked my photos of large hawks in flight.  Since those birds are larger and there air speed is somewhat slower than the sparrows I can use the same technique that I did getting my aircraft images.  However, you can see from my photo gallery, that I have not been successful at getting images of the tiny birds flying.  I will keep practicing. 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed this narrative and the photos.  Just click on any image to see an enlargement.  Also, check out my links at top of the page to see more of my photgraphs.

Happy Birding!

4 thoughts on “Another kind of bird

    • Thanks for the compliments. I enjoy shooting air shows, especially if the Thunderbirds or the Navy Blue Angels are performing. I once watched the T-birds in Istanbul, Turkey, back in 1959. I was in the Air Force stationed nearby. I was sitting on the patio of the Istanbul Hilton and they came roaring in about 50 feet above the roof. Wow, what a rush that was. The Navy Sixth Fleet was in the harbor and the entire show was quite a sight.

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