Offutt Air Force Base Air Show 2010

The annual Offutt Airshow this year was on August 28th and 29th.  I went on the 29th with @Rossnelson and had a great time.  Security was really tight, we had to go through metal detectors and then most people were wanded after, they did not give second chances of removing more metal to go through again.  They were also  not allowing bags in so I had to carry my camera around my neck the entire day and only bring one lens.  I brought the 70-200 and was glad I did.  One last thing about the security was that Ross was wearing a t-shirt from the band Bad Religion and he got a talking to going through security about it.  The guard thought he might be trying to make a political statement and said he may have to turn it inside out if asked to do so. Luckily other service men knew of the band and let us through.  Security was nearly as tight as an airport.  I guess this was because we were on an active air force base.

The day was long and hot, people took cover as the day went on under the wings of aircraft.  I loved seeing people sitting in lawn chairs under the huge wings of a B-52 or under the fuselage of a B1.  We walked around and saw all the static planes which were too many to list.  We then watched the aerial show which was good.  My favorite by far was the F-22 Raptor. It was such an impressive fighter plane. The thrust vectoring really made it very maneuverability and agile.  It also was so stable at any speed it seemed.

This was the first time shooting anything similar to sports on with my Canon 7D.  I used Al Servo and a combination of Auto focus Expansion when on the center point. It put emphasis on the center point (or where ever you wanted it) but also included one above, below, left and right.  It worked well. for slower moving planes.  For the really fast ones I used the new zonal function AF selection and choose the center group. This grabbed the center 11 points and used them. As long as you kept the points on the object and the AF drive engaged (I did this manually with the AF button) it worked well.  I was amazed at how well it would track planes coming at you quickly or going away from you.  The hardest part was panning quick enough to keep it in frame.  For sports this camera is a huge step up from my old Canon 20D.

Here are a few photos from the day more can be seen at Flickr in this set here.

More can be seen at Flickr in this set here.

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