Sunday, October 10, 2010

San Francisco Fleet Week 2010 - The Blue Angels Fly Above The Bay

Every year they have Fleet Week in San Francisco and the big draw of Saturday and Sunday is the grand finale with the Blue Angels. Yesterday, I made the trek up to the city with my kids (since my wife is out of town) and we watched the show once again. The weather was perfect and the show was great as always.

Before the arrival of the Blue Angels, they had a bunch of other performances, and this year, unlike the previous years, they had a low flight of a United 747 which was pretty cool. With the close proximity of the plane, it was easy enough to zoom in and get a full shot of the plane (which I did as well), but my goal was to get a picture of the plane low to the ground and this one basically met that criteria. If people did not know the story of this image, they would probably assume that the plane was "Photoshopped" into the Alcatraz image.

 And then it was time for a couple of biplanes to come in and entertain the crowd.

But, of course, the big draw to the show is the Blue Angels and they did not disappoint. Here are the six planes coming in over the Golden Gate Bridge. (For those photographers out there - it is always great to get tight pictures of the planes, but you need to tell the story and make sure to show the location of the action. Since the Golden Gate Bridge is iconic in SF, this was a perfect location for that shot.)

And here is one of those tight shots of the tight formation. This image was shot at 21MP and when I zoom into the image, I can see each pilot and even read the pilot's names under the canopy of each plane. (See below)

I love the symmetry of this shot. These pilot's are absolutely fearless and perfectly accurate in their precision.
This image shows you how low these guys are flying over the Bay. They have to make a "lane" in between all the boats to give them room for these types of maneuvers.

This is one of my favorite shots from the day because it shows the water vapor surrounding the wings of the #6 jet. I did not see this during the show. I only saw this when I was reviewing the images and was excited to have captured this at 400mm (with some cropping and zooming on the computer) for everyone to see.

And then, 45 minutes later, the Blue Angels made their exit with a tight formation right across the San Francisco Bay...

....and they headed back to the airport to rest up for yet another performance on Sunday.

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