Thursday, October 17, 2019

More Photos from the Airshow

I just couldn't resist sharing some additional photos from the Great Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach, CA, that took place a couple weekends ago. These were taken during the second half of the show and are some of my favorites. Enjoy!

The corkscrew!

Last shot of the day!

As we were walking back to the car after a fun day at the airshow, the golden light over the ocean caught my eye. Then I noticed the lifeguard closing up the tower for the day and taking down the flag.

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Great Pacific Airshow

A friend of ours invited us down to her place to watch the airshow this last weekend. She lives right on the water next to the Huntington Beach pier. It's like having front row seats and VIP parking... how could we say no!!?

It crossed my mind it would be a great opportunity for skywatch photography, so I took my camera and "big" lens (100-400mm telephoto). I hadn't been to an airshow in years, and this sounded like fun since it was right on the beach.
A lot of other people had the exact same idea! These folks were up on the pier trying to get the best shots possible.

But by far the most common camera at the air show was the cell phone. This couple seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.

The turnout was excellent, with open spots on the sand being at a premium.

The planes were buzzing around all over the place, and every kind of plane imaginable. Most of the planes were extremely fast, and early on I was getting frustrated because it's very hard to capture a fast plane at just the right moment in time. A lot of my early shots looked something like this:

This very short video clip will give you a sense of how quickly the jets fly overhead. Often times, you don't hear them coming. And by the time you hear them, they are already gone! And wow are they LOUD!! A highlight of the day was when everyone was watching a group of planes on the horizon when all of a sudden a fighter jet went on a strafing run directly over the crowd. No one saw it coming, and it was so loud it literally shook the ground. It scared the heck out of me, and poor little Lilly was speechless and shocked!
US Air Force F-35 Lightning II - Loud and Fast!!

The lifeguard towers were staffed, and it felt exactly like a summer day at the beach, with temperatures on the sand close to 80 degrees. The yellow sign with the black ball means no surfing. Normally, there would be people surfing on both sides of the pier, but they weren't allowing it during the air show.

Eventually I got things dialed in and started getting some decent shots. On the left, you can see spray coming off the fire boat that was on display for the show.

The largest fire boat on the West Coast is an impressive sight. It provides 41,000 gallons per minute. The reach of the water stream is 600 feet. The height of the stream is nearly 20 stories high! The view of the boat is partially blocked by water spray and smoke from planes, but fun to see!

This little stunt plane was fun to watch. In this last photo, it looks like he's "shooting the pier"!

Lucky shot!

The next six photos are in sequence:
Coming in on the right... Upside down!!

Still coming in... Upside down!

Uh oh!!!!!!!

Oh no!!!!!!!!!! From this angle, looks like a mid-air crash.

Here's a close-up... It looks like they miss each other by just inches!!

Everyone at the show breathed a sigh of relief!!

One of my favorite shots. No editing done on this image, other than a slight crop.
Absolutely amazing!!

Precision formation flying!

Some impressive skywriting!!

Oh, and Lilly (as she plugs her ears to block out the jet sounds) says "Hi"!

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Rust Never Sleeps

Even in the desert, the land of little rain and near-zero humidity, rust never sleeps. Rusty decomposition is slower here, but it still occurs.

Case in point: Joshua Tree National Park's mysterious "Car Wash". It's not on any map, and doubtful that your average park ranger is aware of it, and even more doubtful that the location would be shared if per chance they were aware. But it exists. Basically a bunch of cars that appear to have been swept into a remote wash during a flash flood. What were the cars doing in this middle-of-nowhere location? Who did they belong to? These are questions I can't answer, and I haven't been able to find anyone who can. I can tell you it's more than 10 miles to the nearest paved road. Just sand and creosote for as far as the eye can see.

I was in this area a while back, on a ridiculously hot summer night, hoping to capture some shots of the Milky Way. My MW shots were a dismal failure, but I did get some decent shots of the old rusty "Car Wash" cars just before dark. As I was editing my shots, it occurred to me that they look good in b&w, and perhaps deserve their own post. So, without further chit chat...

Hello, old friend!

Technically, photos # 8 & 9 are not in the "Car Wash", but they are in the same general area, so I included them. I'm hoping the b&w edits help convey some of the gritty and remote feeling you get when visiting this lonely and seldom seen area within Joshua Tree National Park's Pinto Basin.

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

So Long to Summer

Summer is officially over. Good riddance, I say. It's been soooooooo hot, I'm ready for cooler weather. I'm also looking forward to hiking again during the day (it's been too dang hot for day hikes in the desert). Heck, even my night hikes and attempts at Milky Way photography have been too hot! But I know someone who would strongly disagree with me!
Granddaughter Lilly would like summer to last forever. Do you remember those days? I sure do. Seems like summers were always much too short when I was Lilly's age, and I wanted nothing more than for summers to last forever. Endless summer, as the surfers say.

That's very true. I guess we shouldn't rush summer... or childhood. Hang on to 'em as long as we can.

Hope your summer was a good one, and here's to a Happy Fall!!

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