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"!

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!
Thanks for stopping by!!

49 comments:

  1. Amazing shots! The only airshow I've been to was the Blue Angels and that was many years ago when my brother was in the Marines.

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  2. Beautiful! I enjoy a good airshow.

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  3. Air shows are fantastic and your shots are amazing!

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  4. I guess this all proves that it's good to have friends with well located real estate! Hi to Lilly. Hugs from Canada.

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  5. Awesome, that must have been great to watch but some of the stunts look like they are done by our Red arrows if that was the case you were really treated to the best

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  6. You captured great images! Well done. You brought me there!

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  7. Formation flying is always spectacular, but I particularly like the photo of the fireboat. I'm thinking someone got soaked. :-)

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  8. Wow, what a show. We used to live in Oklahoma City just west of the airport and during their annal show, the staging areas for the planes was right over our area of town. So we could see the planes just turning circles in the sky before they would zoom off and perform over the airport.

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  9. Stunning, to see these planes. It has been some time I saw an air show in southern CA - it was not at the beach. Your images are beautiful, especially the latter ones.Also love the boat spraying water. never have seen this one! Thank you Peter for entertaining us:)
    About McKenzie, my daughter insists that she was just "making faces!" Every time I fall into her "traps" - she's a character, looking like her dad, who admitted to me that spankings were the order of the day for some years, lol.

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  10. Of course there was no surfing. Did you see how many boats were on the water? It's like a little armada. (My father lives close by, so from his house we caught planes overhead as they circled around.)

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  11. You Are So Right, Absolutely Amazing - I Am Fortunate Enough To Live Near A Military Refueling Station - Always Amazed When Squadrons Fly Over - But Nothing Matches The Raw Power Of An Air Show - Thanx For Sharing

    Cheers

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  12. What a show and amazing set of photos. Speechless.

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  13. Oh wow this is amazing photography, and you have some lines in here that would be perfect for lines & squares too!

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  14. Wow - superb shots and impressive air show!

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  15. Impressive show and photos! I don't try to understand how the pilotes dare to fly like that. I had not liked it at all :)

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  16. Jet fighters, biplanes, and a giant fireboat! What more could you want!

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  17. Lucky for you that you had your tele at hand. Not something for a mobile and stunning photo's as result.

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  18. Amazing aerobatics beautifully captured!

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  19. lots of nice scenes...but that water boat still gets me :)

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  20. wow! what an experience for you both and Lily ( so pretty) and awesome photography of the magnificent air show! Thanks ^_^

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  21. Wow! That’s a dreamlike air show and the spray from fire boat is terrific and the smoky effects are remarkable to watch with wonder… it's really scary to even read how the flight pass over the crowd, and it reminds me the air show I watched years ago at the Marina beach (the second longest beach in world) in Chennai. Lilly is cute in gesture :)

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  22. Wow! Your were really "sky watching". Every shot excellent----in my mind anyway. Thanks for the air show
    MB

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  23. Hey Lilly! What a great time that must have been! Thanks for taking us along. :)

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  24. Oh wow! You really did get your eye in SPP, fantastic shots of the formation flying! Love the long pier too. Lilly looks like she enjoyed it all so much ✨

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  25. Very beautiful and good
    I liked the fire boat

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  26. What a fantastic show it must have been! Your shots tell. My favourite is the heart and arrow. But also the two planes almost touching each other... must have been breathtaking!

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  27. Impressive shots! Wow! I know what you mean about the sound following long after the plane has made an appearance. It’s an odd sensation. What a beautiful day!

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  28. Wow,what amazing shots, once you got the hang of things! That is the best air show I’ve ever seen. I especially like the shot of the fire boat in action.

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  29. Amazing! Great photos!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Though how you can find something to do more wonderful than that air show, I don't know!

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  30. I grew up as an Air Force brat, so air shows were a favorite of mine, growing up. I hope Lilly enjoyed it!

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  31. Wow, these are cool photos of the air show. I like the fire boat display too. Great post. Happy weekend!

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  32. I'm sure it was a fabulous thing to watch these acrobats!! Thanks for sharing your images, I'd love to have been there :)

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  33. Hi! The airshow looks very exciting. Your photos are very awesome. I feel as if I could hear the loud sound of the airplanes. Thanks for sharing.

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  34. Wow, totally amazing. Great shots there, thanks for sharing.

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  35. Great photos! I haven't been to an air show since I was a little kid. One day I will make it over to Mississippi to see the Blue Angels.

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  36. I love all the trails in the photos and especially love the shot of the fire boat!

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  37. Oh my goodness you got some amazing pictures. The one with the braided contrail and the ones that look like fountains are beautiful. And the near miss sequence (which I’m sure was carefully planned) had me holding my breath. Fantastic series, but I’m with Miss Lily on the noise.

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  38. Wow, fantastic shots. And, what a wonderful place for an air show.

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  39. So glad you got "dialed in". A fabulous series of shots, especially the two planes passing each other, the "heart" and the formation flying. I have attended many airshows, but never one from a beach. I am sure that had a very special vibe.

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  40. Your photos are amazing! Great job capturing all the fabulous stunts of the air show---the pilots are so skilled and brave! Miss Lily had the right idea to protect her ears

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  41. Quite impressive! I'd probably get sick ;-))

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