Each year, the Navy's Blue Angels fly at Seafair in Seattle. This is one of the highpoints of my year, I love to go and take pictures and watch them fly. The speed and the sound are so cool! This year, we went to Hillel and Deb's new house which has a great view of Lake Washington and we were able to watch them from their deck. It was a great vantage point.
The Blue Angels is also when I compare how my camera gear stacks up compared to previous years. It isn't hard to get pictures of them from a distance, flying in formation above the lake. What I keep trying to do is get closer and that requires a long lens and good auto focus. Last year I had my Canon G3 and it was terrible for this. Its auto focus was so slow that by the time it took the picture, the planes were long gone and I had a lot of pictures of empty gray sky.
Then I bought the Canon Digital Rebel and a 75-300 mm zoom lens. This made a lot of difference, the auto focus is much faster than the G3 is, and I also have a manual focus mode. Plus the 300mm lens should get me a lot closer and the 6.3 megapixel should let me crop and still get good detail. The results? This year's pictures are definitely the best so far, but I still had problem with auto focus. Granted, taking pictures of small distant things against a big blue sky has to be a challenge for auto focus but it seems weird that when it is near the farthest zoom already that it tries to go all the way to the opposite extreme, then go back out to infinity. This takes enough time to let the planes get away, so I needed to switch to manual focus for most of today's shooting.
Thanks to Hillel and Deb for hosting this year!!
Below are some of the pictures from today.
UPDATE: Check out the 2005 entry here
I love being able to see the helmets
I like the light on this one.
These guys are fast!
Look out Alex!