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Sea & Sky

Biennially, the beaches host the Sea and Sky Spectacular, featuring the Blue Angels. It’s fun to shoot, and to try out new gear. It’s not often I get to shoot airplanes under these conditions.

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. |

Speaking of conditions, there were a couple of challenges (and opportunities).

I shot during the second day of the show (Sunday). Low ceiling, grey skies and an atmospheric inversion that kept smoke trails down low. The result was very low contrast conditions, making focusing a challenge, coupled with not-very-interesting backgrounds for the planes. On the plus side, I had the opportunity of shooting in a high-rise building on the beach, including a 12 story rooftop view of the Angels. Sweet, as my friend Charles would say.

I’ve shot before from my home location of Atlantic Beach, which offers a different perspective (it’s miles away, but you can get images of complete multi-plane formations). This time it was more about eye level perspective. I used the crop frame mode of my camera to increase the apparent range of my telephoto zoom (I don’t use very long telephotos in my work).

I also made a slide show of some of the images to share, below. Enjoy.



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