Davis Montham Air Show - April 14 2012, Tucson, Arizona


A few favorite pictures taken during the 2012 Air Show at Davis Montham AFB. For this visit I used a Nikon 500mm f4 zoom lens. The airshow does not allow tripods (unless you are part of the press), so all these shots were hand held. This particular lens features vibration reduction and a large aperture which allowed me to shoot with high shutter speeds, giving sharp zoomed images despite the lack of camera support. The fast focus motor and exceptional optics behind Nikon's 500mm prime lens didn't hurt either!


Stealth bomber fly by.


Stealth Bomber fly by.


B1 Bomber fly by

B1 fly by

B1 with afterburners lit

A crop of the afterburners in action


One of many aerial performers



Pilot taxiing on a T33 trainer jet



Thunderbirds about to begin their airshow.


One of many Thunderbird shots. Having a fixed 500mm lens meant that I couldn't
always fully frame the airplanes when they were 'too close'.

Thunderbird in flight.


Thunderbird opposing pass. To take this shot, I panned on the top aircraft and as the two
approached each other at over 1,000MPH, fired the camera as quickly as it would go
hoping that one of the images would capture both airplanes. This happened so fast
that I didn't really see this in the viewfinder.


Thunderbird precision flying.


Another high speed opposing pass. I was fortunate to catch two of them during this show.
I again panned on the left aircraft, causing the right one to blur slightly, despite shooting at 1/4000 Second.

Close up, Thunderbird.

Showing the reach of a 500mm lens, the heads up display can be seen in front of the pilot.


Thunderbirds, formation flying.


A full pixel crop of the image shows the pilot at bottom focusing on the upper airplane's wing.


Formation flying.


The Thunderbirds about to fly off in various directions.

A close up of a Thunderbird pulling a hard turn. Is it perception or are the wings flexing?

Nikon's 9lb 500mm f4 lens will give a great arm and shoulder work out in settings where tripods aren't welcome!



© 2012 John Miranda