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First time shooting Air Show...Blue Angels

Ever since my daughter saw her first air show 7 years ago, she became instantly hooked. After seeing my first air show on Saturday @ Jacksonville Beach, I know understand why. Wow, simply AMAZING!!  The thunderous sounds from the engines and the perfectly timed maneuvers are just incredible.

Looking forward to next June to shoot again.

Nikon D4, 400 2.8 on Really Right Stuff Monopod. Edited in Lightroom



  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Verrry nice shots mate. Top shelf.  :)
  • beautiful. it is like you were also in the air to get the angles you shot. good work.

  • Really great shots, Julie. What was your typical shutter speed? Did you use any filters on the lens? The colors are excellent, so I wonder how much pop you had to add with LR?

    Thanks - Dave
  • julieojulieo Member
    edited October 2015
    Thanks all,
    I tried to keep the shutter speed at 2,000 to 2,500 around 7.1 by adjusting my ISO ( which usually stayed @ 160.
    I shoot raw plus Large fine JPEG. The raws were obviously dull in color so I added a preset to those. For the JPEG's, I set the in camera color space to vivid but decreased the saturation by -1.

    All shots except the flag drop were shot ground level on the beach. 

    Advil, Motrin and wine were required for my aching neck after the event

    I love venturing out of your comfort zone and shoot something different. I feel as a photographer, there are endless possibilities for subject matter. Im now looking for a Rugby game to shoot next!


  • Julie - I have a question about something you wrote: "The RAWs were obviously dull in color ..." I have had a camera capable of shooting RAW for only about a year, so I would like to hear a bit more about that statement for my own knowledge.

  • TrevTrev Moderator


    Here is something you might like to read regarding Nikon Camera Profiles which I posted a while back and use.


    Start at top, you might like to try that with your Nikon's Raw files.

    I take it that you know the only thing a Raw file 'reads' in camera is WB and Exposure, any other settings like Camera Vivid, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness only apply to jpegs and not the Raw files themselves.


  • Dave,
    I almost always shoot on raw, cause I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to images. With RAW, I can always create an import preset in Lightroom. Usually that preset ( depending on what subject/event you are shooting) will be about 25 clarity, 25 vibrance, about -15 black point , +20 on shadows and sharpening because Raw files are going to need it! I do a lot of sports under the stadium lights and I know that the raw files will give me more latitude in Lightroom. I'll shoot jpeg if its just some candid stuff or images I don't need to fuss over.

    I hope this is ok to post....its a brief guideline on the difference between jpeg and Raw

    JPEG – JPEG files are processed right within the camera. How exactly they are processed varies from model to model. While color temperature and exposure are set based on your camera settings when the image is shot, the camera will also process the image to add blacks, contrast, brightness, noise reduction, sharpening (which you can see in the example above) and then render the file to a compressed JPEG. These files are finished and can be viewed and printed immediately after shot.

    RAW – RAW files are uncompressed and unprocessed snapshots of all of the detail available to the camera sensor. Because RAW files are unprocessed, they come out looking flat and dark. RAW images need to be viewed and processed using your camera’s software or in more robust commonly used software like Adobe PhotoshopLightroom, Aperture, etc prior to being ready for display or print.
  • Hi, Julie - thanks. I always shoot RAW, and use LR and, with the exception of the sharpening, I give them just about what you give them for clarity and vibrance. But I have to get a little more in-depth about sharpening.

    After reading yours and Trev's posts, I guess I have to get over the fact that if I shoot RAW, I will have to depend more on "digitally developing" my photos, and really can't get them 100% right in camera. I will however still go after that. I'm fairly new to "real" DSLRs, and want to be a photographer, not a software expert, you know? Maybe that's pie-in-the-sky.

  • McGregNiMcGregNi Member
    edited October 2015
    A great set of airshow pictures, thanks for showing! You've got a commendable control of the contrast there, which is often an issue (eg shadow undersides of the planes with an over bright whiteout sky) .... None of that here, you must have shot from favourable angles. Lovely blues as well.....

    Regarding processing, you can't avoid it. Your choice, but you either do it on a powerful computer with powerful software, or you do it on the tiny computer brain in your camera. There's a place for both I think, so long as we accept that both approaches class as " image editing " and tailor the choice to the final output we are needing.

    I myself regard camera JPEGs as a very efficient form of batch processing in situations where there's loads of shots to take in very similar consistent lighting conditions.
  • edited October 2015
    Fantastic set! I'd be VERY happy with that outcome. Congrats...

    What lens did you use? 
  • Shot these with my 400 2.8 lens @ about 5.6 to 7.1
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