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A US Air Force fighter jet breaking the sound barrier while in flight at an air show in Nebraska.

A US Air Force fighter jet breaking the sound barrier while in flight at an air show in Nebraska.
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9 Comments | Report
Johnborys December 26, 2016
Great shot!
Aukland March 03, 2017
Wow, captured in the right moment. Beautiful photo!!
wemco2 PRO
wemco2 March 08, 2017
Just the perfect capture of the sonic boom!
Neckbone March 18, 2017
Nice capture! Good timing!
JBordons March 18, 2017
An incredible capture!
donanzinger PRO
donanzinger August 01, 2017
Timing is everything. Outstanding!
TimothyPrincehorn PRO+
TimothyPrincehorn September 14, 2017
Great capture!
jimhelmick Apr 09
Fantastic capture.
RDVPhotography PRO+
Super image, perfect timing.

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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at an air show held at Offutt Air Force Base, located in Omaha, Nebraska. I was visiting my youngest son who was stationed there at the time, but did not know that the air show was happening prior to arriving there. What a surprise, as we both love to photograph air shows!
I remember well that it was around 1:30-2:00 PM when this segment of flight demonstrations was being held. The weather was cloudy and overcast and I was worried a little about how my photo shots would come out. But one thing I learned early when taking up photography was to take lots and lots of photos and select the best shots.
With the overcast cloudy conditions I knew that I had the option of adjusting the white balance but, I left the setting on automatic so that I could focus on the artistic aspect of the shoot (distance, angles, orientation). Needless to say, I was pleased with the results of this photo.
I was using my favorite set-up on this day which consists of the Canon EOS Rebel XSi body with the Canon BG-E5 battery grip, and the Tamron Di SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Ultrasonic Silent Drive lens with hood. The camera body is my first SLR digital body and with the battery grip it fits my hand like a glove. It's true what they say when you and the camera should feel as "one". This shot as well as the remainder of the photos were taken hand held due to the flexibility and mobility that I enjoy when shooting air shows. If you desire to have a good physical workout while having fun doing what you love to do, I would highly recommend this method when shooting air shows!
All of the prior photos I had taken up to this point, static displays and aerial demonstrations, gave me the incentive to be alert, try and anticipate where an aircraft will be at a certain moment, and just let it rip in the multiple shot Al SERVO mode. With this particular jet flying at sub and supersonic speeds it was hard to determine its complete flight plan, although I had a good idea. I remember that I was looking to the left when I heard this roar coming from behind me. As I turned to my right, camera pointing to the sky in that direction, and my camera body blazing at its max 3.5 frames per second (ISO 2000), this is the result! I did not notice what I had until I had downloaded and was going through the 100 or so shots of this particular aircraft. It was a once in a lifetime shot of capturing a jet, under these weather conditions, at this angle, breaking the sound barrier! This was one heck of a lucky shot!
I did not do any post processing for this photo. Initially looking at the photo, I wanted to leave it as it was photographed, eye catching and dramatic. I wanted the viewer to see it as I saw it and imagine feeling the roar of this jet flying over ones head.
In my camera bag
I usually pack my bag with one of two bodies, My Canon EOS Rebel XSi, or Canon EOS SL1, dependent on my shooting topic for the day. I always pack my steadies, Canon EFS 15-85mm with Ultrasonic Image Stabilizer, Tamron DiII 18-270 F/3.5-6.3, and Tamron DiII SP 17-50 F2.8. For lighting I'll pack both my flashes, Canon Speedlite 270EX II and Metz 50 AF-1 digital. I like to use the Speedlite 270EX II as my primary flash because for the bounce features. Sometimes the built-in flash is limiting for me. My remaining items include B&W polarizers, extra battery(s), battery charger, Canon RS60-E3 cable remote, lens cloth, and one of 3 of my tripods, Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH, Manfrotto MKC3-H01, or Titan II monopod.
First of all, know your camera well and know your own limitations as a photographer. Believe me, both together will give you the excitement, drive, and expertise that will enable you to get the results that you want. When shooting planes in flight, make sure that you have space to move around and to be able to see the whole sky. Sometimes being on the flight line will not offer you that capability. Try to get a sense of the plane's flight path. This will give you an opportunity to determine what shots you want to make. Ensure that you use a high ISO with Al SERVO. You will be able to lock on to your target and keep it in focus. My best and foremost rule is to "let it rip" and shoot a lot of photos! You can always delete those that you don't want. And my final advice is to have fun and live in the moment. Don't worry about the technicalities.

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