Steven Brokaw Photography

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A Thunderbird F-16 flying overhead
Just for fun I went to the Indianapolis Airshow 2012 at the Indianapolis Regional Airport.  I knew it was going to be extremely hot and sunny, but I figured there would also be aircraft, people, activity, noise, etc.  You got it - a photo rich environment.

I took a fairly simple kit simply because I didn't want to lug a big camera bag around in the hot weather.  I took my Nikon D300s, my AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mmf/3.5-5.6G ED VR II, AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF- ED & a Tokina AT-X 107 AF DX Fisheye – 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5.  As you can tell, I wanted to go long and wide.  Also, just for giggles I brought a Chinon Flash II 35mm film camera recently rescued from a Goodwill Outlet for, wait for it .... 50 cents!!

The Old and the New

Thunderbirds Flyby
Because the conditions were incredibly sunny, shutter speed was NOT a problem.  I simply set my ISO to the lowest setting, 200, and aperture to f/8 or higher to get maximum DOF.  Only a few times did I open up my aperture to get a shallower DOF.  When I did I decreased Exposure Compensation to avoid overexposure.

Watching the action on the ground and in the sky
I basically walked around taking pictures of anything I thought was interesting.  Lots of people, lots of aircraft on the ground, aircraft in the air for the airshow, and of course the Thunderbirds.  I took mainly "snapshots" since I wanted to capture the event versus getting the best technically correct image. 

Ended up with a good mix and overall had fun. 

After action report:

  • Take a towel or a rag (which I did).  When it's toasty outside you want to make sure you don't sweat on your camera, especially when changing the lens. 
  • Minimize your kit when you do an event like this.  I really could have just gone with the 18-200mm, since this is a good "walking-around" lense, and that's basically all I was doing.
  • Take care changing your lens.  It was extremely dusty in parts of the location.  Need to minimize the dust that can get on your sensor.
  • Don't be afraid to take photos of the people watching the show.  Got some good images of people looking at the aircraft in the sky.
  • Have fun with the camera.  Sometimes I need to remember it's sometimes just fun to shoot pictures.


First Friday M10 Studio Showing - "Nighttime is the Right Time"