Monday, July 19, 2010

Trying something new

I woke up extra early Sunday morning for a chance to try something totally new.  Air-to-air photography.

Barry Hammarback pilots his WWII Navy SNJ trainer over Lakeville.  Cameraship flown by Scott Romuld.

At Fleming Field in South St. Paul I met up with Scott Romuld, who would be my cameraship pilot in his WWII SNJ trainer for the hop over to to Flying Cloud airport in Eden Prairie (for the 2010 Air Expo.  After takeoff we were joined by Barry Hammarback who joined up off our wing in another SNJ (Scott and Barry's aircraft were built in 1943 and are only 13 serial numbers apart).  Scott and Barry fly with T-6 Thunder, a Twin Cities-based formation flying team that makes frequent appearances for parades, holidays, sporting events, and special occasions.

An SNJ over Valleyfair

Air-to-air photography brings a whole set of new challenges due to the cramped confines of a cockpit, the slipstream that is liable to steal your headset or camera if you stick it out too far, and the ever present vibration from the 500-hp Pratt & Whitney radial engine mounted up front.  Despite all these factors, and the grey, overcast weather, I got some great shots!  I owe a huge thank you to Scott and Barry for taking me up, I truly enjoyed the experience!  Definitely check back for some more air-to-air work in the future, or to see what a true master of the art can do, check out Max Haynes stuff at Max Air2Air!

Minnesota is awful beautiful from the air in July!
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

I watched the Minneapolis fireworks from the Stone Arch Bridge and hauled along the camera and tripod to see what I could get.

I am pretty happy with my results, but I now have an AWESOME idea for a shot, one that I will have to try and get during the Aquatennial fireworks later this month.  Also later this month, I'll be photographing the Mississippi River Challenge, a two-day, fund-raising canoe trip from Coon Rapids Dam down to Cottage Grove. Should get some great images, so keep your eyes open for those!
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Great Minnesota Air Show

This weekend was the first ever Great Minnesota Air Show in Saint Cloud. I was there with the CAF MN Wing the entire weekend, babysitting the B-25 and Red Tail Mustang, and photographing the show.

Despite heavy fog and a low ceiling Saturday morning, both days had excellent flying weather, and all the acts were great!

Miss Mitchell on the ramp at sunrise

The high humidity levels saturday meant lots of cool vapor shots with the F-22 and Blue Angels, including the one below shot during the sneak pass.

Pirated Skies put on an excellent show!

Here is something you don't see every day, a NASA F/A-18 chase plane

The B-25 was a huge hit, both in the air and on static display.

The Red Tail put on a great show as well.  It's always a treat to see a warbird like this fly.

The Blue Angels were as good as I've ever seen them.

The local guys from T-6 Thunder made an appearance Sunday

One of the highlights of the show for me was the F-22 Raptor, both it's flight demo and our up close tour courtesy of team superintendent Master Sergeant Greg Gappert.

This is the lovely Denise, who took excellent care of us all weekend, was rewarded with a flight in the Red Tail! Look at the smile on her face!

Most of the CAF guys just before packing up and heading home. From left to right, Dave, Roger, Janaka, me, Terry, Todd, Don, and Donnie in front

All in all the show was a great success!  I owe a huge thanks to all the organizers, the CAF MN Wing, and the F-22 Raptor Demo team for making it that way.  It definitely satisfied my need for speed, at least until the Duluth show in July!
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