Photography From Home – Thunderbirds

I managed to get the US Air Force Thunderbirds to fly over my house on Wednesday afternoon so I could have something to shoot photos of. They were really nice about it waiting until the clouds began to break up.

They were actually flying over hospitals in the Austin area to salute hospital workers. Their flight path took them just about right over my house, which was nice, so I went out to the driveway with my 70-200mm lens to see if I could shoot a few photos of them. I didn’t know how low they would be flying.

Below is a full resolution photo. I thought I had zoomed in to 200mm, but the metadata says this was shot at 185mm. Still looks good to me. It was so sunny I could shoot at f/5.6 and ISO100 and still get 1/3200s shutter speed.

US Air Force Thunderbirds
US Air Force Thunderbirds

Before they flew over, I focused on the clouds and locked in the focus so the auto-focus wouldn’t be hunting. They actually flew in really close and I got a good look at them.

Below is a crop of a photo I took while they were banking.

US Air Force Thunderbirds
US Air Force Thunderbirds

For some reason there were a couple of solo planes chasing them. Below is one over the tree in the back yard with no crop.

US Air Force Thunderbird
US Air Force Thunderbird

I have seen them in an airshow long ago on a cloudy day and they flew right off the ground. They were loud as hell and you didn’t really hear them until they were almost right above you. These guys were loud, but much farther off the ground and I had no trouble seeing them on the horizon.

That was my fun for a Wednesday afternoon.

15 thoughts on “Photography From Home – Thunderbirds

  1. What a great photo op. It must have been fun getting those pics.
    I’ve been kind of worried that these flyovers of hospitals might result in a plane crashing into a hospital. That would not be the best way to salute our medical workers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I see I missed your post this morning too. Thats what happens when sleeps all morning. LOL!

    Great shots! I thought they were doing a salute to you at first. ๐Ÿ™‚ My brother in law loves airplanes! He wanted to be a pilot but didn’t have good enough eyesight , so he flies model airplanes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am just happy to have something to post about.

      I made reservations for the afternoon at a state park and took the kids out to go jump in the river and have a picnic. There was hardly anyone there as they limit the admission and the weather was perfect. I didnโ€™t bring a camera.


        1. No pies. They did make me stop at Sonic for ice cream though.

          The river was nice and full and calm. I have blogged about Colorado Bend State Park several times. My daughter first thought I meant Big Bend which is 8 hour drive away. Fun day.


          1. They “made you stop”? They overpowered you? Or perhaps they have Dad wrapped around their fingers! ๐Ÿ™‚

            Sounds like a fun day, a nice surprise and probably very glad that they didn’t have to ride in the car for 8 hours!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. The Canadian Snow Birds were doing similar flyovers of many cities in Canada, which I was able to witness, when they flew over Regina. Unfortunately, at one of the last locations in British Columbia, problems during one plane’s takeoff resulted in the death of one, and serious injury to another. It was a sad way for the flyovers, meant to boost morale, to end.

    Liked by 1 person

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