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.
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.
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.
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.