On a recent stay in Fort Lauderdale we decided to go to the beach on a pleasant Saturday morning. As we were driving my wife spotted a vapor trail in the sky and we discovered the 2017 Fort Lauderdale Sea and Sky Show. There were thousands of boats out on the water watching the show, and we saw some of the planes in the sky. The show went on for two days so we bought tickets for the next day’s show, and I brought my camera this time. All images shot on Nikon D500 with Nikkor 300mm f4 lens.
The D500 did not disappoint. Shooting at 10 frames per second in RAW format gave maximum flexibility to capture planes in flight. I never had a problem with the buffer filling up on the d500. The only major issue I had to deal with (besides me being way too slow to capture an F16 at a little under Mach 1) was I shot over 3,400 images! This meant that the most time-consuming problem in Lightroom was choosing a final set of images to edit. But that is a nice problem to have.
The 300mm f4 is simply a joy to work with. It is fast and very sharp. The Vibration Reduction is superb. It is about the size of my Nikkor 24-70 and weighs less. Combined with the D500’s APS-C sensor crop factor of 1.5, I was actually shooting at 450mm. I carry a 1.5 teleconverter, but often find that it gets me too close with this lens and camera combo.
These first set of images are from the acrobatic planes and pilots. What would an air show be without acrobats? This set incli=udes aplane is flown by Mike Wiskus sponsored by Lucas Oil, Sean Tucker piloting a plane sponsored by Oracle, and an 8K Cab Super Decathalon, piloted by John Black out of Florida.
Images from these slideshows are available for purchase at: http://galleries.deanallman.com/p165405038
These next images showcase the military and Coast Guard planes and pilots that participated in the show. We had an Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet, an Air Force f16, a Heritage flight with the f16 and a Mustang used in World War Two, Paracomandos from the US Special Operations Command, and a sea rescue demonstration put on by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The f16 was probably the most challenging. My equipment did great. But photographing an f16 at close to Mach 1 was impossible. At least I found it impossible to photograph at full speed. Fortunately he slowed down on his final pass through and I was able to catch up with him.
This final show was probably my personal favorite. The first images are the Canadian Snow Birds out of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. They flew in highly precise formations. Even their vapor trails were synchronized. Very entertaining. The second group is called the Skytoppers, and they were sponsored by GEICO. They are based in Long Island NY and fly vintage World War II aircraft. These planes were called T-6 Texans by the Army and there are only 11 left in the world. This group owns 6 of them.