Australian International Airshow 2017

The Australian International Airshow was conducted last week at the Avalon airfield outside Melbourne in Victoria.    This biennial event showcases recent developments in aviation,  particularly military aviation,  as well as providing aerobatic displays by both military and civil aircraft.   A feature of the 2017 show was the first public display (in Australia) of the controversial JSF, Joint Strike Fighter, or F-35 as it’s been designated.    The three public days of the event drew huge crowds,  estimated at over 200,000.    As readers can no doubt imagine,  I went bananas with the camera and will be processing images for some time.   An initial selection can be seen in greater detail at my new image gallery page at:  Australian-International-Airshow-2017 Here is a quick look at just a few of the images.

RAAF f18 hornet fly past

Built by McDonnell Douglas in the USA, the F/A-18 Hornet fighter has been in service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) since 1984. The aircraft is seen here performing a low-level pass at the 2017 Australian International Airshow.

Sukhoi Su-31 Sukhoi Su-31 aerobatics display aircraft performing at the Australian International Airshow 2017.

RAAF Roulettes display team.

The RAAF Roulettes display team performing formation aerobatics at the 2017 Australian International Airshow.
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

F35 Lightning 2

The RAAF’s new and controversial jet fighter. Built in the USA by Lockheed Martin and the subject of cost over-runs and doubts over its stealth capabilities. Probably the most technologically advanced (and possibly loudest) military aircraft in the world. Here seen on static display at the Australian International Airshow 2017. Not surprisingly, it was the subject of watchful security.

As is often the case with an event like this,  you learn a few things whilst photographing it.    Looking through some of my image files,  I realized that I could have experimented more with some slower shutter speeds particularly when photographing the older propeller-driven aircraft in order to give a greater sense of movement in the spinning propeller.  If readers get such an opportunity as this,  try experimenting with shutter speeds down to 1/30 second,  pan with the moving aircraft, and be prepared to rattle off a lot of frames.  Pixels are cheap and the rubbish bin is an essential photographic tool!

I used the 100-400mm zoom lens for all the flight shots and it proved to be the ideal lens for the purpose.    For the static display shots,  I switched to the 16-35mm zoom and made a point of getting down as low as possible.  This allowed me to isolate (as well as possible in a restricted environment) the aircraft against the sky.    Photographed at normal standing height,  the static display shots tend to be marred by the messy background of fences,  buildings,  etc.   In addition,  the low angle just makes the aircraft look even more awesome!    See the F-35 image above and check out the EA-18G “Growler” shot in the image gallery.

In addition to the long and short zooms,  I also carried the 24-105mm lens… didn’t come out of the camera bag all day!

Travelling again:

Please note that I will be travelling abroad again shortly,  I will be travelling with a like-minded group of people,  it should result in some interesting photos!   I expect that the internet may be problematic and as a result, I may be a little slower than usual to respond to inquiries.    Cheers,   KD.