Lightning Strikes Chino!
Ceiling broke and the winds picked up, there was three flights with three photo platforms each to get all the photographers air time. That meant we had about five minutes on station with 23 Skidoo and Wee Willy II. Its home base is Planes of Fame which will be holding their annual, phenomenal airshow 04-05 May in Chino, CA. I can’t wait, FIVE P-38s in one place, that will be so incredibly cool!
I lucked out that I had Scott in the back of the T-Bone with me. I couldn’t see squat in the rear seat (I had solid fuselage on both sides of me) so when 23 Skidoo pulled up to our 4 o’clock, he let me know so I could point the D4 with 80-400AFS around the corner and shoot. I was in Shutter Priority, 1/100, f/something, zero exposure comp, Auto Area AF with the VR on the 80-400 set to Active. And active is an understatement for the rough air we were in. I swear, I figured when we touched down I didn’t have a single sharp image! We were tossed about, the pilots doing an AMAZING job flying making the opportunity available to us.
The bummer in the whole thing was we were all shooting through the windows, the plex. Wearing gloves, I grabbed the front of the 80-400 when shooting for two reasons. First was to protect the window from getting scratched (it already had a dussey!). 2nd was to shade the plex around the lens to minimize glare from the plex being seen by the camera. Because of the gear and pure luck, I came back with a couple of image not only sharp, but that I like. This was my second air to air with 23 Skidoo yet my heart is still beating a mile a minute! There are no words to describe the experience to look out the window and see P-38 Lightning 100 feet at your 3 o’clock! You need to get to the Planes of Fame airshow and if you see me, say hello. And if you need an assist, don’t hesitate to ask. Jake & I are more than happy to help if we can.