The B-1B “The Bone” captured by Z 9 / 180-400VR

This past weekend was the Barksdale AFB Defenders of Freedom airshow and it’s simply brilliant! I was incredibly fortunate my dear friend Chris invited me to join him on base in the President’s Club for a really great time. Thanks Chris! Barksdale is the home of the 8th Air Force, has been since its beginning in WWII. It is now one of the B-52 bases which are parked all over the ramp which is so cool. Amongst them were parked B-1Bs and so many other military aircraft it’s a static photographer’s dream. But most folks don’t go to airshows though for statics, it’s what flying and Barksdale does not disappoint!

MiG 17 captured by Z 9 / 180-400VR

Barksdale puts up the airplanes! Many of my favorites were there like Doug in the Red Tail P-51c or the ladies in the B-25 “Devil Dog.” Fat Albert and the Blue Angels were there and their new show for 2023 is the best I’ve seen seemingly flown just for photographers! But it were the other aircraft from three MiG 17s, F-5B, F-16 Viper and F-15 that all flew long demo flights putting up lots of great photo opps. And I can’t leave out the F-22 Raptor demo flight which is so much fun! The sky was full for six amazing hours!

We were there for both days which to me is the only way to do an airshow. This is for many reasons but the main one is to see the routines to mentally prepare for bringing home the shot the second day. The other reason is the weather which is such an important aspect of aviation photography. Saturday was a bald sky day and you all know what I think of bald skies. Sunday started out as bald as well but soon the clouds came in and then the magic in the viewfinder really started to click. You get a feel for it in the Raptor shot. I came back with 9552 images in the file for the two days and with my schedule I’ve not had the opportunity to finish them all an it’s killing me. There are lots of images, fun there waiting for me. I’m telling you if you ever get to Barksdale you gotta go … what a show!


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