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Now for Something Different: An Air Show!

I thought I'd post something a little different from my usual landscape-oriented pictures and posts today...

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

I attended the 2011 Miramar Air Show in San Diego a couple weeks ago and took the opportunity to break out the ol' high-action photography skills. After all, they were getting rusty.

It had been years since I last attended an air show and I was really excited about it. I'm kind of your typical guy...I love big machinery and heavy artillery. Fighter jets, tanks, cargo planes - it's all awesome. I decided to get a little creative with the cropping and black and white conversions on some of these pictures.

The aircraft featured in the show included:
- F/A-18 Hornet
- C-130T Hercules
- CH-53E Super Stallion
- AV-8B Harrier (my personal favorite)
- UH-1Y Huey
- AH-1Z Cobra
- MV-22A Osprey
- CH-46 Sea Knight
- F-16 Fighting Falcon
- P-51 Mustang
- Japanese A6M Zero
- F6F Hellcat
- The Oracle Challenger stunt plane
- M-1 Abrams Tank

and, of course, the famous Blue Angels!

Check out the pictures here, then head over to my Facebook page for even more!

Miramar Air Show 2011

Miramar Air Show 2011

Miramar Air Show 2011

Miramar Air Show 2011

Miramar Air Show 2011

Miramar Air Show 2011

Miramar Air Show 2011

Miramar Air Show 2011

Miramar Air Show 2011

F-16 Fighting Falcon - Miramar Air Show 2011

F-16 Fighting Falcon - Miramar Air Show 2011

F-16 Fighting Falcon - Miramar Air Show 2011

F-16 Fighting Falcon - Miramar Air Show 2011

F-16 Fighting Falcon & P51 Mustang - Miramar Air Show 2011

Oracle Challenger - Miramar Air Show 2011

Oracle Challenger - Miramar Air Show 2011

Oracle Challenger - Miramar Air Show 2011

Miramar Air Show 2011

F6F Hellcat - Miramar Air Show 2011

AV-8B Harrier - Miramar Air Show 2011

AV-8B Harrier - Miramar Air Show 2011

AV-8B Harrier - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

The Blue Angels - Miramar Air Show 2011

Monache Meadows

Over the weekend, my brother and I took a short camping trip to the Kern Plateau in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. The place we chose was into Monache Meadow where the south fork of the Kern River makes its way through beautiful mountains and forest.

Monache Meadow and Olancha Peak at sunset

We chose this area to visit because it is only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles by way of the Monache 4-Wheel Drive Trail (Road 34E38). I wanted to put my 4Runner through its paces and really test out the new auxiliary lights. Other bonuses to this area of the Sequoia National Forest are that it's dispersed camping, campfires are allowed and there are no fees required to camp there. I'm used to campsites where you have to pay a $15-per-night fee, you have to supply all your information short of a urine sample, the campsites are pre-designated and your only scenic view is of the back of a Winnebago. That's why I've always preferred backpacking over car-camping.

But with a little bit of research, I found Monache, which I figured would carry all the benefits of seclusion that backpacking brings with all the convenience and fun of having a car with you. And it definitely delivered. It's a great place to camp if you have a 4x4 to get you there.

After getting settled in to our campsite along the Kern River, we headed out to the huge Monache Meadow to catch the sunset. I played with some lichen-covered rocks, reflections and the river in the foreground of my shots with the gorgeous Olancha Peak in the background to catch the sunset colors.

Monache Meadow and Olancha Peak at sunset

Monache Meadow and Olancha Peak at sunset

Monache Meadow and Olancha Peak at sunset

We stayed until twilight before heading back to camp...

Monache Meadow and Olancha Peak at twilight

After some grub, we were in for a cold night. It got all the way down to 27 degrees. Some of you out in the midwest may be chuckling right now, but that's pretty damn cold for this Southern California kid! But despite the painful cold, I got up before sunrise to catch the morning light on Bakeoven Meadow. I was pleased to see the entire meadow was covered in frost, which made for some real fun subject matter.

Bakeoven Meadow at sunrise

Frosty Plants in Bakeoven Meadow at sunrise

Frosty Plants in Bakeoven Meadow at sunrise
^ Click for a larger version

Frosty Plants in Bakeoven Meadow at sunrise

Fence in Hessian Meadow at sunrise

Fence in Hessian Meadow at sunrise

Overall, the trip was a fantastic experience and I'm pretty pleased with the shots. Feels like it was a productive 2 days. I'll definitely be returning to this area in the future. I'd really love to see it in the springtime.

Sunset(s) in Corona Del Mar

My dry spell of new pictures has finally come to an end!

Corona Del Mar Landscape

I took two students out to Corona Del Mar last week for some sunset landscape sessions (two different days, two different lessons). Both evenings served up great sunsets, so I couldn't resist breaking out my tripod alongside my students.

The first sunset was a bit of a surprise because the clouds didn't form until the last minute...just in time to pick up some nice pink hues from the setting sun.

Corona Del Mar Landscape

The next day, the cloud cover was pretty well established at least 2 hours before sunset. I could tell from the atmospheric conditions and the position and shape of the clouds that the sunset was going to be a winner.

As you can see from the pictures, the main focus of both nights was the interesting rock formations and I played with a few different compositions to highlight this land feature. There are only so many angles from which you can attack this subject, so some of the compositions here are pretty similar to those from previous visits. All in all, though, I'm pleased with the results.

Corona Del Mar Landscape

Corona Del Mar Landscape

It felt great to get behind the camera again. Good riddance, drab summer weather!