Singapore Airshow 2014 – Black Knights & Jupiter Aerobatic Team

There were two air displays at the Singapore Airshow 2014. This entry features the first air display performed by the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s Black Knights and the Indonesian Air Force’s Jupiter Aerobatic Team. You can read my previous posts on the indoor exhibits and static displays.

Although it was a sunny day, it was pretty cloudy where the air displays were performed. That hampered visibility as the planes were disappearing into the clouds. However, the clouds cleared as the show progressed and I was able to get some shots with nice blue background that made the planes pop more.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s Black Knights were the first to perform. The team features six F-16C Fighting Falcons. The first photo was underexposed intentionally so that the F-16s and their smoke trails are more visible.

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Up next was the Indonesian Air Force’s Jupiter Aerobatic Team. The team consists of four KT-1B Woongbi. By then the clouds have cleared up more and I was able to get more shots with blue skies.

I was shooting on the Nikon D700 with the AF-S 70-200 mm f/2.8 VR II lens. As I started shooting, I was chiding myself for not bringing my D90 instead. That would have given me the advantage of the increased effective focal length that the crop sensor gives me. The D700 is a full frame sensor but the D90 has an APS-C sensor. This gives the D90 a crop factor of 1.5x and that would have given me 300 mm at the longer end.

But after shooting for a while, I realised that instead of concentrating of capturing close ups of the aircrafts, I should take wider shots instead. Tell the story by capturing the whole squadrons and their flight paths. I felt better looking at the situation from another angle, until I started to find that 70 mm was not wide enough for some of the shots. That made me think that I should have brought a second body with a wider lens.

Photographer’s first world problems?

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The Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18F Super Hornet put up a solo display. I managed to get a couple of close up shots, one of the top and one of the belly. To be honest, I can’t recall if this was in the first or second show. More photos from the second show will be coming up so check back here soon!

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