Images by John 'K'

Life as seen through my lens…

Tag Archives: Fleet Week

Grounded! :(

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. Navy Cancels Blue Angels 2013 Performances

The Navy has cancelled the remaining 2013 performances of its Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels. The squadron will continue to train to maintain flying proficiency until further notice at its home station in Pensacola, Fla.

Recognizing budget realities, current Defense policy states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government. This is one of many steps the Navy is taking to ensure resources are in place to support forces operating forward now and those training to relieve them.

The Navy believes there is value in demonstrating the professionalism and capabilities of our Navy and Marine Corps Naval Aviation team, thus inspiring future generations of Sailors and Marines. The Navy intends to continue aerial demonstrations in the future as the budget situation permits.”

(from http://www.blueangels.navy.mil/media/news/20130409_001.pdf)

An unfortunate example of short-sighted knee-jerk economics. The Blue Angels are after all a great recruitment tool, and they draw a lot of visitors wherever they perform, and they are such a great morale boost to everyone who sees them it.

I wonder if the Navy was prepared to take this step if they’ll also cancel all not-essential fleet movements too. After all, if there is no representation from the US Navy at San Francisco’s Fleet Week, they might as well cancel the event… and then the negative knock on effect to the local economy will be even greater.

San Francisco Fleet Week 2012 Outtakes


Gotta love auto-focus! The 3D focus tracking on my Nikon camera is usually pretty accurate, but for some reason for one shot out of a sequence it decided to switch from the F-18 Super Hornet that I was tracking and shooting to this bird in the foreground! It was back to the Super Hornet in the next shot a fraction of a second later! I guess it knows me too well and didn’t want me to miss the bird. 🙂

Fleet Week Outtake #2: Afterglow, originally uploaded by Images by John ‘K’.

Although the focus on this shot was less than crisp, looking at this one again I decided to share it anyway because I love the way the contrails are glowing in the afternoon sun…

Fleet Week Outtake #3: High Key 777, originally uploaded by Images by John ‘K’.

It’s a wonder I didn’t burn out my vision during Fleet Week this year – the number of times I ended up tracking planes as they flew right in front of (or very close to) the sun… but they sometimes make for cool shots, as with this one of a United Airlines Boeing 777 taken on the Friday!

Fleet Week Outtake #4: Duck!, originally uploaded by Images by John ‘K’.

When you’re loaded with a high-power zoom lens and a formation of 4 Blue Angels flies low directly over your head from out of nowhere, there is no way you’re going to get them all in the frame, even if you are able to zoom out quick enough!

Fleet Week Outtake #5: Where’d they go?!, originally uploaded by Images by John ‘K’.

Another case of near blindness as this formation of 5 Blue Angels flew pretty much right in front of the sun.

Fleet Week Outtake #6: Who put that mast there?, originally uploaded by Images by John ‘K’.

The thing with shooting from the deck of a big ship when what you are taking pictures of is flying all over the place is you don’t always get a clear shot, because bits of the ship sometimes get in the way. I was stood on an elevated gun platform on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien to watch the display, but even from there I occasionally found my shots blocked by things! This was the final Blue Angels fly-by of the Saturday display and someone just had to stick a whopping great mast in the way! So inconsiderate! 😉

You can find my full set of Fleet Week 2012 photos here.