The Red Arrows – almost live…

My photography studio is near the Defence Academy, and every year at their graduation ceremony they have a big display by the RAF’s famous formation aerobatics team “The Red Arrows”.  This year’s display was today so I thought I would try and blog it “almost live”.

First thing to do was to get my equipment ready.  I was a bit restricted as to where I stood so I needed my longest lens.  I used my superb Sigma 70-200 f2.8 with a dedicated Sigma 2x converter.  This gave me an equivalent focal length of 210-600mm.  I also had another camera body with a 28-300 (42-450mm equivalent) in case the long lens was too long.  I set the ISO on 400 to keep the quality up and give me a short shutter speed.

The weather was just right with clear blue sky, fluffy white clouds, and sunshine.  That gave the Red Arrows the chance to do their full display with loops, rolls, and the crowd’s favourite; the heart stopping duos.  My, they do fly very close together!

"Red Arrows 1" by Derek Gale

Arrival in arrow formation.

"Red Arrows 2" by Derek Gale

Very close!

"Red Arrows 3" by Derek Gale

Pulling up in “Big Vixen” formation.

"Red Arrows 4" by Derek Gale

Diamond 9.

"Red Arrows 5" by Derek Gale

Solo display.

"Red Arrows 6" by Derek Gale

Making smoke.

"Red Arrows 7" by Derek Gale

Fast 5.

"Red Arrows 8" by Derek Gale

This image is not upside down!

After 20 minutes they had gone; until next year.  It was, as usual, a great display, and was free!



Anne RogersJuly 15, 2011 - 9:01 am

I was bell ringing at Hinton Waldrist so sadly missed this, but lots of interesting aircraft flying about coming in for the Air Tattoo. Just hope it’s not rained off…!

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