Blue Angels at SeaFair ===Updated for 2016===

July 23, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Blue Angels come back and perform their acrobatic flight in Seattle. This PhotoNote covers some idea where and how to shoot Blue Angels. Each shooting spot has advantages and disadvantages of course and I will list as such. My recommendation is #3, #2, #4, #1, #5 in the order of my preference. All of below images are from past performances.

#1: Main stage at Genesee Park/Lake Washington (Note: I cannot find Photo Pass info for 2016 [Photo Pass can be purchased for better shooting environment for $150-$250, check sea fair website])

Advantage: All flight performance including low pass are designed to show to the audiences in this area so you may see the best view of the performance.

Disadvantage: Need to buy a ticket and very crowded and difficult to find a shooting spot with extra space which is required to move the long lens quickly. Parking is also challenging.

#2: On I-90 bridge. WDOT will stop the car traffic 13:15pm (12:15pm Express lanes) - 2:40pm, and you can walk into the driving lane and enjoy the show.

Advantage: It is free and viewable most of flight performances closely. Some flight will pass over just above the bridge can be captured very close-up (even we can capture the pilot's expression on the jet).

Disadvantage: Crowded and challenging to find a spot to shoot all angles of the performance. Parking is not as bad as Genesee Park but you may need to walk some distance unless you show up early like 12:30pm.

#3: North park of Boeing Field. Blue Angels take off and land from/at Boeing Field airport. 

Advantage: Diamond formation at take off, and Triangle formation at returning can be captured from almost just underneath of their flight. It is amazing experience and photo opportunity to capture those moments. Parking is not big issue, and you can find street parking easily.

Disadvantage: You can capture excellent take off and landing (preparation) images but you cannot watch (capture) core performance.

Blue Angels Flying over Boeing Field Airport during SeaFair August 5th, 2016 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

#4: West Seattle for returning flight (formation). 

Advantage: Unique Downtown scene with Blue Angels can be captured.

Disadvantage: Depending on their flight path, you may not be able to compose well (many unknown and uncontrollable factors involved).

          #5: Mapleleaf Park (Close to Northgate) when the sky is clear and Mt. Rainier is clearly visible.

Advantage: Unique scene of Blue Angels with Mt. Rainier background. 100-400mm lens will be good. Very unpopular and no problem finding shooting spot and parking on the street.

Disadvantage: Mt. Rainier must be clearly visible as the Blue Angels performance is very far and the resulted image will be Mt. Rainier centric. (Below sample was taken with 150mm focal length.)

One of shooting idea is to use a fisheye lens as shown below. It will provide unique perspective of course but jet has to be flying very low.

 


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