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  Bournemouth Air Festival - Bournemouth, Dorset, 19th August 2016


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A lightning visit to Bournemouth on the afternoon of Friday August 19th, and an overnight stay, gave us a taster of what the popular Bournemouth Air Festival has to offer. Unfortunately, the 2016 event coincided with a storm that swept up the Channel on the Thursday and Friday playing havoc with the flying schedule and many of the ground attractions. Nonetheless, in true professional style the flying resumed when conditions allowed and we were treated to a cliff-top view of the Red Arrows, B-17G Flying Fortress ‘Sally-B’ and an RAF Typhoon FGR4 in some very dramatic conditions providing some very nice photographic opportunities. The Typhoon especially created a lot of vapour in a deep blue, moisture laden sky which contributed to one of the best displays by the aircraft that I have seen.

As the Typhoon departed it was time to check out the many displays along the seafront, including an inside view of a British Army AS90 155mm self-propelled gun system, before settling down for some dinner as the sun set and the light began to drain from the sky. Queue some more noise as the Typhoon returned for a dusk display, the twin pillars of flame from its 20,250lb thrust Eurojet EJ200 engines punctuating the darkening gloom. Then, as dusk turned to night we were treated to some rather special flying with helicopter and aeroplane mounted pyrotechnics marking a series of powered fireworks displays. This was a first for us and certainly a challenge to shoot with a 600mm lens giving f6.3 as a maximum aperture coupled with a noisy high ISO performance from my Nikon D300s. However, judicious use of noise reduction filters has given a couple of passable shots as shown here, although the memory itself will live longer in my mind’s eye!

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