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A great day was had by all at Westport Air Show

Last Sunday I went over to Westport Airshow 2017. In the morning we had sunshine with lovely blue skies however as we got nearer to the start of the Air Show the weather changed to overcast skies with white clouds so lighting was flat. White skies can throw the camera built in metering too so it’s a case of +1 or more exposure compensation. It was good conditions for spectators as we only got about 2 or 3 minutes of rain. So we had very diffuse light and white/grey skies and I suppose it didn’t help that some of the planes were mainly white as you will see in some of the photos. Where I could I tried to get the shots in the area of the sky where there was a blue or grey background.

The sun came out at times which was better for taking photos. I was using a Sigma 150-600mm on my Canon 70D which meant that due to the 1.6x crop it was 240-960mm but even at that the planes were sometimes too far away. I also used my Sony a6000 with a 55-210mm lens, it has a fast motor drive at 11fps

When using long telephoto lenses you have to have a fast shutter speed over 1/1,000sec or faster to freeze the action and avoid camera shake. I was hand holding and with a heavy lens you will soon get tired. I have a monopod and tripod with a Gimbal head which I use for bird/wildlife photography and could have used to photograph the planes but it means hauling more gear around. Also many times planes are directly over your head so I prefer to handhold.

As I’ve mentioned above sometimes the sun came out and we had nice blue skies and also stronger sunlight which always helps when photographing airplanes. Overcast days may be good for portraits but definitely not for us on Sunday last.

It was a great airshow with the Irish Parachute Club taking part which started the show.

The next to perform were The Breitling Wing Walkers who thrilled the crowd with their aerobatic manoeuvres, not for the faint hearted going on top of a plane. I remember seeing them in Longford a couple of years ago when they got heavy rain during their performance, they stuck at it and completed their act which couldn’t have been easy.

Eddie Goggins the Flying Dentist was next up he gave a great performance

Irish Search and Rescue Helicopter was the next up, I’m sure all the audience had Rescue 116 on their minds. These men and women go out in all weathers to rescue people in distress. They are very brave people and we all owe them our admiration and respect.

The Catalina Flying Boat was next up, flying boats were very popular and were the reason that the Airport was located at Shannon. In the early years of flying the Flying Boats came into Foynes which is near Shannon, many celebrities came in there. If you are in that area look at the Flying Museum there, it’s very interesting.

Today we had the Flying Farmer, the Flying Dentist who put on a great show as well as another couple of planes

Team Raven put on a great aerobatic display also and before long the show was over, the Breitling Wing Walkers came back to close the show.

We all had a great day at Westport Airshow, hopefully this will become an annual event

Hope ye enjoy the photos, I’ve put the photos in Slideshow format. You can let the slideshow run or click  the arrows to go forward or back through the photos.


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