The Thunderbirds were the closing act the the Joint Services Open House Air Show at Andrews Air Force Base. This year the Airshow was held May 18-20th. The 18th was only for Defense Personnel and Contractors, the 19th and 20th was for the general public.

The arrangements were superb – everyone had to drive to Fedex field, park there, and take a bus to Andrews. The organizers had arranged for so many buses, that no one had to wait for more than a few minutes. In fact, it took longer to get through the security checks.

The Marines doing the checks were firm and polite and kept folks moving. Food was not permitted, but they let me take my camera equipment. At Andrews, I continued to be impressed at the impeccable arrangements – the Airplanes neatly laid out, the clean Portable Toilets, the numerous food concessions for every taste, the drinking water tanker tenders strategically located. They even had facilities to wash hands after visiting the portable toilets. Imagine that.

To get the best view of the Thunderbirds, I made my way to the front, as close to the runway edge as possible. I used the Tamron 70-300mm lens and Fuji 400 Superia film. By the time Thunderbirds were in the air, the hazy sky had cleared up. I was lucky to get a clear view of the flyby zone. Since I was shooting at 300mm, I had a narrow field of view, and had to track the planes for a few seconds as they flew by to get the shots. Next time, I’ll probably be able to anticipate better.


Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Force Thunderbirds

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si camera and Tamron 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens on Fuji Superia 400 film. The exposures were between 1/750- 1/350 second, at f/5.6 to f/9.5


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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