Air Force Thunderbirds -2005

The year 2005 was our first year in Colorado, and that May, still retired, I walked to a spot on the Santa Fe Trail where I thought I would be able to shoot some pictures of the Air Force Thunderbirds.  Actually, I was planning for a different spot, but the dang things started flying before I got there.  It was fortuitous.

The spot where I planted my tripod turned out to be a crossing point for many of the loops the Thunderbirds did as they flew over the USAF Academy Stadium to help the senior class celebrate their graduation.

USAF Thunderbirds
USAF Thunderbirds - 2005 USAF Academy Graduation Ceremony

The ensuing years saw a number of opportunities for more shooting, but for various reasons none came to fruition.  Not so this year.  Come hell or high water, on May 25th I will make my way to the same spot, and try to get some better pictures of risky precision formation flying.

USAF Thunderbirds
USAF Thunderbirds - 2005 USAF Academy Graduation Ceremonies

What’s that you say?  You like these photos?  They are not that bad?  Well shucks . . . it’s not like I would post the crappy ones here.  The ones in this post are going to be some of the better ones.  Still, if one does click on any of the pictures, and if when they get to the Smug Mug album they click on any photo to get the larger version, well then, by golly, one might discern a diminished level of crispness, and perhaps some artifacts of sharpening.

Not on all the pictures, obviously, but on many.  There are 5 or 6 photos out of the collection that I really like . . . but considering how many shots I had taken, those 5 or 6 are a testament to my inability to shoot.  Of course, as I said, I want the opportunity to redeem myself.  It’s not guaranteed that I will succeed, but as usual whatever I get out there in the cold harsh world will get posted here for all to mock.

USAF Thunderbirds
USAF Thunderbirds - USAF Academy 2005 Graduation Ceremonies

Seriously, I think I have a better handle on shooting moving subjects, and if the weather holds, I hope to get similar, but better, versions of these shots.

Meanwhile, feel free to click on any picture to be transported to a SmugMug album of both mediocre and pretty good shots of these flying machines.

USAF Thunderbirds
USAF Thunderbirds - 2005 USAF Academy Graduation Ceremonies

By the way, the copyright says 2011.  They were shot in 2005, reprocessed and published in 2011.