I've divested all of the long-lens autofocus SLR gear that I've used to take my previous air show photos. I told myself that this year I just wouldn't try, and let the long weekend go by without spending hours waiting for planes to roar past.
Not so easy to do.
So instead I decided to work a little differently, and used my seriously underlensed rangefinder camera - and chose black and white film as well. Like the man said, if you can't join 'em, beat 'em - and with lower technology and capability came less pressure and more fun. Set the focus to infinity, the aperture to f/16 (seemed appropriate), and track the planes through that gloriously huge viewfinder as they turned past my apartment building. Sit on the balcony with a beverage and a book, or wander the pool deck on a chilly afternoon, and look up when I hear a plane. No problem.
It's not that I couldn't have taken these two photos - from a single pass - of the Snowbirds with an autofocus digital camera. It's that I never would have thought to try.
And I like the photos just as much the ones from 2009 and 2007, specifically because they're different.