Chicago Air & Water Show | Event Photography

Last weekend we headed up for our second trip to the annual Chicago Air and Water show.  So satisfied with our location from last time we headed to North Avenue Beach and claimed a spot as far forward as we could.  Like most things in a big city, there’s tons of people around so getting to the location two hours before the event started was necessary to get a good viewing area.  We were fortunate enough to get good spots this year from which to view the show.  Weather this year was also better than last year’s with not threats of rain which has both a downside and upside.  While we didn’t have to worry about the cancellation or delay of the event, we had to content with the direct sun and the heat that brings with it.  There was little wind to go with the heat, which had the photographic effect of the slower move out of smoke from the different performers.  This added to the challenge of getting good photos as we had to fight some visibility of the planes while they were doing their routines.  Sometimes the smoke can be helpful for artistic effect, but it also prevents us from potentially seeing the planes during some of the critical movements.  Lastly this year since we had the eclipse coming up right after the Air Show we made sure to have a teleconverter for this event, so some of these photos were shot at an effect 700mm zoom on a full frame camera which got us even closer to the action than we were last year!

This year brought many same acts, but some new acts that weren’t there last year.  There was the addition of a Harrier jet, as well as the A-10 Warthog (which I remember putting together a model of as a kid).  Of course we had the alternating headline act this year with the Blue Angels filling the title slot instead of the Thunderbirds.  Before the air shows these past couple years, we’d seen neither of these famous groups, but were really excited to get to finish seeing both of the premier flight groups.  We took tons of photos this year we enjoyed, some of them are below and they’re also up for viewing only on the prints site!


Creative Commons License


This work by JD Maloney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *