Navy Helicopters At Sunset On Coronado

November 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Helicopter On Silver Strand Coronado At Sunset

Navy Helicopter Against A Coronado Sunset

    The area around Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) on Coronado is always buzzing with helicopter activity. To the south of the base in Imperial Beach is the Naval Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) so choppers are always flying around as training for pilots and Navy SEALs takes place. There is an area adjacent to the giant “Dinosaur Cage” where Navy personnel can be seen practicing combat exits from hovering helicopters, sliding down a rope to the beach below. Earlier this year they were training at sunset so it made for a great photo opportunity and a chance to test the limits of my camera.

Faux Night Shot Of Helicopter On Silver Strand Coronado At Sunset

Helicopter And A Sunset Made To Look Like A Moonset

    When the sun is directly behind your subject there are two things you need to be aware of. The first is that your subject will be a silhouette and the second is that you need to be careful not to go blind from staring at the sun as you are setting up your shots! Obviously the sun is the brightest light source you will ever have to contend with so having it in your frame means you will most likely need to allow the minimum amount of light to reach your sensor as your camera will allow. For me, that meant using a shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second and a tiny f-stop of 32.

Navy SEAL Exits Helicopter Silver Strand Coronado

Navy SEAL Exits A Helicopter

    Something that I hardly ever talk about is white balance. Yellow light looks warmer which is why the time around sunrise and sunset is referred to as “golden hour” and always has a nice warm feel. Blue light looks cooler and has more of a nighttime feel to it. By playing around with the white balance you can completely change the feel and mood of a photo. All three photos in this post were shot at sunset, but the middle one looks a little different. That’s because I adjusted the white balance to the blue end of the spectrum, robbing the sunset of it’s warm light which makes the setting sun look like a nighttime full moon. There are a lot of filters that people use to change the look of their photos, but as a person that grew up in the age of film photography, I prefer to stick with white balance adjustments, the ORIGINAL filter. Cheers!

More Planes, People & Helicopters From The Centennial Of Naval Aviation

February 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Finale At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

Centennial Of Naval Aviation Grand Finale

        A few posts back I showed some photos from the time I spent at the Centennial Of Naval Aviation Airshow on Coronado. In looking back at the post and after going through the photos I took at the event, I realized that I had Jurassic Parked myself. You see, Jurassic Park is a great movie, I liked it when I saw it in the theater and I still like it today. The concept, the action, the set-up for sequels were all awesome. I only had a problem with one thing in that movie… There weren’t enough dinosaurs! This problem was fixed in the subsequent movies, but I digress, I did the same thing in my first post about the Navy’s celebration of 100 years of naval aviation. I didn’t have enough pictures in my last post! I think what you’ll see in this follow-up post will help give a much better idea of the vast scale the celebration was on, as well as all the trouble the Navy went through to make sure everyone had a good time. This post will have many more photos of planes, people and helicopters that I should have included in my first post.

Holding Camera Lens Like A Penis At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

You Hold Your Camera Lens Like Its Your Penis, Sir

Hooters Girls Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Hooter Girls On Coronado

People At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

WWI Bailout Demo Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Navy SEAL Parachutists Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

        There were a lot of people at the airshow, but the base is huge so it wasn’t crowded. The lines for concessions and bathrooms were unbelievably long. I managed to not break the seal, but I did have a $7, 20oz iced coffee because, for some reason, the coffee cart was the only concession that didn’t have a line. Food and drinks were the same price as at a ballgame, so be prepared for that.

B17 WWII Bomber Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

B17 WWII Bomber

B25 WWII Bomber At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

B25 WWII Bomber

Navy Planes Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Navy Planes At Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters At Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters Mid Air Refueling Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters Refueling At Centennial Of Naval Aviation

Helicopters Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopters At Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Hovering Plane Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Balboa Park’s Tower Behind San Diego’s Skyline

Sailors On Duty At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

Sailors On Duty During The Airshow

        The photo above has a very metaphoric and nostalgic feel for me. 20 years ago, it was me that was in the Navy and on duty on a sunny Saturday afternoon with incredible access to a great event, yet I wanted to be anywhere but there. These sailors were not separated from the action by a chain-link fence like me, yet none of them had a camera and none of them seemed happy. It reminded me of the time I was stationed in Hawaii when President Bill Clinton came to the island for a Pearl Harbor Memorial anniversary thing. People came from all over just to get a glimpse of the president, but I was required to attend, and I was bitter about it because I would rather have gone to the beach, or get drunk or something. Ah, the sweet memories of a 19 year old sailor!

Helicopter Rescue At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

Mouseover Photo Above To See The Rescue

        Above we see a man about to jump out of a helicopter so we could witness a rescue with another helicopter. Roll your mouse over the image to see a different photo.

Bikes And Traffic B25 At Centennial Of Aviation Airshow On Coronado

Bicycles Are The Way To Go

        I mentioned in my earlier post that I should have ridden my bicycle to this event. I think the photo above helps to illustrate that point. Seriously, for the next big event that I cover in Coronado, I’ll be a biking fool!

Centennial Of Naval Aviation On Coronado

February 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Plane Montage Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Centennial Of Naval Aviation On Coronado’s North Island

        This past Saturday, Coronado hosted the Centennial Of Naval Aviation on North Island Naval Base. As of this year, the United States Navy has been flying for 100 years, and this celebration paid homage to just about every single aircraft that has flown in service of the Navy.

Navy SEAL Parachutists Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Navy SEAL Parachutists

        Navy SEAL’s made up a big portion of the warm-up activities, entertaining us with skydives and colored smoke.

Navy SEAL Parachutists Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Navy SEALS Descend Onto Coronado

        From an altitude of around 4000 feet, Navy SEAL’s jumped out of a helicopter and glided down to the northern edge of Coronado’s North Island Naval Base.

Navy SEAL Parachutist Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Parachuting Down Onto Coronado

Giant Canon Camera Lens Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Bad Child Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

        Men, women and children of all sorts turned out for the show. Some people brought really big lenses while others brought very small children. By the end of the day, I think they may have been wishing for each others life. Personally, I’ve noticed that the “better” I’ve become at photography, the smaller my lenses have gotten.

Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue In San Diego Bay

        There were a lot of helicopters at this show, and one of their demonstrations was a water rescue. The pleasure ship in the background had the best seat in the house for that event!

People Watching Helicopters Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Helicopter Hovering Over Other Choppers Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Thinking Person At Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

        Besides the obvious aircraft watching, there were a lot of people worth watching at the show as well. A lot of people brought children, little boys in particular that no doubt were just as excited as I was at that age whenever I happened to be lucky enough to go to an airshow. For some reason, when I was young and preparing to join the navy I thought knowing all the different types of naval aircraft, ships and trivia would be pertinent to my military career. As we all know now, I should have spent that time learning to chip paint instead!

Traffic On North Island Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

Traffic On North Island Naval Base

        Traffic on base, around Coronado and across the bridge was a snarled nightmare for the entire day. It’s really not the Navy’s fault… The street infrastructure of Coronado flat out can’t handle a crush of people on a regular weekday, let alone special event days like this. I took public transportation into Coronado and walked onto the base which meant I had to do a lot more walking than those in cars, but I’m sure I shaved at least 4-5 hours off my commute time by doing so. The photo above is the line of cars coming into the base after the airshow portion was already over. Can you believe that? I was there and it still don’t. So, what did I learn from this outing and what tidbits of advice do I have for anyone attending a special event on Coronado in the future? Don’t drive, take the bus or ride a bike instead. Eat beforehand, bring your own water and wear sunscreen. Military bases are big so be prepared to do a lot of walking even after you get there.

Navy Blue Angels Centennial Of Naval Aviation Coronado

United States Navy Blue Angels

1945 Helldiver SB2C-4 Plane Raised From Otay Reservior Lake

August 22, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Helldiver Plane Raised Out Of Otay Lake In 2010

Photo by Stephen G. Hurlbut Jr.

        This weekend, my parents were in San Diego and my dad was able to grab some photos of a local event I was not able to attend. The event was the raising of a plane that crashed into Otay Lake in 1945. The plane is Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver Dive Bomber.

Hellfire Plane Raised Out Of Otay Lake In 2010

Photo by Stephen G. Hurlbut Jr.

        On May 28, 1945, Navy pilot E.D. Frazar, and Army gunner, Joseph Metz were on a training mission in the air above Otay Reservoir in their Helldiver SB2C-4 when the engine cut out, as the Helldiver planes were prone to do, for reasons that have never been explained. Frazar, made the immediate decision to ditch the plane in Lower Otay Reservoir. Both Frazar and his completely-by-chance gunner, Metz had plenty of time to get out of the plane once it was in the lake. They swam to shore and hitchhiked back to their base. Ah, the 1940’s.

Helldiver Plane Raised Out Of Otay Lake In 2010

Photo By Stephen G. Hurlbut Jr.

Helldiver Plane Raised Out Of Otay Lake In 2010

Photo By Stephen G. Hurlbut Jr.