Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team at the CNE Air Show

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Canadian National Exhibition Air Show and photograph a number of different performers. One of my favourites is the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team (CHAT).

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

This article shares a good selection of images that I captured during the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team’s performance.

All images were captured hand-held using a Nikon 1 V3 and a 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens.

I shot using single frame captures as well as some AF-C bursts with subject tracking at 20 fps.

I used Manual settings on my V3 and set my camera to Auto ISO 160-3200 and adjusted my shutter speed to suit lighting conditions.

My shutter speeds varied from 1/2000 to 1/3200 for the series of images you see in this article.

I used an aperture setting of f/5.6 for all of the photographs.

My ISO varied between ISO-160 and ISO-360.

Capturing the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team doing cross overs was actually pretty simple using a Nikon 1 V3 shooting in AF-C with subject tracking at 20 fps.

All I had to do was track one of the incoming aircraft. Then, as soon as the pilot shifted the aircraft into a perpendicular orientation, I held the shutter down.

As soon as I saw the second Harvard enter, then exit the frame, I stopped my AF-C run.

I was able to capture five frames that contained at least part of both aircraft in the photographs.

I used almost the entire focal length range of my 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens, shooting from 102.4mm all the way to 300mm. When compared to a full frame camera the equivalent field-of-view is 276.5mm to 810mm.

I’ve been shooting with the Nikon 1 V3 for about 8 months now and I’ve become very familiar with the camera.

I’ve found that one of the most important things to do with the V3 when photographing birds in flight or aircraft, is to pre-focus my lens to help avoid risk of the lens having to hunt for focus.

Doing this allowed me to be prepared for approaching aircraft and I was able to capture images throughout the afternoon without any missteps.

I quite enjoyed this year’s event, and the chance to put my Nikon 1 V3 through its paces.

Technical Note:
All images in this article were captured hand-held using a Nikon 1 V3 and a 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens. All photographs in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of OpticsPro 11, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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6 thoughts on “Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team at the CNE Air Show”

  1. Nice pictures, and good formation flying. I’ll stick to something safer (skydiving) instead of close formation flying.

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