Milpitas Camera Club Field Trip

Field Trip: San Francisco Fleet Week
Trip Date: October 12
Report Author: Dave Herzstein
Report Date: October 13

Early on Sunday morning, 5 camera club members and 2 kin met on the Peninsula and carpooled to San Francisco to photograph the Fleet Week air show. Originally planned for Saturday, the trip was rescheduled for Sunday because of forecast high winds and cold temperatures. Sunday morning at the seawall at the marina green, we had high winds, cold temperatures AND we were splashed by a high tide! Fortunately, as the morning matured, the winds died, the temperature warmed and the tide receded.

We set up our tripods and chairs and we claimed our territory about an hour before the entire seawall was occupied. Much of the rest of the day was spent defending our space from invaders.

Before the air show, there were boats, islands, bridges and diving pelicans to practice on. Even before we were done "practicing", the Coast Guard started their demonstration of a helicopter water rescue. Soon the air was full of prop planes trailing smoke. Then there were jets; F-16 Viper West, Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the U.S Navy Blue Angels.

Our location at the Marina green gave us opportunities to shoot planes against various backdrops; blue sky, hazy sky, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the Marin Headlands. Other than sometimes a sailboat mast in front of Alcatraz, our view was unobstructed. A good (and long) day was had by all. However, there were some lessons learned:
  • "Guests" should have been invited earlier when there was wave spray
  • Club members should not have to resort to capturing images with devices meant for long distance talking

© 2008 D. J. Herzstein