Locations For 2023
North Ave Beach – FRIDAY
Show Center! Certainly where the action happens all day including massive crowds. In years past, we were able to get on top of the dune bluffs to be able to shoot over the crowds on the beach but they have since closed these areas to re-establish dune grass and other native plants. Last year, we photographed at the water’s edge and had a great time! What a refreshing way to photograph with your feet in the water and sand between your toes. Caution: sand will get EVERYWHERE…try to avoid switching lenses while on the beach.
You’ll be able to capture all of the show from this spot but get ready to practice your panning methods when the jets are flying left to right and right to left. This is certainly the spot to capture the entire show.
Since it will be more difficult to include the city from this location, make sure to try and include foreground elements. Here are some of my favorites from this location:
Belmont Harbor Breakwall (NEW LOCATION) – SATURDAY
Trying a new location for this year! IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR THIS LOCATION – You will want to use long focal lengths 100mm – 1,000mm. While this location is quite a bit north of the Show Box the views into the city with the airshow in the foreground could make for some great shots. Using the longer focal length lens will provide with some great optical compression and will be much easier to track an aircraft with the distance. Below is a photo from the spot at a 100mm focal length. To get to the location, you will need to enter from the Montrose Beach area and proceed as far south as you can on the peninsula.
Fullerton Ave Breakwall – SUNDAY
Great spot at the North end of the Show Box which provides ample areas to sit and photograph the show. The view provides great views of the city skyline and you’ll be able to photograph the aircraft (especially the military aircraft) with the city as your backdrop. Here are some of my favorite shots from this location:
Diversey Harbor Entrance
This is North of the Show Box and outside of the massive crowds. While most of the air show aircraft will not be near you to photograph with less than a 300mm lens, this is a great place to photograph the US Thunderbirds! The Thunderbird’s F-16s will be flying right overhead of the Diversey Harbor as they set up for the next maneuver. Best place to stand is against the white railing. Here are some of my favorite shots from that location.
Examples of Photos and Settings