Wings Over North Georgia / US Navy Blue Angels / October 2017

We will soon continue with our Hawaii series, but first I want to start this year's first post with something that's always fun for me to photograph: the U.S Navy Blue Angels. Back in the fall of 2017, some friends and I had chased the steam locomotive from Chattanooga TN to Summerville, GA, as we usually do. On this particular weekend, the Wings over North Georgia Airshow was happening in Rome, GA. Since Rome is just a 25 minute drive from Summerville, it only made sense to go down to see the show! The Blue Angels were to perform at 3:00, and so we arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. We parked, and then walked just inside the gate, where we probably had the best view you could have. 

Right on time, the F/A - 18 Hornets took to the sky. We had the perfect vantage point to see them as they took off. This was my fourth time seeing them perform, and they never fail to amaze me. It's hard to photograph and enjoy the show at the same time! When the show begins planes 1-4 fly together and planes 5 and 6 are the solo jets. These two are definitely fun to keep your eyes on. 

Near the end of the show all 6 planes join together to do some pretty incredible stunts!  

If you ever have the chance to see the Blue Angels, don't miss your opportunity! They are based out of Pensacola, Florida, so you may be able to catch one of their weekly practices on base. Check https://www.facebook.com/USNavyBlueAngels/ for more information! 

While you're here, check out my gallery from the whole performance! 

After leaving the show we grabbed some Starbucks and headed back to Chattanooga. The train was nearly back by this time, so we knew we wouldn't see it along the way. It was a fun day with friends getting to enjoy our hobby with an added treat. A couple of them had never seen the Blue Angels and were completely amazed and saying, "I'm so glad we came!" After we arrived at the railroad museum, the steam locomotive was still there, but about to head back to the shop for the day. We all went down by the Chickamauga Creek bridge and watched it one last time. 

A Scottsboro Sunset

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This past Saturday was our reception for my family and friends in Alabama. When we were leaving to head that way on Friday afternoon, we checked the traffic on our phones to see that there was nothing unusual about it. Every way west out of Chattanooga was red on the maps! So, we decided we would take the scenic route and go down into Georgia and cut across the mountains to Scottsboro. We went on our way stopping at one of our favorite restaurants, Jefferson's, in Summerville, for some double dipped fried Mac & Cheese bites. Then, continued across Lookout Mountain, admiring the peak of this year's perfect fall colors. By the time we were heading down the mountain, the sun was beginning to set. We got to the bottom just in time to witness a picture perfect sunset over the Tennessee River in front of us (Just another reason to always take your camera. You never know what you will see along the way!). Sunsets have always been one of my favorite subjects to photograph. Enjoy this sunset over the Tennessee River!  

Clouds, Rain, and Steam

When you're planning a day of photography, you don't get to pick what weather you'll have that day. Of course you want picture perfect Hawai'i-like weather, but in the South we don't have that luxury. The seasons here, well, they're hard to describe exactly. October 28 was just one of those days. We had a little bit of fall weather up until this day and then boom! Wake up, walk out the door to meet a friend, and we're dressed in layers with coats. On top of that, rain is in the forecast until after lunch. On the agenda this day, was to chase two steam locomotives (yes, it's really a thing) from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Summerville, Georgia. I'm sure you're already thinking... So I will explain. 

Kyle's part-time job is at the railroad museum in Chattanooga. There, he is a engineer and fireman on the steam locomotives. Throughout most of the year the railroad runs all day excursions to Summerville, Georgia. It's a 100 mile round-trip, all-day adventure behind a 1911 steam locomotive. Nearly all of these trips are pulled by Southern 4501. On select dates, they run a doubleheader. This features 4501, along with the museums other operable steam locomotive, Southern 630. So on this day, my friends and I started in Chattanooga and followed the train shooting pictures and videos along the way.

The rain also stuck with us for the first half of the day. Like I said you don't get to choose your weather conditions, but when something is your passion and what you love you don't let some rain and clouds ruin it. Actually I enjoy cloudy day photography. Mix in some steam and you get some amazing pictures. 

And now our trip begins.... 

Aside from shooting over 400 pictures on this day I also shot some video at nearly every location. Here are a couple to help these pictures come to life.