BZ's SF Fleet Week '08 - Fat Albert page

Photo Gallery

These are the shots from the 2008 San Francisco Fleet Week air show, featuring the Blue Angels' C-130 Fat Albert! Fat Albert Airlines is the moniker coined by the Blue Angels for their C-130 Hercules Transport. Not only does it function as their support aircraft, transporting material and ground staff to different venues, it is a star of the show as well!

These are the more interesting shots of Fat Albert I got from the Fri, Sat, and Sun show.

Used a Nikon D200 w/ a 70-300mm VR lens. Shot in shutter priority exposure mode (mostly between 1/160 and 1/320sec), with continuous autofocus.
- Bernard Zee

The Saturday Show


Fat Alberts' entrance is dramatic as it sneaks up from behind (shielded by the high-rise buildings), and flies overhead at full throttle!


Using a relatively slow shutter, I was able to blur the propellers for a 'full disc'. Too bad it's being backlit, and the prop blur isn't as prominent!


It feels that Fat Albert makes more passes at this show than at other venues. But I don't mind.


With all those boats, it must be Saturday!


Here he is with a low, high speed pass.


Love photographing him, as the plane is huge, and a classic to boot!


There's one of those huge tour/harbor cruise boats about to block my view (again!). I think it's from Hornblower.


Those on board had a spectacular view of the pass. I was cut off for a bit, but I think overall the boat added a lot of interest to the shot to make it more unique. A more than fair tradeoff!


Ah, my favorite Island which I've never been on! Go figure, lived in the bay area for 18 years, and have never been to Alcatraz. Guess I'm too cheap!

The Sunday Show


Shooting from the boat, I get a different look at the show. Didn't risk using as slow a shutter speed, because the platform is constantly in motion.


Here's another look at the gear down pass. Don't know of a nicer backdrop for a show!


Here he is, pulling up sharply at the end of the pass.


In this going away view, the landing gear has been mostly retracted.


Banking over parts of San Francisco downtown.


A bit of an abbreviated show Sunday. Not sure why they had to cut it short.

Friday's Practice


The big entrance.


The gear down pass with the GGB.


Coit tower and portions of the Balcutha frame the C-130.


Banking the plane makes for a handsome shot of Fat Albert.


The C-130 model has been in service for over 30 years, and is a timeless and classic design.


Here he's setting up for the low, high speed pass.


Less boats on Friday, but they were still out there! Here's a tall one getting in on the shot.


The classic GGB plane shot. Notice how shiny the plane is! I'm sure it requires lots of wax and elbow grease to keep it sparkling like that.


The 4 Allison Turboprops make some beautiful sounds as they are pushed to full throttle!


The closing move is a low flyover on Alcatraz followed by a pitch up.


What a BEAUTIFUL setup!!


A very memorable show indeed.


Note the vapor trail left by the propeller tips. Great show!!



Click on the link below to return to the 2008 Fleet Week main page.
SF Fleetweek '08 Gallery Index