The last two years I have been very fortunate to have been invited to lead a photo workshop/expedition to the Red Bull Air Race in Indianapolis Indiana on the behalf of Roberts Camera, Sigma Photo, and this year Benro.  Last year was the first time we did the excursion and it was a big hit!  This year we had 32 individuals come out for the workshop, and some drove as far as 5 hours for the experience.  Sigma provided quite a few lenses, and attendees cameras ranged from Canon T3i and 1Dx bodies to Sony A7r3 bodies to the NEW Nikon Z7 Mirrorless camera, D3300s, D500s, and D850s.    Overall we had a very wide variety of skill levels and equipment, but we all came together as photographers with a purpose resulting for a very educational and entertaining time.

Sigma showed up with Three cases of gear, stocked with the latest 150-600 Sport, 150-600 Contemporary, and 100-400mm lenses in Canon, and Nikon mounts along with some MC-11 mount converters for Sony.  Use of any and all of it was included in the workshop price.  Not only that, but for those that aren’t used to holding the larger glass for periods of time, Benro generously sent several GH2 gimbal heads, and different sets of Aluminum and Carbon Fiber tripod legs to hold it all.  Once we talked about autofocus settings and the best way to photograph prop airplanes to get yourself some prop and panning blur we set out on our adventure.

Armed with my trusty D500 and a loaner Sigma 500F4 Sport we attempted a number of different frames including heading over to the place where I shot last year to get the skyline in the background.  Unfortunately, the TV crew had other plans this year and we had to start branching out for other photo options due to a tower blocking the view.  The way the Air Race works is that each plane runs the same route between a bunch of inflatable pylons going for the best time.  The planes are required to pass through the gates horizontally at a certain height and orientation and hitting a pylon incurs a steep penalty (a time penalty, not a firey airplane crash style penalty).  Below I got pretty lucky while shooting with the 500F4 and caught this pylon cut mid deflation.

The workshop included two day passes to the event, and hangar passes, however, Sigma and Benro gear was only available on the first day (practice) because it affords us much more maneuverability around the stands.  I heard that a large number of the workshop attendees did attend the actual race itself, which was I was really happy about and I look forward to seeing what they shot.  So do they since Roberts Camera stepped up and offered a $50 Roberts Camera gift card to the best shot from the event.  With those images Due not long after the time of this writing.  Hopefully Red Bull decides that Indy is an incredible venue for the race again next year, and we can do this again.  I guess only time will tell.  Thanks again to everyone that came out for the adventure, and extra thanks to Roberts Camera, Sigma, and Benro who helped put it all together.  More Soon.