Sunday 14 July 2013, Champs Elysee, Paris This was my first time at this annual festival and, with bright weather, it did not disappoint. The crowds are enormous and the flypast starts around 10 am with the Alpha Jets of the Patrouille de France running east down the avenue. for photographers I found a good vantage point on the south bank of the Seine near Gare d'Orsay where a pedestrian bridge keeps you clear of traffic. The fixed wing elements are well spaced if a little high flying somewhat into the sun. There is about 40 minute gap before the helicopters come through so I walked west to Invalides as the sun moved around. Once the security teams had decided where the public exclusion zones would be amid general confusion as the hoards moved south from the main drag it was clear that shooting the selection of helicopters due to become static exhibits at Invalides would be difficult due to street furniture and buses blocking the view.
This year's NATO Tiger Meet was hosted at BA103 Cambrai and enjoyed bright weather on nearly all days except the Spotter's Day on which I visited. The event was also lessened by the withdrawal of squadrons from Belgium, Norway, Hungary and The Netherlands due to ongoing activities in Libya and the impact of the financial crisis. However, it was great for those who came, particularly welcome were the Turkish, Greek, Polish and Portuguese contingents, all fielding F-16s of various versions.