Elements of Air: Rose of Tralee “SkyFest” Airshow


Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Today I met Dalene and Pete Heck of Hecktic Travels in Tralee.  Dario and I had not yet visited the Dingle Peninsula, so the additional enticement of meeting up with some really cool bloggers finally nudged us into action.  Unfortunately, or so we thought, the Rose of Tralee International Festival (a beauty pageant, the whole idea of which gives me the willies) is taking place this week.  The rest of the festival — a celebration of Irish culture, music, fireworks, fairs, and such — sounded pretty nifty.  Lucky for us, we returned from our loop around the peninsula just as the Rose of Tralee "SkyFest" Airshow was taking place.

Despite the fact that our respective mates were starving, Pete and I were immediately mesmerized and sucked into photo-nerd-topia.  Dalene even has photographic evidence.  She took a picture of us standing with our cameras following the impressive loops, twists, and purposeful dead stalls of a pair of stunt planes.  We were oblivious to the outside world.  What a pair o' geeks!


(Click photo to display either a larger or smaller version, depending on your screen settings.)


The near pearlescence of the clouds provided a painterly backdrop for the drama.  I was especially pleased with this shot, as it is chock-full of wind-related elements: clouds, planes, wind turbines, birds.  Sometimes the timing of travel elements is disjointed and inconvenient.  At other times it all comes together in an impeccable fashion!


What astonishingly well-timed events have you encountered
(and possibly photographed) during your travels?


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  1. What an awesome photo! Food comes second to great photo-ops… well that statement is questionable but it looks like the case here!

    1. Yeah, sometimes food wins out, but I’m glad this time it didn’t. Oh, and you know what Dario and I had for dinner once we got inside? Arancini! It was such a random find in a restaurant way out in the west of remote Ireland — and it was good!

  2. Nice one! I love airshows – John loves them even more. I often find plane photos on our camera that he took when I wasn’t looking. Love the dramatic cloud backdrop

    1. Hahaha! That sneaky John. Just can’t trust him not to slip off and use up the memory card, eh? Hahahahahaha!

  3. Love air shows (but they can be a bit noisy.) I had the opportunity to see the Jersey Air Show a couple of years ago, which is held every year in the Channel Islands to commemorate the Battle of Britain. The most unforgettable moment was the flight of a B-17 from WWII. I was gobsmacked!

    1. Hey, Ana! I had to think a minute to remember that Jersey is an island off the coast of England. At first I was thinking you’d abbreviated New Jersey. ;)

      The noise of airplanes can be quite distracting and overwhelming at times. I lived in the flight path for Sea-Tac, the major airport in Seattle, for a time and it was deafening, despite the special windows. This, on the other hand, came together in a perfect couple of moments. We were close enough to get some great shots, but far enough away that we couldn’t hear anything. It was perfect!

  4. That is indeed a wonderful capture. We have many air shows in the US, and its usually difficult for me to capture a photo like yours, despite my many chances. Great job!

    1. Hi, Sherry! I think the Irish weather really helped with this one. If it had been sunny and clear, it would not have been nearly so interesting a shot! :D

  5. That’s an excleent shot! I usually am too slow to catch really good stuff. Case in point — I saw a bus hit a cow today…damn! :)

    1. Glad you liked it, Raymond! As for the cow, well, that makes me sad. :(

      However, it looks like you get plenty of other excellent shots, so you have nothing to worry about! I sometimes wish I had a video feed directly from my eyes to a hard drive so I could pick the most excellent views and share them just as they happened. Until then, I will just have to keep working to improve my reflexes — and my camera skills!

  6. It makes us nerds to “brandish” our cameras and use them when opportunity strikes? ;)

    Love the shot, I hope our captures turned out near as good as yours did. Loved hanging out with you guys and hope that we cross paths again!!

    1. Looking forward to seeing what snaps you got, Pete, both of the planes and the rest of Dingle. I’m sure you have some socks-rocking pics.

      …mayhap we will have an opportunity in the future to brandish our cams at some Antipodeans! ;)

  7. Soo cool. And cool you got to hang out with Dalene and Pete :)

    1. Glad you like it, Phil. And yeah, hanging with the Hecks was really the best part of the day. :D

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