Floating Aloft

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Sergeant Chris Clark (right) and Sergeant First Class Teigh Statler with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team jump from the team’s Fokker C-31A aircraft over Lake Michigan during their performance in the 2015 Gary Air Show in Gary, Ind., Saturday, July 11, 2015.

As the U.S. Army Golden Knight’s Fokker C-31A aircraft became light on its wheels and floated aloft from runway 12 at the Gary Chicago Airport, the team of skilled aerial performers seated ahead of me in the plane performed their ritual of donning their helmets in unison. It’s a ritual I’ve had the privilege of photographing each year since 2006 that the team has performed in Gary, Indiana, and I was thrilled to be back in the air for another opportunity. While theatrical lighting work this weekend prevented me from photographing and enjoying the air show as thoroughly as I typically would have, I was thankful to have a small portion of my schedule free to cover one of the Golden Knights’ morning jumps in this year’s 2015 Gary Air Show.

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Members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team rehearse their free-fall formations in a “dirt dive” at the Gary Chicago Airport prior to their performance in the 2015 Gary Air Show in Gary, Ind., Saturday, July 11, 2015.

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Pilot Brian Rontante with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team sits on the team’s Fokker C-31A aircraft at the Gary Chicago Airport prior to taking off for a performance in the 2015 Gary Air Show in Gary, Ind., Saturday, July 11, 2015.

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Sergeant First Class Teigh Statler (left) with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team secures his gloves as the team’s Fokker C-31A aircraft taxis down the runway at the Gary Chicago Airport prior to their performance in the 2015 Gary Air Show in Gary, Ind., Saturday, July 11, 2015.

Times photographer Jonathan Miano

Fellow photojournalist Jonathan Miano, seated across from me, readies his cameras prior to the team’s jump.

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Spectators line Marquette Park Beach on Lake Michigan during the 2015 Gary Air Show in Gary, Ind., Saturday, July 11, 2015.

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Sergeant Travis Downing (left) and Staff Sergeant Chris Clark with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team check wind conditions on the ground prior to their jump over Lake Michigan as part of the 2015 Gary Air Show in Gary, Ind., Saturday, July 11, 2015.

Trees, green foliage, and railroad track aerial.

As I photographed this expanse of green foliage and swamp land with a railroad track cutting through it somewhere below us near Portage, Indiana, I fantasized about a set of shiny new red diesel locomotives pulling a train trough the frame. #photographerproblems

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Staff Sergeant Chris Clark (left) and Sergeant Travis Downing with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team share a laugh while flying in the team’s Fokker C-31A aircraft en route to a performance in the 2015 Gary Air Show in Gary, Ind., Saturday, July 11, 2015.

10_goldenknights_071115(Top to bottom) Sergeant First Class Corey Hood, Sergeant Chris Clark, and Sergeant First Class Teigh Statler with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team free-fall over Lake Michigan during their performance in the 2015 Gary Air Show in Gary, Ind., Saturday, July 11, 2015.

11_goldenknights_071115Members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team fall in formation over Lake Michigan while performing in the 2015 Gary Air Show in Gary, Ind., Saturday, July 11, 2015.

Posted in Aviation, Photography, Photojournalism by Guy Rhodes on July 12th, 2015.

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