A big part of snapping a memorable photo is being at the right place at the right time. So to capture one of the Navy’s Blue Angels F/A-18 Super Hornets taking off, aviation photographer Norman Graf parked himself at the end of a runway. He undoubtedly got some amazing shots, but the sounds and shockwaves he experienced must’ve been far more memorable.


There’s a good reason that fence is covered in so many warning signs, and it’s not just because air bases like the Naval Air Facility El Centro in California house live munitions. As the beautiful, swirling dust trails left by this F/A-18 reveal, there’s an incomprehensible amount of thrust coming out of the back of that fighter jet. Get any closer than this to one at takeoff, and burst eardrums will be the least of your concerns.


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