Coast Guard SR-N6

The Canadian Coast Guard has operated hovercraft for many years.  As a school kid on work placement at BHC, I saw one of their AP1-88s under construction.  These have since been replaced but they were, in their turn, replacements for the original SR-N6s.  They have an operating base alongside Vancouver International.  Despite having been to YVR on a number of occasions, I had never been out to the Coast Guard base.  On our way back from the city one weekend, I made a short diversion out to see their gate guard.  It is behind the fencing but you can shoot it from an angle over the fencing.  It took me back to my childhood riding these things from both Ryde and Cowes.

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Kenmore Air’s Base of Ops

With a friend visiting from the UK who was keen to experience some float plane flying, we booked ourselves on some flights with Kenmore Air.  Having spent a fair bit of time over the last couple of years photographing their planes in service, it was nice to be actually experiencing their flying for a change. It proved to be a fun time and I will cover more bits of it in coming posts.  Today I am focusing on their base.  They were happy for us to wander around while we waited for our flight which was a lot of fun.  Plenty of aircraft up on the land awaiting their next flights so here are some shots.

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Polarizer Effect on the Water

If I remember – which I frequently don’t – I take my polarizer with me when I am going to photographing scenery.  With our trip up into the Cascades, we went to the overlook of Diablo Lake and the sun was reflecting off the surface of the lake waters.  I took two shots – one with the polarizer rotated to remove the glare and one with the glare in full effect.  I was interested to see which of the shots I preferred when I got home.  The color of the lake is very nice but sometimes the reflections are more interesting.  I include both here to show just how much of a difference the polarizer makes and for you to decide which is to your taste.

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Dreamlifter Video

Here is a bit of video I shot of a Dreamlifter heading out of Paine Field.  I was there with a visitor who wanted to see the large beast and, rather than shoot more stills, I figured I would go with just video.  If I had planned for it, things would have been a little better but hopefully it shares a little of the experience.

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A Little Hovercraft Video

I got a few stills of the hovercraft but I also decided to film some video.  For those that haven’t seen hovercraft in action, stills probably do not give a suitable impression of how they rise up above the surface yet still leave a wake.  Quite a cool form of transportation and I do enjoy seeing them.  Hope you enjoy the video.

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Cloudy Arrivals for the Family

I was picking up some family members that were coming to stay.  I got to the airport a little ahead of their scheduled arrival time and, since it was some time near an airport, I figured a bit of photography wouldn’t go amiss.  They were coming in on a Virgin 787-9 so I knew I would shoot that.  The heavies come in on the inner runway, but the rest tend to go to the outer.  You can still get them, but it isn’t so close.  I figured a few shots on a cloudy day was worth time to experiment with exposing high and playing with the shots in post.

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Nagoya Castle

I had a free Sunday in Japan prior to some meetings getting underway so made the trip to Nagoya.  Nagoya is a fair distance from Tokyo but the Nozomi Shinkansen service compresses that journey to just over 90 minutes!  I took the subway to the location of the castle and wandered around the grounds.  It was unbelievably hot.  In the shade it was uncomfortable but when you got into the sun it was brutal.  Still, how often am I going to get a chance so off I went.

The castle is surrounded by a moat and some very thick walls.  Lots of the structures were destroyed by fire in the bombing at the end of World War II.  The tower was reconstructed in concrete after the war but has now been closed and they are planning to demolish it and reconstruct it in wood like the original.  Other buildings have already been reconstructed in their original materials.

The tower is an imposing structure, even on a sunny and toasty day.  I was able to walk around the perimeter of the main castle buildings in the time I had available.  I had a return train booked based on when I needed to meet a colleague arriving in Tokyo that evening.  Therefore, I needed to keep moving irrespective of how much I wanted to be in the shade!  I had a look in some of the other buildings too.  They were quite simple and elegant in their construction.  I imagine that the whole thing will be most impressive when the reconstruction work is completed.

There were actors walking the grounds in costume as I moved around.  They engaged freely with the visitors but I still felt a little weird photographing them as they passed me by.  They clearly didn’t mind but somehow it felt like I was doing something wrong.  Not sure why, to be honest.  Maybe it is just the feeling that comes with being a foreigner.

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Damp Days for Floatplanes Means Prop Vortices!

A couple of Kenmore Air planes departed from Kenmore while I was at Log Boom Park.  The conditions were pretty damp and humid (and were about to be joined by pretty heavy downpours of rain!).  This meant the departing planes had a good chance of pulling some streamers from the prop tips.  Sure enough, when the Otter took off (and it started the takeoff run a little early which helped the shooting angles) the prop was streaming some vapor.  The shape of the cone of the tip vortices as they flow across the fuselage was quite interesting.

A little while later (and just before the downpour began), a turbo Beaver came out.  It, too, pulled some nice vapor from the prop tips as it accelerated across the water.  A bit of a cross wind was apparently coming in (no doubt related to the impending storm) and they got airborne one float at a time.  At this point we retreated to the car – but not in time to avoid the rain entirely!

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Tokyo Dome for a Baseball Game

Some colleagues arranged for us to buy some tickets for a baseball game while we were in Tokyo.  The Giants were the home team playing another local team called the Swallows.  The game was played inside Tokyo Dome, an inflatable structure and thankfully one with air conditioning!  Here is a panorama of the interior of the dome during the game.  Baseball games in Japan have some notable differences from those in the US, mainly relating to crowd behavior.  That may get a separate post so I will leave it for now.


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Pilatus’ New Toy

There were lots of things I was hoping to see at RIAT but I did get a few that were very pleasant surprises.  Various air forces had business jets showing up and departing throughout the show as dignitaries (or urgent spares) needed to be moved.  The Swiss brought in several jets while I was there but one of them looked a little different.  My first encounter with a PC-24.  To say I was surprised and pleased would be to understate my response!

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