Racing Eight (ish)

Washington has a history of rowing that goes back decades.  If you want a good read, get hold of the The Boys in the Boat which is about University of Washington rowers in the 30s.  Rowing is still a big deal so I wasn’t surprised to see a coxed eight come across the lake.  However, something was amiss.  A quick count showed that someone hasn’t shown up that day.  The gap in the crew was pretty clear.  They didn’t seem to be struggling though.  Their speed across the water was impressive and I imagine the eight person pulling would make them that bit faster!

Posted in Pacific Northwest, photo, sport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BBJ at Medford

Directly opposite our hotel during our overnight stop in Medford Oregon was a Boeing BBJ.  There was no way I wasn’t going to try and get a shot of it despite the fence.  The initial shots were when we first arrived because I didn’t know what the timing of the rest of the day would be. However, after dinner, the light was getting so much better so I wandered back out to have another go.  No idea whether it is based there or whether someone was just visiting.  We left before it moved.

Posted in aircraft, civil, corporate, photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gas Works Park

In the days before natural gas, the gas supplies for towns and cities came from making gas from other sources such as coal.  Gas works were a big feature of towns.  However, they have disappeared as natural gas replaced them.  The huge metallic structures have been taken away and the land has found new purposes.  Seattle managed to both find a new use and keep the works.

The north end of Lake Union has Gas Works Park.  Much of the gas works has been cleared away but substantial chunks of the metal work remain in place.  Some is cordoned off but other parts have been integrated into displays.  We both commented on the complexity of the pipes and valves and how everything had a role.  The geometry of the structures and the connecting pipework were great to look at.  The middle of the day is not the best time to photograph this so I will think about coming back at some point to have a wander around specifically for photography.  However, on a sunny day, a park by the lake with tons of people seemed to be a very relaxing place compared to how this would have been when it was in use.

Posted in Pacific Northwest, photo | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Learjet and a Global Through the Fence

San Jose has a little park next to the airport which provides a good place to watch the approaching aircraft.  It is also situated right next to the taxiway that the corporate jets use to get to the threshold for departure.  You get a really good view of them and, as the day progresses, the light is on them nicely.  Unfortunately, although not surprisingly, there is a big fence in the way.  It is a high fence and there are no spaces to photograph through.  The only option is to get very close to the mesh, try and align with the holes as well as you can and then shoot wide open to blur out any wire that does get in the shot.  It works surprisingly well.

In this case a couple of Bombardier’s jets showed up.  The Lear was nice to see but I do prefer the big corporate jets and the Global Express has been a favorite of mine for a long time.  I think it is an elegant jet and this one was painted nicely to enhance the lines.  I await the first chance I shall get to see the Global 7000 to see whether it shares the family looks.  I should pay my friends in Wichita a trip – to see them of course!

Posted in aircraft, Bay Area, civil, corporate, photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Old Seattle Streetcar and Its Modern Counterpart

We were wandering around down by Lake Union checking out the sights of the city.  When it was time to head back, the easiest thing for us to do was to grab the streetcar that runs back up to Westlake.  This is a relatively new addition to the city and they are expanding their streetcar system at the same time as Sound Transit expands the light rail system.

It did remind me of a previous trip we had to Seattle quite a few years ago.  At that time, there was a vintage streetcar that ran along the waterfront.  We had stayed down there on that trip and the streetcar tracks ran right outside the hotel.  During the course of some redevelopment activity, the barn where the cars were stored and maintained found itself in the way and it was demolished.  The system went away and clearly has not returned.

The tracks are still along the right of way but obviously aren’t used anymore.  I thought it was interesting to contrast the old style of a streetcar with the modern vehicle that is appearing in cities all across the US today.  The return of streetcars are gaining momentum all across the country.

Posted in Pacific Northwest, photo, vintage | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Some New Max Jets

Boeing has now certificated the first of the new Max versions of the 737.  The Max8 has now entered service.  I first saw a Max at some distance across San Francisco Bay as I wrote about here.  I was passing Renton so I thought I would have a quick look at what was on the flightline.  A few of the new jets were mixed in with the current builds of the NG aircraft.  Customer jets were clearly awaiting delivery while a Max9 was also on the ramp.  The test program for the Max9 is at a far earlier stage although it will be a shorter program given the amount of testing already completed by the Max8.  A Max8 was close by and one awaiting delivery was behind the Max9.

Posted in aircraft, civil, Pacific Northwest, photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goslings En Masse

Spring is the season for new life.  The geese had obviously been taking the task to heart because, as we walked around Bloedel Reserve, there was a large gathering of goslings.  It appeared to be that several families were mingling together.  I guess strength comes in numbers.  The adults were all grazing around the periphery of the group while the multitude of goslings were munching away in the middle.

When we were in Seattle a week later, we came across more goslings.  A smaller group this time but the same thing with the adults keeping an eye on them.  A couple were getting a bit more adventurous and heading off on their own but they were soon brought back into line.  I wonder how many predators geese have.  I guess hawks will be happy to take them out but the numbers might explain why there are so many geese wherever you go these days.

Posted in Pacific Northwest, photo, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trying Something Different for the Night Burner Shots

When the B-1s show up at Red Flag, everyone is pretty pleased.  A big bomber with four afterburning engines is like a giant fighter to photograph.  It is a good looking jet.  It also has a nice feature at night.  The majority of the fighters that take off in burner are back to military power shortly after getting airborne.  The B-1 is a different story.  It stays in burner for a ridiculous amount of time.  Not having flown one, I don’t know whether they pull back the power from full burner at some point but they do stay plugged in for ages.  Long into the climb you can still see the glow.

I have shot the B-1s from a location out in the area on the extended centerline before.  Go back to some old posts here and here and you will see the sort of shots I am talking about.  Paul has also shot from out there so we agreed to try something different.  We headed closer to the rotation point.  The jets get airborne pretty smartly and, the closer in they are, the further away they are from the highway.  However, something that had more of a side on feel was what I was after and so we tried a different spot.

Of course, you never know what time the launch will start and when the B-1s will be scheduled for so there is a lot of sitting around and waiting – in the dark.  During the day it is easy to hang about and wait for something to move.  At night things seem to take longer and you feel a bit more exposed.  However, they did eventually launch and these shots are the result.  I have learned some new things about the behavior of the camera at night which will be useful next time so, while the shots aren’t perfect, it was certainly worthwhile.

Posted in aircraft, military, photo, technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inlet Vapor for the Heavies

More shots from a fun shoot a while back.  If the wind is coming from the west, evening departures from O’Hare provide plenty of opportunity to get some shots.  The heavy departures to Europe leave later in the afternoon and in to the early evening and, as the sun drops down things are getting better and better.  The nice thing about this day was that we got a combination of good conditions.  Earlier in the afternoon, while the light wasn’t as good, a storm had not long passed through and there was plenty of moisture in the air.

The result was a lot of vapor in the inlets of the jets as they climbed out at high thrust settings.  Some of them had clouds sitting in the inlets for long periods of time.  Others would just pulse with the vapor as they climbed away.  They would also puff up little clouds over the upper surfaces of the wing as they fought to gain height.  As the afternoon wore on, the air dried out a bit and the vapor went away.  However, the light was then getting better so no reason to go just yet!

Posted in aircraft, Chicago, civil, photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mixed Formations

Returning jets from the Red Flag missions often come back with the other jets from their units.  However, you do occasionally get a mixed formation or two as a straggler joins up with some other jets for the run in and break.  This time, it might have been my imagination, but there seemed to be more mixed formations than normal.  We discussed whether, with the F-35s taking part in larger numbers, other pilots were kind of keen to get in formation with them and check them out from closer quarters.  Whether that was the case or not, whether there was another reason or perhaps it was just coincidence.  Whatever the reason, we got a few mixed groups and not always just with the Daves!

Posted in aircraft, military, photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment