Amtrak Approaches Tacoma

I had a period a while back when I ended up getting a few train pictures.  Some of these were intended for work proposals while others were experiments for locations that might be useful in the future.  This spot is one that can ideally have a really good background.  Sadly, the day I was there was a cloudy one so the background is obscured and dull.  It was an Amtrak long distance train rather than one for the potential client but, since it was a test, it didn’t matter this time.  I will try again on a nicer day!

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Ready to Move a B-52?

Sleeping through an event is not clever but I have an excuse.  I had guests!  The Museum of Flight has a Boeing B-52G Stratofortress that has long been stored outside up at Paine Field.  Recently, the airframe has been repainted in preparation for its move to the museum location where it will go on display.  The following shots show it in its painted state and then in the disassembly process ahead of the move.  Some of the components were already at the museum when I last visited including the engine nacelles.

The plan was to move it down overnight during the weekend.  I had intended to track the movement and get some shots of the plane out on the streets.  Unfortunately, while Mum was staying with me, I sort of forgot that was my plan and woke up on the Sunday morning that it arrived and realized I had missed the whole thing.  Doh!

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The Monorail

Work has taken me in to Seattle to see the team that runs the monorail.  We shall be doing some work for them on the vehicles but, on this visit, I was just having a meeting.  As I headed back to the car, I had to walk right under the elevated track it runs on as it comes through MOPOP.  I could hear one of the trains approaching so I took the camera out and got a shot.  When we were next there with Mum, I saw both trains together in the station so decided to add one to the collection there too.

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The End of the Day is Always Better

How many times in this blog have I commented on the nice light at the end of the day being the provider of my best shots.  It isn’t just about the shot though.  Stuff just looks better (hence the better shots) when the sun is low.  Mark and I had spent a good day at Coupeville and then at Ault Field but, as the evening was beginning to draw in, we knew a few jets had launched earlier and were due back.  As a result, we anticipated some nice arrivals.  Mark had also scoped out a better spot for the final turn the jets would be making.

It wasn’t long before we heard some calls on the approach frequency and so we headed to the new location.  Our first trade was not the jets we had expected though.  Some maritime patrol training was done and a couple of aircraft were making straight in approaches.  A P-8 and a P-3 were welcome additions.  They may not have been flying particularly interesting approaches but we would have taken them at any time and in this light all was good.

Then the Growlers showed up.  The flew some nice curving approaches around us and the evening light was illuminating their topsides in a great way.  Clearly these were going to be the shots of the day that we were most happy with.  Not only that but they did the decent thing and didn’t land straight away.  Instead, a couple of patterns meant we got a good chance to get some shots of them.  Once they were down, the radio was quiet and we both had drives home to make so we called it a day.  (Sadly, as I got on to I-5 to head south, a C-5 flew over me heading in what appeared to be the direction of Whidbey.  That would have arrived in gorgeous light as it looked really nice as it passed over me!)

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Battery Gun

The battery at Fort Casey showed up in this previous post.  At the time I showed the general layout but I didn’t show the details of some of the machinery.  One of the guns that was still in place was in good condition and the markings from its manufacture were still clearly seen.  The location of the manufacturer and the date when it was made are there to see while the rifling of the barrel shows up well.  Given the age of the gun, it is in excellent condition.

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Interjet In Vancouver

One of the fun things about shooting at a different airport is the airlines you are not used to seeing.  Interjet is a Mexican airline that I have seen occasionally at LAX and I believe now goes to SFO (too late for me though) but they do serve Vancouver.  They are also an operator of the Sukhoi SSJ (although sadly not on this run).  They arrive later in the evening so are timed well for the light to be good in the summer months.  The A320 may not be as unusual as the SSJ but as a different operator to the norm for me, I was happy to get it arriving.

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Big Mouth Little Fish

There was a tank full of sardines at the aquarium that caught my attention.  This was something that was really hard to photograph but I tried anyway.  The sardines were swimming quickly in shoals and they looked much as you would expect them to – a sleek, silvery fish zipping through the water.  The thing that caught my eye was they way that they opened their mouths to feed.  The shape of the head is narrow and clean but, when they open their mouths, flaps of skin unfold to create a huge opening allowing them to scoop up food from a far wider area.  A few of the shoal would do this at any one time so you never knew where to look but they would open wide for a second or two and then close up again.  It totally transformed their appearance.

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Sunny Huskie

I almost didn’t make it to the Olympic Air Show in Olympia this year.  I had been on the road and picked up a cold that had left me feeling pretty crummy.  The drive down and back was not appealing if I was feeling bad but, when I woke up on the Saturday, I didn’t feel too rough.  I wasn’t going to get up and out early to make it inside for the show but there was the chance of meeting up with the guys to shot in the afternoon and that is what I did.  No need to walk much and the drive wasn’t too energetic so I could go with it.

The main reason for going was the Huskie.  Last year I got my first experience of it flying but the light had been pretty flat and overcast.  This year the forecast was for sun so I didn’t want to miss the chance to shoot it in good conditions.  I’m glad I went.  The display was a nice routine but restrained as you would imagine for something that only flies one weekend a year.  It came close to us on a few occasions so I was able to get some shots.  If they flew a little later in the day, that would be good but I got what I went for.  It may not have been the greatest idea, though, because I felt decidedly crap on the Sunday.  I guess the cold had not run its course after all.

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Ferry in to Coupeville

Washington State Ferries cover a wide range of routes.  Some of them are major commuter journeys and the boats are sized to handle lots of cars and passengers.  Others are far more specialized runs that have lower frequencies and capacity.  This can change throughout the year with the peak season demand being way higher than the off-season and larger boats get drafted in.

While I was on the shore at Coupeville, one of the ferries came in.  We actually took this route on a vacation a couple of years ago and it was quite busy then.  This time things were a lot quieter and the boat was clearly not one of the biggest that WSDOT has available.

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New FedEx 767 Struggles for First Flight

Aside from the USAF, FedEx is the main recipient of aircraft coming off the 767 line these days.  They have just placed another order too so they will continue to take new 767 freighters for years to come.  One of the jets was planning to have a first flight at Paine Field.  Prior to first flight, Boeing tends to run a high speed taxi and braking profile.  If this goes well, they will then take off for the first flight.  Judging by the radio traffic this time, things were not going well.  They did one run, braked and vacated.  They taxied down to my end and repeated in the opposite direction.  Then they called the tower to confirm that they were heading back to the ramp.  I imagine they fixed the issue before too long but no first flight on this occasion.

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