Rusty Discoloration

The Riverwalk along the Chicago River takes you under the bridges.  Each bridge is on a cycle for refurbishment so, while they are repainted regularly, they do progressively show signs of weathering.  Some of them are rather old structures with the iron and riveting being something of a period long gone.  I stopped for a while to look at the different colors that the gentle corrosion created.  Nothing too drastic but an interesting contract with the original paint color.

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Skyray – Or Is It?!

The A-4 Skyhawk had a long and illustrious career in many air forces around the world.  It has a close cousin that didn’t fair so well.  The Skyray shared a few design cues with the Skyhawk but it was designed as a fighter rather than an attack aircraft (although the Skyhawk spent a lot of time as an adversary fighter over the years).  I find the Skyray a more attractive aircraft than the Skyhawk (not that I have anything against the Skyhawk) but that might be more about the rarity value.

I thought I had come across one parked in the parking lot of the Evergreen Aerospace Museum in McMinnville Oregon.  I was surprised to find it there at all and more so to see it sitting outside.  I am not sure what the future is for the jet – obviously some parts are removed for the time being – but I hope it will make it in to restoration.  It certainly is worthy of a good home.  That is even more true because it is not a Skyray.  It is actually a Skylancer.  This was a development of the Skyray that got so modified that it became a new type.  It never got to production and this example was used by NASA before retirement.  In this location, it is possible to get up on the earth bank behind it to get an angle that might be trickier if it ends up inside the museum.

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Steve McQueen’s Bike

This bike was apparently owned by Steve McQueen.  I seem to have seen a bunch of cars and bikes that he apparently owned so I guess he was a keen collector of motorized transport.  The style of the bike is definitely old but that wasn’t what caught my eye.  Instead, the sidecar was what I liked.  It appeared to have been styled and constructed like a boat.  It seemed rather out of place compared to the bike but it was definitely interesting.  It was tucked under something else which made getting a shot of it a bit tricky but worth it all the same.

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Few would argue that Concorde is an elegant aircraft design.  It may have had commercial limitations, but it never failed to be a head turner.  Getting good shots of it when it was flying was not too difficult.  One the ground it can still be a good subject but having it confined in a tight space does make things a little more tricky.  The Museum of Flight’s example is in their covered annex across the street from the main museum.  The annex has a great selection of aircraft but they are right up against each other.

I decided, after getting some shots on an initial visit, that I would try something a bit different and took a fisheye the next time I went.  Concorde already has some interesting curves and a fisheye can either help of ruin them so some careful framing was required.  I combined that with a 70-200 to crop in close and avoid the surrounding clutter.  It was a fun experiment to see what you could achieve in a constrained environment.

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Bridge Perspectives

Walking under the bridges along the Riverwalk in Chicago provides a very different perspective that that which you get from above.  Some of the bridges have solid deck and others have gridded metal decks which allow light through (and anything else someone might drop).  The lattice structures under the deck are ornate yet grubby.  They are obscured from most views and get covered in the grime that washes down from above.  I am not making this sound very appealing but I find them very cool to look at.  The noise of the traffic above is there but slightly isolated which adds to the atmosphere for me.  They do put a curved stainless-steel cover over the walkway itself so you are not vulnerable to anything from above ending up on your head which is something I am grateful for.

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Not the Average Gulfstream Livery

Biz jets often look samey but a cool livery gets a second look.  This Gulfstream was at Boeing Field.  I don’t think I need to explain why I shot it…

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Night Arrival Over Seattle

A trip away included a late arrival back into Seattle.  I hadn’t thought about which approach we might make to SeaTac so my seat selection was accidental, but I ended up on the side of the plane that was overlooking downtown Seattle as we made our final approach.  Having the M6 provided me with a bit more flexibility on shooting than would be the case with the phone and something far more maneuverable than if I was using one of the SLRs. It handled the low light levels surprisingly well.

I also think the smaller lens elements of the EF-M are better able to handle the distortion of windows.  The distorted bits could cover more of the field of view of course but you have more of a chance of getting between the worst bits.  With the big lenses, it is almost impossible to get a good clear patch for the whole lens when you zoom in to check the details.

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Nozzle Details on Titan IV

The missile display at Evergreen Aerospace Museum is impressive.  They have sourced a lot of different types and they have a Titan IV section lying on its side.  You can get up close to the nozzle of the rocket motor and it is a cool thing to see in detail.  Looking from a distance, they look very simple but, once you are close up, the complexity of the structure and the cooling structure to stop the plume from burning right through the nozzle are really impressive.  The shaping of the nozzle itself, in contrast, is very simple.  The expansion ratios are calculated carefully and the profile is a smooth transition to minimize the losses.  Quite the contrast.

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Storms Over LAX

When you first think of Los Angeles, you think of sun and warm weather.  It is true that a lot of the time, this will be what you get in Southern California, but it is not always the case.  On the first day of my trip down to LA, I had intended to get some flying in.  The weather had other ideas.  The cloud base was low and waves of rain were coming through the area.  Just when the sun came out and you thought it was okay, another bunch of clouds would roll in and, if you didn’t get under cover quickly, you would get drenched by some torrential rain. This does, of course, provide for a shot of LAX that you don’t normally get!

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Lyon Air Museum

A weekend in Southern California for work was not my idea of fun but I did have a few hours free on the Sunday morning so I headed down to Santa Anna to the Lyon Air Museum.  It is located on the opposite side of John Wayne Airport from the main terminal building and is not terribly obvious unless you look hard.  Even the entrance road is a bit obscure and could be easily missed.  However, once there, it was definitely worth the time.

The museum is in a modern structure and has an impressive collection.  Supposedly the planes are all airworthy and they have some interesting ones there.  Some of the collection will get their own posts.  For now, here is an overlook of the museum and a few of the side exhibits that don’t get their own story.

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