Author Archives: Rob

Container Ships Arriving in the Bay Area

Another selection of old images from a trip to Alcatraz with the family before we actually moved to the Bay Area.  We were on the ferry coming back from the island and there were some large container ships entering the bay heading, presumably, to Oakland to offload.  The Bay Area got some sizable container ships having the capability to handle the largest of the ships in use.  These were not that large, but they were still chunky beasts.  Seeing them from the water helps you to appreciate their size a little more.

The Return of the F-35As on Veterans’ Day

Quite some time ago, I posted a piece about the take off of some F-35As that were doing a flyover for Veteran’s Day.  What I didn’t cover in that post was that they had to come back!  They actually spent a fair bit of time out around the area as well as doing the flyover so there was some time between departure and arrival.  Originally, I had intended to get some pretty standard side on shots of their return.  However, earlier in the year, I had done the same thing for some other F-35s, and, at the last minute, I had a change of heart.

I rapidly grabbed my stuff and drove around to the approach end of the airfield near Ruby Chow Park.  I decided a head on shot followed by an underside shot would be a better bet.  Conveniently, they decided to do a run in and break rather than a straight in approach, so I was able to get some shot of them in formation as they passed overhead.  Then the approach shots worked out pretty much as I had hoped.  I was glad that I had done something different to my usual.  If there had been more opportunities, I hope I would have tried other ideas too.

Back to Some Old Cormorant Shots

Regular readers will be shocked to see more cormorants showing up on the blog.  These aren’t even recent shots.  I can’t recall why I was running through old images, but it matters not.  All that is relevant is that I came across some older shots I have of cormorants sunning themselves which I had forgotten I had.  This got me looking for others.  The result is a few new shots of my favorite birds to share on the blog.

Golden Global

Most bizjets have pretty uninteresting paint finishes but occasionally you get one that is a bit different.  This Global showed up one afternoon in this gold finish which looked rather special.  It had a logo on the fin which I didn’t recognize but, a little bit of searching showed the plane as belonging to Enrique Iglesias.  He was in town for a show and, with Drake having brought his 767 in previously, we got another performer and their jet.  I hope everyone had a good time at the show.  I didn’t see him depart.

Port Gamble

Our trip to Port Gamble was a bit of an impromptu event.  We had been to Poulsbo but, having failed to appreciate that it was the day before St Patrick’s Day and the town was full of people dressed in green and drinking heavily, we figured a change in strategy was necessary.  Port Gamble is a short drive away, so we headed there instead.  We had only driven by, previously, so didn’t know exactly what to expect.

It is a cute little place.  Developed around a mill, it is not a big place.  However, they have done a nice job of preserving many of the buildings.  Some are still residences, but many are now shops or tourist features.  As we drove in, two large water towers on our right announced where we had come to.  Their green paint was in great shape (although a polarizer was a useful thing to have to take the glare off them and let the green show through).

We walked through the town looking in the various shops as we went.  We were also considering lunch options and the General Store was one possibility we went in to.  While we didn’t end up eating in there, it was a very interesting building once inside.  The lower level was a shop and café but upstairs had a museum.  I didn’t check the museum out, but I was fascinated by the big interior space the building had.

There is a pavilion looking out over the sound that seems to be set up for events such as weddings.  Nothing was going on while we were there so we could check out the grounds.  On a sunny spring day, looking out over the water seemed like a great place to be.  I think we chose a good time to go since the weather was nice, but it wasn’t as busy as I suspect it will be as the summer approaches.  A nice day trip for sure.  (Also, the place we did get lunch had excellent food!)

A400M Atlas Demo from RIAT 2019

I was working through some shots from my last trip to RIAT in 2019.  Amazingly enough, I hadn’t finished editing some of the shots from that visit and I wanted to get rid of a lot of surplus shots to help the old hard drive space issues!  As I was working through them, I got to some shots of the A400M displays I saw over the course of the weekend.  I think the A400M is a cracking looking jet.  Whether it is doing what everyone wanted of it, I have no idea.  I just know it looks great and is capable of some really impressive demos.

For some reason, I had been feeling very brave during RIAT when it came to shooting some of the props.  I had gone with quite low shutter speeds with long lenses and the results were not necessarily all I would have wanted.  There were always going to be blurry shots to get culled, but the number of sharp ones was a little lower than I would have liked.  However, all was not a total loss, and I did get a bunch of shots that I was happy with.

Here is a selection of shots from across the show including the official displays by the Airbus test crew and some of the operator aircraft too.  The weather for RIAT 2019 was not that great.  We did get some nice light occasionally but one of the days was very wet (and I was feeling crappy too) and the others were overcast a lot of the time.  Not the most exciting light for a grey painted plane but they had the potential for prop vortices.  Will I have big prints of these on the wall?  No, I don’t think so.  However, it was okay and there will be other times, I hope.

Downtown LA in the Gloom

Work took me to Los Angeles a couple of times early in 2024.  On neither occasion did the weather do me many favors.  The second trip was very wet but the first was more gloomy than anything else.  As I was walking back to the hotel one evening after we had finished our work, I was taken by the way in which the skyscrapers were disappearing into the mist.  I only had my phone with me, but it does a decent job in lower light conditions.

Falcon 50 With Winglets

If a Falcon 50 is coming and I have the time to be there, there is a good chance I will.  What could make a Falcon 50 even more appealing?  Having winglets fitted.  I didn’t know that when I went to catch it, but you can guess that I was rather pleased when that turned out to be the case.  It feels as if there have been lots of Falcon 50s in the area in recent months.  Maybe I am just noticing them more or maybe they have been more common.  Either way, I’ll take it.  Add some more with winglets and that will be even better please!

Propping Up Poulsbo’s Shoreline

An elevated walkway has been built along the shoreline in Poulsbo.  It runs from one of the parks in the center of town along the water to another park.  We went along it during one of our visits on a delightful, sunny, spring morning.  The hillside beside the water climbs up quite rapidly and there were many logs lying up the slope all well aligned with each other.  It was hard to tell whether they were integral to the stability of the slope because they weren’t deeply embedded.  However, their position seemed to suggest more of a motive, so I wonder if they are reinforcing the slope.

Not Many P-3s Left So This Was a Treat

When my friend Paul first told me he was going to be in Seattle over the holidays, I thought we wouldn’t be able to get together.  However, circumstances changed, and it turned out we could go out and check out the local aviation scene.  We had been getting some stuff locally but a check on ADSB showed a P-3 and an EP-3 out at Whidbey Island and we debated whether to make the run north.  In the end, we went for it.  The EP-3 had been out a while already and it did return before we got there but we were not going to come up short.  A P-3 made its return with some lovely December sun on it.  It flew a bunch of patterns which meant the chance to try different spots to get some images, so we were rather pleased with the outcome.