I have seen announcements from Adobe about a feature that is coming soon to Lightroom which seems particularly appealing to me. When dealing with dull and overcast conditions, I shoot quite heavily overexposed. This gives me a lot more shadow detail to work with and also still allows me to pull back detail in the sky. On a dull day, a couple of stops of overexposure can work quite effectively. The Lightroom/Camera Raw editing only has a limited amount you can do with the exposure and shadows sliders so it is not ideal for this. However, the new version of Lightroom is going to use AI to analyze the image for a subject to be selected or a sky. What I didn’t realize was that this was already available in Photoshop. I decided to have a play with it there to see how it works and get a feel for the way it might work in Lightroom soon.
I opened the image in Photoshop as a Smart Object. I then created a New Smart Object Via Copy to duplicate the object. In Select, I picked Subject and it did a pretty good job of selecting the airframe. Some edges were a little vague but overall pretty good. I used that selection to make a mask on the upper layer. Then, I was able to open each Smart Object in Camera Raw and edit them each to optimize the sky or the background. Some tweaking was occasionally required to ensure that it didn’t look like a bad superimposed job but it worked quite well. Lightroom will have this function as a filter so I should be able to do something similar in there but we shall see when it gets released. If it works, it could be a great addition to the editing toolset. I wish I had known about it in Photoshop before to be honest!
The cruise ships are back in Seattle. A year of cruise travel didn’t happen while COVID was raging and no vaccinations were available. Now they seem to have found a protocol to make cruises viable. (Not something I would be trying but each to their own.) When we were down in the city for a weekend, we got to the hotel shortly before one of the cruise ships sailed. It belonged to the Norwegian cruise line and was a huge thing. It was not an elegant looking ship but it clearly had plenty of capacity.
It sailed off on its trip – presumably towards Alaska – and a little while later the other end of the cruise ship spectrum showed up. The National Geographic Venture is not a traditional cruise ship. They have small vessels that are able to make more specialized trips into restricted spaces that the large cruise ships could never get to. We have looked at their cruises to Alaska as something that we might want to do at some point. The season is over for them now so it was not clear what the boat was up to but it couldn’t have looked more different than the Norwegian ship.
After my afternoon out up in Skagit for the fly day there, I migrated with the guys down to Arlington. They were having an evening flying display that would include the Ryan I previously posted about. An overcast evening did not make for great light for photographing the aircraft. There were only a few displays to see so it wasn’t too much of an event but it was still nice to be out shooting planes again. Rene Price put on a good display in his Sukhoi and the Yak-18 display was a great example of what the plane can do. Interestingly, there was the occasional hint of sunlight from the horizon while it flew which would glint off the white airframe since it was high enough to see the light we weren’t getting.
Grumpy, the B-25, flew a bunch of passes having come across from Skagit. I guess with not much else flying, they were allowed to fly as many passes as they wanted. Other than that, it was a pretty low key affair.
During the British day at Exotics@RTC, there were some old Jaguars taking center stage in the shopping area. I was checking out the grill on one of them and looked at the headlights. There was a little logo in the middle of the lights that I had not noticed when looking at previous cars. I guess it is an original feature but it could be an aftermarket thing. That seems out of keeping with the way these vehicles are maintained so I hope it is original.
While walking along the main runway at BFI, the shorter runway remained in use. Since I was at the north end, that meant walking parallel to some of the movements. A Turbo Beaver was one of the planes to use the runway while I walked alongside so it would have been rude not to grab a few shots as it went by. I was using the M6 which is not my usual camera for action work but you go with what you have!
Our hotel in Seattle had a roof deck which we sat out on prior to going out to dinner. Looking south across the city, you can see Mt Rainier. In the evening light, the mountain was glowing. It looked great and was accentuated by some cloud formations across the summit. Sadly, from this location, the bottom of the mountain is obscured by buildings but it was too good a site to let that stop me taking some photos.
October brings the end of MD-11 operations for Lufthansa. When the MD-11 rapidly fell out of favor with the passenger operations, it became a bit of a favorite for freight operations. New build MD-11Fs were joined by conversions of displaced passenger jets. Lufthansa had bought some new jets and added more to their fleet. In recent years, the introduction of Boeing 777Fs had gradually displaced the MD-11s from operations. Now the last one is being retired. FedEx is still using a ton of them so no likelihood of the type going away soon. I only saw them a few times in Lufthansa colors and won’t any more!
One of the things that we were hoping to see during our visit to the zoo was the baby gorilla that was recently born there. Of course, when wanting to see something at the zoo, you are always up against the problem that the animals are not aware of or interested in what you want. They are doing their thing. The parents of the baby were sitting up in a corner of the enclosure, a long way from everything else. You could just get a view of them from a certain angle.
Then, our luck improved. The mother walked down the to bottom of the enclosure near the spectators. The baby was clinging to her arm as she came down. When she stopped, it would jump off and run around a bit before grabbing back onboard when she started to move off. Back up to the top of the enclosure and they were gone. A brief moment and we just happened to be able to see it. What a cute little creature it is.
I saw a notification that an Avanti was heading to Paine Field and due to arrive later in the evening and not long before sunset. This seemed like an ideal opportunity. I waited to see it depart from Mather Field in Sacramento and then got stuff ready to head up after dinner. I made good time getting up there and the light was looking great. Everything was on a northerly flow which was not what I had hoped for but never mind. However, a quick check on my phone showed no sign of the Avanti.
Eventually I discovered that it had diverted back to Mather. I don’t know the reasoning but it was on the ground down there and not close to arriving near me. I was rather annoyed I hadn’t checked this out just before leaving because it would already have been back on the ground by then. However, I was there and the light was nice so why not make the best of things. A variety of planes were making the most of the conditions including a nice Stinson, some bizjets and a Horizon jet so it wasn’t a totally wasted trip.
When I go to Exotics@RTC, I just enjoy the vehicles and occasionally know something about them. Most of the time, I don’t know much about them at all. Some of my friends are far more knowledgeable about cars than I am and they can recognize what is significant and what is not or even what is genuine and what is not. I don’t have that knowledge. Instead, I see something that appeals to me or doesn’t.
German day, earlier this summer, included a vintage BMW. This car looked like the sort of thing that would have appeared in old movies. The sweeping lines of the car, the suicide doors, the shape of the windows – all of these just looked really elegant to me. This was a car that had a certain something and I was drawn to it. The fact it got a central position in the display must suggest it was not an average vehicle but I don’t know why. Maybe some of you will instantly recognize it and point out I was looking at something amazing or something decidedly average!