Aldeburgh Beach Sculpture

Head up the shoreline from the center of Aldeburgh and there is a beach area with an interesting sculpture.  Called the Aldeburgh Scallop, it is a stainless steel sculpture, funded by public donations.  It is two scallop shells that interlock.  It is nearly four metres across and dramatic, sitting as it does on the open shingle beach.  Very cool.

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Departure Day

I have been to a bunch of shows at RIAT and have done arrivals day a few times too.  One thing I had not managed to do before was be there for departure day.  I wasn’t going to be able to do the full day because I needed to head off on the next leg of our vacation but I got a good chunk of the time.  Of course, the weather continued its theme of overcast conditions.  There were certain things I really wanted to see which didn’t always work out whether it was Tornados going when I wasn’t there or things that departed up field and didn’t come near us.

Even so, there was a great selection of interesting bits and pieces to see heading out.  Some of them just took off and climbed away normally.  Others seemed to be trying to get as high as possible quickly which wasn’t much fun for the gathered photographers.  A few put on a decent wag of the wings to please us.  The rotation point for most aircraft was quite a way from where we were which was a bit of a shame as rotation can make for an interesting shot.  A bit of heavy cropping and you can get the idea.  At least the lack of sun reduced the amount of heat haze.  Here is a gallery of a bunch of shots from the time I had.

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Astrophotography on the Beach

Tofino is a remote town.  Being on the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, it is a long way from built up areas with only Ucluelet being anywhere close and that does not provide much light pollution.  Combine that with cold and clear nights and you get a fantastic view of the night sky.  Stepping out of the hotel and on to the beach (keeping the light of the hotel behind you), the sky opened up in an amazing display of stars.  I have been to places with great night skies but never at the time of year when the Milky Way is visible.  It looked fantastic.

I had not thought about this possibility and did not travel with a tripod.  I figured I had to have a go at photographing this sky.  I Googled some settings for night sky photography, grabbed the camera bag and headed out on to the sand.  Focus had to be set by using live view and a distant lighthouse with manual focus.  I then set the camera up at 30 seconds and f/4 with a 10 second delay on the shutter trigger.  Then I put the camera on the bag propping it up in the position I thought it needed to be.  Live View was of no use when it was this dark.  I then let the camera sit there for a while to settle.  Gentle pressing of the shutter button and then wait.  I got some good views of the shoreline with the stars including the lighthouse as well as a shot straight up at the sky.

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Down By the Lake at Love Field

Bachman Lake sits at one end of Dallas Love Field.  Early one morning, I decided to see whether the trail alongside the lake made for a good spot to get some shots.  The traffic at Love Field is heavily skewed towards Southwest 737s so I wasn’t expecting a lot of variety but instead wanted to see what angles I could get.  It also would be nice to have a stroll along the lake in the morning light.

There are two runways at Love Field so you have a bit of a guess as to which one will be used at any one time but that is fine.  The view across the lake as the jets come to the northerly runway provides a nice wider view of things.  The near runway allows getting together front quarter shots or to go right underneath for a different perspective.  While most arrivals were Southwest jets, I did see a couple of corporate jets while I was there so there was a bit of variety.

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Rhinos Messing With Me

During Wild Bites, mentioned in this post, we visited the rhino enclosure.  There were two rhinos inside munching on their evening feed.  The enclosure was not ideal for getting photos as they were indoors and there was a lot in the way.  However, they did head outside a couple of times.  I thought this might be my opportunity.  There were two areas where you could view them while outside and, while they could move between them quickly, to get around the outside required a bit more speed.  I looked at which way I thought the rhinos were heading.  They decided to change their minds and go the other way.  I was scurrying around like an idiot trying to get in position.  I never did a good job of it sadly.

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Wright Patterson C-17 Visiting Texas

I headed to Alliance during my time in the Dallas area.  There was a C-17 parked on the ramp a bit away from where I was.  However, it was in nice light at the beginning of the day.  Things improved a lot when I saw the beacons come on followed by the sound of engines cranking.  It wasn’t too long before the jet taxied for departure.  The Wright Patterson markings on the fin meant it was easy to see that this jet was from Dayton.  I don’t know if that was where it was headed or whether it had stopped at Alliance en route to somewhere else.

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Every City Has One of These Buildings

Old streets in cities were sometimes at odd angles.  This resulted in someone squeezing a building in to the available space.  New Year is most famous with the Flatiron Building which appeared here.  Oakland also had a building which I covered here.  Vancouver has a similar building.  I guess, if your city is of a certain vintage, you may well have something similar.

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United Retro Jet

I once got to shoot the United retro colors on the A320 while I was at SFO up the tower but I had not got a decent shot of it actually flying.  When it showed up on approach to SFO, I was pretty pleased.  Sadly, the cloud cover was not cooperating terribly well.  Only when it had got past me did it pop into better conditions.  It was okay when further out on final but neither of these were too helpful.  One day!

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Bears Tempted By the Fish

The Wild Bites food stands were scattered around the zoo.  One of the restaurants was serving a salmon dish.  They were set up right next to the bear enclosure.  The two brown bears in the enclosure seemed to be very interested in the food.  The smell of the fish was wafting in their direction and their noses were twitching like crazy.  They had been given their own food at the same time but I think that they were a lot more interested in our stuff than theirs.  I can’t say I blame them because it did taste great.

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A Pair of Beale’s Jets Show Up at BFI

Boeing Field gets the occasional military visitors and you never know what might show up.  I glanced up and saw a pair of T-38s downwind for arrival.  They came in with about a minute of spacing between them.  The tail codes showed them to be Beale jets.  They headed to the FBO at Modern and were soon being refueled.  The canopies stayed up so they may have been heading out again a while later but I had to move on so I didn’t get to see them depart.

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