Dropping the Shutter Speed in Bad Light

My cloudy Vancouver shoot also gave me the chance to play around with some lower shutter speeds.  I have done this for the turboprops before but this time I decided to play with some of the jets.  A really low shuttle speed can blur out the background and give a nice impression of movement but it is a problematic shot to make.  You don’t want to do it on something that you are keen to get in case you get nothing!  It is also something that results in very small apertures if there is much light which can make for a lot of dust spotting in post!  A cloudy evening is a good time to try and a bunch of boring regular jets are good targets for a trial!

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Power for a Factory

The Dearborn factory required a large power generation facility and, in days gone by, this was provided by a large steam engine driving generators.  This machine is now nicely preserved.  The scale of it is a bit hard to represent.  The cylinders are huge and the controls are substantial.  You can climb up on top of the whole thing to see how it went together.  Surprisingly, this is not a place that was getting too many visitors which meant I was able to nose around in relative peace.  It is hard to imagine what it would have been like when this enormous piece of engineering was in use and was generating the power for the plant.  Now it is idle but it still looks imposing.

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Bf-109 Check Out for Stevo

Some visits to an airport can be a total loss.  Nothing of interest happens and you come away with no shots worthy of note.  On other occasions, you get a surfeit of riches.  I had one such evening at Paine Field.  It included a sortie by FHCAM’s Bf-109.  I saw it taxiing out which looked good and then found myself being joined on the mound by Steve Hinton.  Steve’s son, Stevo, was being checked out in the 109 that evening.  He took of a flew a little general handling before returning for a few patterns.  The 109 is a great looking plane, particularly with the right engine installed.  Having someone like Steve alongside to discuss what was going on was icing on the cake.

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Esprit V8

As a young kid growing up in the 70s watching Bond movies, the Lotus Esprit that became a SAM launching submarine made a big impact on me.  The next movie also had an Esprit, this time in turbo form, but it got blown up very quickly and a 2CV was the “star” of that movie which did not please me at all.  My love for the Esprit was born and it continued through the Turbo SE and to the V8.  It had another movie appearance in Pretty Woman although I suspect only a few of us watching were impressed.

A V8 example showed up at Redmond.  I got chatting to the owner, a Brit as it turned out.  He had owned a Turbo in the UK and then bought the V8 after he moved to the US.  Apparently, only about 70 were sold in the US and maybe half of them are still in use.  I loved checking it out and talking with him about the car.  It also reminded me of one that used to live in South Kensington when I lived there so I dug out the old negative scan and that one is included here too.  What a great looking car.  A shame the gearbox was never able to accommodate the power the engine had potentially on offer.

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Clippers Bashing the Circuit

A visit from my buddy Paul was a good reason for a day off and a trip to Whidbey Island.  We had some ideas about what we wanted to see but anything was going to be good.  The weather was nice so we were in luck.  One thing we got a lot of that I was not expecting was C-40 Clipper traffic.  Two of the jets were out and about.  They weren’t just moving people around though.  They were clearly getting some training in as they flew pattern work for a long time.  We were able to get shots of them multiple times.

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Wandering Over the Bridge at Deception Pass

I have walked across the bridge at Deception Pass before and that appeared in the blog in this post.  We headed back to the area one weekend recently and stopped to cross the bridge again.  The narrow sidewalk on the edge of the bridge is ideal for someone with my lack of enthusiasm for heights.  It also isn’t a good place to loiter to try and get shots because there are always people crossing and it is hard to squeeze by in some places.

However, you can get a really nice view of the pass itself and the bays alongside it.  There is also a fair amount of wildlife that inhabits the area.  We saw seals frolicking in the waters of the pass and a bald eagle flew by and perched in a tree top near the car.  Some kayakers were enjoying the waters too.  I actually could have done with a wider lens than I had but that was back in the car so 24mm was as wide as I could go.

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FedEx Testing and Delivery

Summer evenings can be a good time to visit Paine Field as flying seems to be busy and the light is often quite nice.  On two separate visits, I saw this FedEx 777F flying.  The first time it was on some acceptance flights and it flew an approach followed by a low go around.  The gear doors had been blown down prior to this approach and the RAT was deployed.  It then flew a pattern and landed.

Next time I saw it, it was heading off to Memphis on its delivery flight.  They seemed to have a few issues with the transponder prior to departure which was fine for me as it delayed them until the light was a bit nicer.  Not sure I would be so happy to take my new plane with a snag though!  Memphis when empty is a piece of cake for a 777F so it made it off the ground pretty speedily.

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Ospreys Galore

A trip to Log Boom Park in Kenmore is usually because I am after floatplanes.  However, it is a great source of wildlife and some of the ospreys in the vicinity were keen to be photographed.  You get plenty of ospreys and eagles in the area but they are usually fishing a bit further out into Lake Washington and not so close to the shore.  However, a few of them were circling right overhead and even looking at some fishing opportunities in around the jetty.  It would be rude to not try and get some shots of them!

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Movie Star Black Hawk

When I got to Olympia for the Olympic Air Show, one of the first things I saw on the ramp was a very serious looking Black Hawk.  It was equipped with everything you could think off.  The ESSS system was mounted, there was a FLIR turret and a variety of weapons.  I was rather curious what unit owned it.  It turns out it is a civilian owned machine.  Northwest Helicopters is the operator and it is used for filming work.  That explains it looking so tooled up.  A civil registration is discretely on the tail and it says the machine is actually an EH-60.  I’ll have to watch out for it in any movies that are coming up.

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Quite a Locomotive

I know a few of the regular readers of the blog are in to trains so I hope this one pleases them.  The Henry Ford Museum covers all sorts of engineering endeavors including a selection of rail vehicles.  This was one of the last things we saw before we left so I didn’t explore very much.  However, there was one rather large steam locomotive on display.  This thing was a beast and I imagine it was quite the sight when it was in regular usage.  Our visit coincided with the running of Big Boy after restoration so something similar to this can been seen for real once again!

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