Widgeons at the Splash In

I found myself looking through some old photos (as I have done a lot in the last ten months) and came to the Clear Lake Splash In that takes place in California.  I only made one trip up to this event and, while I was told that it was a quieter year than previous events, it was still a pretty cool thing to experience.  Three Grumman Widgeons showed up at the event.  The classic Grumman amphibian look was cool to see in action.

They landed on the lake and then dropped the undercarriage to allow them to power up the steel plate ramp that had been laid to provide access to the parking field.  The three of them were parked together over near the trees.  One went out to do some flying during the course of the day and then they all headed home when things wrapped up.

Watching something of this size transition from the water to the land was most impressive.  Similarly, the trip back down the ramp and in to the water was cool to witness.  The Widgeon sits pretty low in the water when it is not at speed but, once it is up on the step, it is a very different beast.  Since they were operating parallel to the shore, it was possible for them to be quite close while they were at speed which was great.

Sunlight Through the Mist

Moran State Park was a damp and shady place for a hike.  As we got closer to Cascades Lake, we got to an area that was a bit misty.  With the sun peaking through the trees, the moisture in the air picked up the shafts of sunlight picking through the branches.  I had not photographed this before and I was interested how to expose to get the effect to show up properly.

I wasn’t sure whether to underexpose or go with the base settings so I played around with it a bit.  Since it was the mirrorless M6 I was using, you get a bit of a preview in the viewfinder of what you will get but my experience of that camera is that the viewfinder can be a little off compared to what you get when working on the desktop.  A little tweaking and I was pretty pleased with the results.  I did also try some HDR just in case but I don’t think it was necessary.

MC-130 on Exercise

In this previous post about the hangars at Moffett Field, I mentioned that I was there to cover an exercise.  The MC-130s were a big part of the exercise.  They were loading up and launching down to remote landing strips on the California coast.  The holds were full of equipment including off road vehicles.  Loading these up was a tight fit.  While the crews spent time getting everything ready to go, I was reasonably free to wander around the airframe and get some shots.

Here are some that I got that day.  These were some of the oldest Combat Shadow (and maybe Hercules) airframes around at the time and I suspect that they have been replaced by now, I think by Combat King J models.

Experimenting With Night Shots of Ferries

With the ferries coming and going to the terminal at Orcas, I was able to have plenty of chances to take photos.  I did get standard shots of the boats in low light conditions.  They are not easy to shoot since they are constantly moving.  No long exposures at low ISOs are possible so it is high ISO and the associated noise.  However, I did decide to experiment with some long exposures and blending of shots.  The boats make a curving approach to the terminal.  I thought this might make a nice long exposure.  It worked okay but the curve is a bit disguised by being too low down to really appreciate it.  However, it was fun to try.

NetJets Gets the Good Conditions

In this previous post, I mentioned the good light I was hoping would be available for a Dornier 328Jet.  While that didn’t work out, I did get a NetJets Latitude arriving at that time.  NetJets colors are certainly not very exciting so they are a bland subject normally (and a Latitude is hardly the most exciting looking bizjet either.  However, with the right lighting, even this can look pretty dramatic!

Woods Hole Boat in the Yard at Anacortes

Previous visits to Anacortes have included pictures from the shipyard in the town.  They seem to always be working on some substantial vessel or other that has been lifted out of the water and moved up the yard to allow access to work on it.  When heading to the ferry, we had a little spare time so took a swing through the town.  Sure enough, another large vessel was parked next to the road.  This one was registered to Woods Hole.  It was a long way from home!

First JASDF KC-46 Pegasus

The Japanese (JASDF) were a customer for the tanker version of the Boeing 767 when Boeing was offering it in the early days.  Japan and Italy were the only customers that I am aware of for that aircraft.  Therefore, it was not a massive surprise that Japan ordered the KC-46 when Boeing developed it for the USAF.  The first aircraft is now being completed and has been parked on the ramp up at Everett recently.  Here it is undergoing some testing.  Hopefully we shall get to see it flying soon.

London Buses in the Strangest Locations

In the center of Fairhaven, I was surprised to see an old London bus.  This wasn’t a Routemaster but an older vintage of bus.  It was tucked in a shady area next to a building on a sunny day so it was a touch tricky to get a shot of.  It was also surrounded by various stuff so I maneuvered to get a reasonably clear shot of it.  It still has its UK registration plates so anyone that is familiar with London Transport history, can probably advise what it is.  No doubt there is a website for this sort of thing somewhere if I looked hard enough.

Turbine Beaver

There is no shortage of DHC Beavers in the PNW, even of the turbine variety.  Plenty of them are on floats, too, so even that doesn’t make it particularly special.  However, when you haven’t been able to shoot much aviation for a long time, one is a welcome sight.  Even better when it switches to the closer runway when on approach.

Mist Over The Water at Orcas

First thing in the morning on Orcas Island made from some beautiful conditions.  We were staying in a place looking out over the water towards Shaw Island but, in the morning, we got some low fog and mist that could obscure our neighbor so close by.  As the sun came up, the fog would burn off and then roll back in.  It was a constantly changing view with the land and smaller islands appearing and disappearing frequently.  You could sit and watch it for ages.  Best done from inside the house, though, since it was rather chilly.