Our first visit to Hawaii included a few days on Oahu. We were staying out on the west coast of the island and our hotel was pretty close to the approach path for the jets coming across the Pacific. It was a serious hardship to sit on the shore in Hawaii watching planes fly overhead. The amount of traffic from Japan is significant and so we had some large jets coming in at that time. If we were there now, the 747s would be gone but ANA has taken A380s for this run. Not sure that they are flying right now but they are likely to be back given the traffic that should ultimately return.
I posted some shots of the jets at Haneda reversing thrust and throwing up a lot of spray in the process as a result of the rain that day. Stills can be good for showing off spray but the motion of the spray in the reverser flows is more apparent in video. Consequently, I shot a bunch of video that day. Only recently have I caught up with my video editing backlog courtesy of the ample time I have at home as a result of not being able to go out anywhere. Here is a sample of the airliner movements from that day.
I spent a little time at Haneda on a recent trip to Tokyo. It was not an ideal day for photography but it had its possibilities. One thing that really surprised me was that I seemed to see a bunch of planes with special paint schemes. I don’t know whether Japanese airlines just have a lot of specials or whether Haneda is the place that they all come but I saw a lot. One of them was from China too. Here are some shots of the specials from that day excluding one that will have its own post.
I was out one evening awaiting the arrival of something that currently escapes my memory. In the meantime, I was in position to get the arrival of a few widebodies. Since SeaTac tends to put the widebodies on the inner runway, they are the ones you can get from this park location while almost everything else (plus the occasional wide body!) goes to the outer runway behind you and through the trees.
On this evening, we had four widebodies come in. Condor brought their regular 767 flight. This were joined by an Air China Cargo Boeing 747-400F, a FedEx 777F and last but by no means least, a British Airways 747-400. The evening light was very favorable and this location is both easily accessible and pretty good for this approach.
I was looking to get some midsummer shooting in at Vancouver. The day was a lovely one but the evening promised so overcast rolling in and that proved to be the case. However, I thought I would give things a go. The lack of the strong evening light was disappointing but it did actually make for some softer lighting conditions and things weren’t all bad. The evening culminated (at least for me) with three quick arrivals. An Edelweiss A340-300, a BA A380 and a China Airlines A350-900. I quite liked the conditions as they provided something slightly different. Clouds shouldn’t necessarily be a deterrent from an evening out shooting.
Arrivals at Vancouver are often on a westerly heading and on the north runway. This is not ideal for photography at touchdown except in the height of summer. Then the light comes around to the north side quite nicely. I wasn’t in Vancouver at the peak time but I did have a visit when the sun had started to get to a good spot. I met up with my buddy Mark for a little evening shooting.
Unfortunately, not everything I wanted came to the runway. The glide slope was apparently unserviceable so some airlines chose to go to the south runway. However, enough came to the north to be worthwhile. The later it got, the better the light became. Some interesting overseas arrivals come in late enough to take advantage of this plus the regular local traffic to provide some nice opportunities. It was a nice evening of shooting and meant the traffic was far easier by the time I got on the road home.
Shooting parallel approaches at SFO is always fun. Despite the fact it is a relatively regular occurrence there, it is still a nice photographic challenge. So often, the approaches are not at exactly the same time and the planes end up being further apart than you want for the shot. Fisherman’s Park provided an alternative view of the approaches and also gave you new options. While the jets might be offset, you got them coming towards you, passing you and going away which meant you could use the different perspectives to bring the jets into one frame.
It didn’t hurt that there were quite a few parallel approaches while we were there. This provided plenty of opportunities to try out some different shots. It was also good to go wider sometimes to give some context to how the parallel approaches looked. This is lost if you go too close on them which is something that I tend to do.
The day I was flying out of Narita was not a good day for weather. Another typhoon was approaching and the rain ahead of the storm had reached us. I did initially visit the viewing terrace in the terminal but, as the rain started, I decided to head inside and go to the Delta lounge which has a great view of the runway and the ramp. It wasn’t long before the heavens opened. Departures reversed direction as the wind shifted.
The arriving jets were now throwing up huge clouds of spray as they selected reverse. Combined with the heavy rain already, they were pretty obscured. Editing the photos allows you to do a lot of work with the contrast to bring out more of the detail but the real view was surprisingly limited. Some of the shots are so hidden by rain that there is little that can be done with them. Departures also did a good job throwing up lots of water in their wake.
The amount of moisture in the air meant the inlets would often be fogged, even for the jets that were landing. Trailing vortices were showing on climb out and there was lots of vapor over the wings after takeoff. The only downside to all of this was that the cloudy background makes it harder to apprecaite the effects that were on show. It does show, though, that a rainy day is not necessarily one to be ignored from a photography perspective. You can sometimes get some interesting shots in conditions that seem very unappealing. (It doesn’t hurt to be shooting this from indoors in a warm and dry room with a ready supply of food and beverages.)
In previous posts I have talked about the program I am going through the scan all of my old negatives and transparencies. It is a far speedier process than I used to use but it is still pretty time consuming and I am about a third of the way through the collection. It will depend on how many rainy weekend days I get as to how quickly I go through them. Something I am discovering as I go is that I have a variety of shots I had completely forgotten about. Over the years I have gone through the sheets of negatives from various aviation events that I wanted shots from. I was pretty familiar with what was there. What I hadn’t realized was that my old film days would often include two or three shots of an aviation topic in amongst a bunch of other shots.
I have been coming across all sorts of shots, both civil and military that I had forgotten about. The majority of them are airliners, some of which are types now out of service and occasionally airlines that don’t exist anymore. Old 747-100s, some early Airbuses, 727 and 737-200, the occasional Ilyushin and even a Shorts Belfast show up. Needless to say there are some appearances by Concorde too.
A combination of poor technique, less than ideal conditions and some less than pristine negatives means that these shots are not going to be gracing the walls any time soon. However, they are an interesting reminder of things that have gone. I wish I had more comprehensive coverage of the time but I actually didn’t take that many pictures at that time. A tad disappointing but I can’t change it now.
Boeing Field is closely aligned with the extended centreline from SeaTac. If you approach SeaTac from the north and sit on the left side of the plane, you can look almost straight down on the field. Similarly, if the departures are heading northerly, it routes nearly over Boeing Field. For most flights, they are already high enough that they are not a good photo target. The heavies provide some interest though.
First, they are bigger so a slightly easier thing to fill the frame with. More importantly, they tend to be a bit more leisurely in their climb rate so are a bit closer in as they pass over. While I won’t bother to shoot the majority of the passing traffic, the heavies will often get my attention – provided nothing else is happening in front of me. Here are some of the recent passers-by.