Boeing was ready to deliver a 787 to Turkish Airlines. Normally these take place from the Delivery Center which is a nice building justifying the large wedge of cash that has just been handed over. Boeing crews usually taxi out from the ramp but customer flights seem to get towed to the ramp entrance. Maybe they don’t trust the customer pilots in amongst all of their expensive jets.
The departure was to the north so they taxied to the south end of the field before lining up for departure. A flight to Istanbul is a decent length but, without any payload, it still doesn’t take long for them to get airborne. Judging by the distance to go boards, they were off in about 4,000’. Consequently, they had reached a decent height by the time they came by my location. They headed off to the north to start the long trip home.
I had a long layover at Salt Lake City when connecting on a Delta flight. The sun was out and the mountains in the background were covered in snow so it made for a rather pretty backdrop for the airport operations. It was a bit Delta-centric given that they hub at the airport and we were in one of their terminals but it did make for some nice light and scenery for aviation shots.
My second trip to Japan of the year provided an opportunity to see more airlines that I don’t normally come across. I had a few hours at Narita waiting for my flight home and these shots are some of those I was not too familiar with. No details here about the airlines. Just a gratuitous posting of airliner shots.
Since moving to Seattle, I have seen an airline that I had never heard of before Xiamen Airlines is a Chinese airline but their livery looks a lot like Kuwait Airlines and that was what I initially thought it was when I first saw one. Since then I have seen a few in the air and now recognize them. It’s not the most exciting scheme in service but I guess I recognize it now so that must have some value.
I have been pondering the way in which the method by which digital images are captured is affected by what is being photographed. As part of my workflow, I render 1:1 versions of the images and then quickly weed out the ones that are not sharp. This needs you to be able to see some detail in the shot that shows whether the sharpness is there. I have found that, if a Southwest Airlines 737 is in the new color scheme, something odd happens.
Digital image sensors actually capture one of three colors. Each pixel is sensitive to a certain color – either red, green or blue – courtesy of a filter. They colors are arranged on the sensor in a pattern called a Bayer pattern. The camera then carries out calculations based on what the pixels around each location see to calculate what the actual color should be for each location. This process is known as de-mosaicing. It can be a simple averaging but more complex calculations have been developed to avoid strange artifacts.
When I photograph the new Southwest scheme, something strange occurs around the N number on the rear fuselage. It looks very blotchy, even when every other part of the airframe looks sharp and clear. I am wondering whether the color of the airframe and the color of the registration digits are in some way confusing the de-mosaicing algorithm and resulting in some odd elements to the processed image that weren’t there in real life. If any of you have photographed this color scheme, can you see whether you had something similar and, if you did or didn’t, let me know what camera you were shooting with so we can see if it is manufacturer specific or not.
Hawaiian Airlines are a regular feature of the Northern California aviation scene. Whether it is SFO or OAK, their jets are a regular feature. I was awaiting a movement coming in to Oakland when a Hawaiian A330 came over the top. Initially I wondered where it was going but it turns out that it was making a wide turn back in to Oakland. A short while later it showed up again on the approach. Annoyingly, it had passed the moon as it went over the top but I was too slow to catch it.
Alaska Airlines makes a big deal about being an “All Boeing” airline (which I assume does not count the Horizon Q400s and the Skywest Embraers). With Boeing celebrating their 100th anniversary, Alaska put some special markings on one of their jets. I was wondering where this jet was operating so I could shoot it but I lost track of it for a while. Then, imagine my surprise when it happened to be at SFO when I was there for something else. It lined up for departure early in the day when the light was best. Thanks Alaska!
Air shows include a lot of planes that are regular performers. However, some shows manage to include something a little different and having a big airline with a local hub will help. The Chicago Air and Water Show would feature American Airlines jets when I lived there. San Francisco Fleet Week gets United to bring a jet. This year they brought a 747-400 to the flying display. Seeing a big jet like this thrown around the bay is really cool. Whether it is flying low over the bay or turning in near the Golden Gate Bridge, this is something you don’t get to see too often.
Norwegian Airlines have been flying in to Oakland for quite a long time now. They started out with flights from Oslo but they now also have flights from London Gatwick. Despite them having been coming in for a long time, I have never got good shots of them. I have often seen the jets while standing on the BART platform at Bayfair but that is not a time to get a shot. I have also seen them across the bay from the SFO side. Finally I got to see one coming in from the right side of the bay and on the side of the jet that had light.
Norwegian has famous people from that country on the fins of the jets. This one was Edvard Munch. I don’t know how many different people they have on the jets but, with this being the first one I have shot, I don’t have what you would call a collection. It was nice to catch it later in the day as the sun was getting lower. Maybe I shall catch more in due course. However, there won’t be a lot because Oakland is a bit quiet unless you are after Southwest or FedEx jets so I won’t be there often.
I saw online this weekend that Southwest Airlines had retired Texas One, a jet painted up in Texas colors. Texas One is a 737-300 and Southwest is accelerating the withdrawal of the 300 Series jets. It flew out of Dallas to a facility that will break the jet for parts. By coincidence, I happened to shoot this very jet the day before when it arrived at SFO. I had no idea that it would be at the end of its career. Nice surprise. For those that like the colors, fear not. I hear that Southwest will be painting another jet in this scheme before too long.