Tag Archives: ORD

Trying the New Spot in Better Light

I recently posted about a trip to O’Hare in some crummy weather when I didn’t end up with many good results.  One of the better aspects of that visit was that I found a nice location directly under the approach to 14R.  This provides some good head on shot opportunities.  Head on shots are kind of fun I find.  They are a different perspective to normal and mix things up a bit.  You can’t do it all of the time or it is dull but it does make for some more dynamic shots that the standard side on pass.

I waited to see when the right combination of wind and weather would occur so that I could get the morning light just off the nose when this runway was in use again.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait particularly long.  Things lined up quite nicely so I popped out to have a look.  My desire to stay in bed meant that I was about five minutes too late to catch the ANA arrival from Japan but others were on the way so it was a nuisance but not a huge loss.  However, en route I did take a look at the south side of the field for other possible shooting locations.

I had shot a few years back at a spot that provided a great view of aircraft departing off 22L, many of which turn quite early after departure giving some topside views.  This spot ended up having a warehouse facility built on it which was a nuisance.  however, further development in the area has provided some spots to park so I checked out one of these and it seems a reasonable option.  Then I headed to the approach.

In good light it seems to work really well.  I experimented with wide angle shots as they pass overhead as well as long lens shots that crop tightly in on the aircraft as it gets closer.  Both seem to have some merit.  I didn’t stay too long as there was a gap in the larger arrivals so I headed back to my other new spot to try a few departure shots.  Then it was back to the approach for the last of the big jets and then home.  Not a bad morning really and with the day only just started, plenty of time to do other things.

Some O’Hare Arrivals

A bit more time stuck indoors than I would ideally have liked had meant that I was beginning to climb the walls a bit.  Some good weather had been about but I had been unable to get outside to enjoy it.  However, I did get a Sunday when I was able to get out and the weather showed signs of clearing up.  (It had been pretty murky early in the day but the forecast said it would get better and it wasn’t wrong!)

I decided to head to O’Hare to watch some European arrivals.  A strong westerly wind meant the arrival direction would be reliable as far as sun angle was concerned and the low temperatures should hopefully avoid too much heat distortion.  Apart from that, an afternoon out shooting the arrivals is better than plenty of other options even if it isn’t something new and unique.

As it was, there were a fair few interesting aircraft coming in along with the regular O’Hare types of traffic.  I was able to keep close to the car which meant I could hop back out of the chilly wind between interesting targets and listen out on LiveATC’s app on my phone to know when something was coming my way.  Flightaware also allows a bit of planning ahead.

It was a fun afternoon and some good results showed up.  Some new bits to add to the catalog along with some of the familiar stuff and some that will soon no longer be familiar and need to be remembered before they are gone.  Here is a small selection of the day.

Out of Practice

A weekend day crops up with some good light, a relatively clear schedule and a feeling that it has been a while since I was shooting some aircraft.  If it flies, I am interesting in taking its picture.  If pressed, military and rotary are the favorites for me but I am not a snob and I am more than happy to take pictures of airliners if the opportunity presents itself.

O’Hare is not far away and Midway is even closer.  Both are busy fields but they are not a source of much diversity when it comes to traffic.  Midway is Southwest heaven but not a lot else (although there are a fair few business jets every once in a while).  O’Hare is fine if you want a lot of United Express and American Eagle regional jets.  However, there is a period in the middle of the afternoon when a lot of the European traffic comes in and that is what tempted me to venture up that way.

It was also an opportunity to make use of some technology.  I have had times in the past when I finally gave up after a steady stream on the same old stuff, only to head down the road as something very interesting shows up.  Now, with Flightaware on my phone and LiveATC’s app streaming, it is a lot easier to be aware of what is due in and when.  Makes for a more relaxing time!

The afternoon arrivals also coincide with the sun coming round to the right location so all looked good, as long as the weather was prepared to hold.  No tension being built here – the weather stayed great!

I showed up ahead of the main arrival times although I was just a little too late to catch and AeroUnion A300.  It left while I was there but the perimeter fence means nothing useful to show of that.  However, we did have a great selection of stuff to get my first big afternoon of shooting in.  There is also the normal stream of the local stuff and I didn’t ignore that completely but usually only to try something I wouldn’t go for on a one off arrival.

We had KLM, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian amongst others.  The Turkish jet had a large Manchester United logo on the side but I didn’t hold that against them.  Royal Jordanian really do have a very attractive livery.  Only Iberia let us down by arriving on the center runway rather than the southern where we were.  Ho hum!

All in all a great day out and a nice way to spend some time in the sun – outdoors after the generally dull winter we have had so far.  As if to round that point out, that evening it snowed a bit again!  What is going on?