I was thinking back to previous RIAT shows when I was putting together the 2006 post here. RIAT was my first encounter with the B-2. I recall it showing up to a show one year for a flyby without landing. It flew through accompanied by a pair of F-15Cs, one on each wing. Then, another year – maybe the next but I don’t recall for sure – one was actually deployed to the show. It was parked up so close to everyone on the flight line. I took quite a few pictures of it because it was so new and interesting. (A few pictures in the film days was a let less than it became in the digital days!) Even now, I think a show would consider it quite a coup to have a B-2 on the ground.
I was skimming through some photos and saw one of the moon I liked. It made me see what others I had shot over the years. I used to shoot the moon a lot when we lived in Chicago but haven’t done so much since. One shot is from California as the moon was setting over the hills while the sun was coming up. Others have involved cloudy nights that make for unusual shadows. I also decided to make a bit of an edit to one of the shots based on a picture I saw on someone’s shelf on a video I was watching. One for the Star Wars fans out there.
The idea for this was spotted by my friend, Paul, during a visit of his but we missed it at the time. It was early in the morning and the water was calm as a millpond. However, the jet was beyond the water before he spotted it. I have missed the chance since or there was not water. However, while the conditions weren’t ideal, when I saw the Dreamlifter taxiing back to the ramp, I realized the opportunity was going to be there this time.
The water wasn’t quite still and I had the long lens on the camera but a phone is a good second best these days. The jet taxied in with Mt Rainier in the background before reaching the north end of the field and crossing over. Then it was time to be ready. The phone has the added advantage of being able to shoot through the fence with no interference.
We have plenty of wildlife in our backyard. We get a variety of birds visiting. Recently, while sitting out on the deck, we had a new visitor. I am not an expert on birds but I do have a very big book with lots of pictures of them. There are so many that it is easy to pick the wrong one but I think this one was a Steller’s Jay. It stayed around for a couple of minutes before flying off. If you are knowledgeable about birds and I am wrong, please feel free to let me know what it actually is.
The answer to that question is clearly “not much” but it isn’t zero. We do get things flying overhead here on a regular basis. We are on the approach to SeaTac for some arrivals and we do sometimes get Boeing Field traffic too. It’s a rarity when there is something interesting and I am ready, though, so that doesn’t provide a lot. However, I did recently have a T-38 from Boeing’s chase fleet come over the house. It was a bit high but it was enough to get me out in the driveway!
We have also had helicopters fly over on occasion. An Army Chinook came past one time while and Navy Seahawk was another transient. In each case, I only heard them shortly before they arrived so grabbed the camera while at my desk and shot through the window. That is not a good plan but it was all I had available at the time. These can count as my lockdown at home aviation projects!
Lockdown continues to be an opportunity to go back to previous photos and these come from our trip to San Francisco in January. What a long time ago that now seems and how strange it is to think of a time when we freely traveled across the country. On our first evening, we met up with friends for a drink and some food. We met them down around Embarcadero. At the end of the evening, before heading back to our hotel, I took some photos of the area. The Ferry Building was nicely light as was the Bay Bridge. It was a lovely evening to be out which I guess is indicative of the benefits of Northern California in the winter!
An early ISAP symposium included a visit to Lockheed Martin’s facility at Fort Worth. We were there to see the first F-35 test aircraft, AA-1. In addition, they had arranged to bring Glacier Girl, a P-38 Lightning, to be there too to provide two Lockheed Lightnings. However, while I was up the scissor lift that was provided for us to get an elevated view, I looked the opposite direction. There were two interesting looking airframes parked up. One was an old F-16 that had probably been used for test duties. The other was not a flyable plane but it was some sort of test rig for the STOVL configuration of the F-35 – what would become the F-35B. A couple of cool looking items that you wouldn’t normally get to see.
A while back I posted about the Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. We saw it while walking on the Pacific Coast Trail. At the time of that post, I said I would post more from the rest of the trail. I guess I have finally got around to doing so. The beginning of the trail took us past the lighthouse but it was a bit backlit. As we walked further around the coastline, the light came to be behind us more and the view of the various inlets and islands got to be very nice.
It was such a tranquil spot. I suspect November is not the busiest time of year and the trails might be a lot more crowded in peak season but the sun was out and it was really lovely to be there. The rocky coastline looks like it is something that you need to know your way around carefully if you are in a boat. The presence of a lighthouse tells you that plenty have come to grief in the past. On a day like the one we had, though, it couldn’t have seemed more appealing.
When we first lived in Chicago, I was working for a UK based company. I used to make regular trips to London to check in with the mother ship. For the return journey, I would usually take the morning flight back to O’Hare from Heathrow. In those days, BA operated from Terminal 4 and there was a Hilton hotel attached to the terminal. This made the whole process very easy. Get up, walk across the bridge to the terminal and check in. It also meant I could get the occasional shots of operations.
There was a fire escape on the side of the hotel that provided a view to the east and to a bit of the airfield itself. It was a bit restricted as views go but it was not bad. I could get some shots of the operations if the direction of the flow was right. I would also get up early sometimes to see the arrivals coming in as the sun was coming up. Here are some of the shots I got from there.
Not being able to go anywhere means you can only photograph things close to home. Why not dig out the macro lens. I have no doubt that many photographers have been doing the same thing when stuck at home too. I initially didn’t have any obvious plan for this. I just decided to photograph anything around me to see what it looked like when seen up very close. Textures on the surface become apparent in a way that aren’t normally. I also discovered just how much dust on on somethings that I never noticed until looking at the images.