There are a number of cranes that operate around the dam structure at Grand Coulee. With the scale of the dam being so large, it is hard to appreciate how big these cranes are. However, the road crosses the edge of the dam at the top and you go across rails in the road surface along which the cranes can traverse. This gives you some idea of just how large it really is. It would have been good to see one in action to give some idea of what it was lifting but that was not to be. Below is a wider view of the dam so you can see how small the crane looks in the grand scheme of things – disguising its true size.
Many of the aviation people reading this will immediately know what Rainbow Canyon is. For the rest of you, it is a canyon in Death Valley. It is part of a low flying route used for military training and it is a popular spot for photographers to get shots of low flying jets either at eye level or below you in the canyon. Today it is not going to be pictures of the jets though. The canyon earned its name because there are many layers of rock in the walls that are of different colors.
I was there in winter so the sun angles never got too high. This avoided washing out the colors of the rocks quite effectively. Even so, as the day wore on, the angle of the sun certainly improved from the point of view of getting the color out of the rocks. There was plenty of time with nothing flying so I was able to enjoy the views around the canyon a lot.
One thing that you struggle to appreciate at a place like this is the scale. I read about the Spanish first arriving at the Grand Canyon and totally failing to appreciate the scale because there was nothing to give them a reference. Rainbow Canyon, while a lot smaller than the Grand Canyon (obviously), still is deceptive. The distance across felt very small until a jet flew through and you realized how far away it still was and it was not even close to the other side. A quick look on Google Maps with the scale showing makes you realize it is actually a long way across.
You might be a bit bored with me playing with time lapse video. If so, look away now! Here comes another one. We had guest visiting for the New Year and one of the things we took them to see was the scale model of the city. The Chicago Architecture Foundation has a shop on Michigan Avenue and the building in which the shop is located has a large atrium. In this atrium is a model of the city.
All of the buildings in the Loop and some of the surrounding areas have been accurately recreated using stereolithography. This is a technique using resin and lasers that builds solid objects one minute slice at a time creating a solid object of great complexity. If you are interested in the technique, head over to YouTube and search for the term and you will come across a number of videos showing it in action.
The model is set up in the atrium with custom lighting. Apparently, the lighting is designed to recreate the pattern of the sun from sunrise to sunset over a 15 minute period. I had been to the model a number of times and had shot details of it before. This time, I decided I wanted to get a time lapse of the light progressing across the model to see how it came out. Since I had the plan ready in advance, as soon as we got to the place, I set up the camera and then went back down to join the rest of the crew. There is enough in the model to keep people interested for 15-20 minutes so I wasn’t going to delay everyone. It did mean, however, that I had to carry a bunch of stuff around with me for the rest of our walk!
Enough of the back story. Here is the video that resulted. To be honest, I don’t think the lighting effects are as obvious as I had hoped that they would be. However, you do get to see some of the movement of the light.