I was a bit annoyed that my one spare day in Tokyo was a rainy one. I didn’t have any great plans for the day other than getting adjusted to the time but, when I knew it was raining, I almost didn’t even bother with Haneda. However, in the absence of another plan, I decided to go. The thing I liked about it was that, with the rain falling, the runway was wet. This resulted in a lot of moisture being thrown up in the air by the jets as they reversed thrust. Some went for minimum reverse but others went for a bunch of throttle as they aimed to stop in time for the exit they were aiming for.
A trip to Snoqualmie Falls ended up being on a day that was not the greatest weather. We were hoping that it wouldn’t rain. When we got to the top of the Falls, it was getting pretty wet. However, it wasn’t raining. Instead, the spray from the glass was being driven up the cliff face towards us by the prevailing wind. It was then dropping on us. Head off down the trail a short way and we were dry again. Of course, that was little compensation when you were getting drenched at the overlook points!
The stormy waves coming ashore in Yachats were providing some great splashes as they broke on the shore. They would crash into the rocks and send spray high into the air. If you were further along the shore and looked back at the people closer to the rocks, they would occasionally be silhouetted against the plume of spray. The cool thing about shooting this with a long lens is that it looks as if they are almost being overwhelmed by the waves. Get a bit closer and they are clearly a long way from the water and in no danger of getting wet (except for a bit of the mist if you are downwind of the impact point).
Standing on the shore watching the waves roll in is a very calming place to be. I can spend hours watching the sea if the opportunity arises. While patterns may emerge, every wave is different and the way they move and interact fascinates me. I have written on this blog about some features of waves that I like such as the even colors when the light shines through the wave just before it breaks. Another feature that can be totally cool is if the wind is blowing offshore.
As the waves come in and start to break, the wind is rushing up the front side of the wave. The spray that comes off the top of the wave as it breaks gets picked up by this wind and thrown back up and over the wave in the direction from which it has just come. This is a very dynamic effect and watching it is easier than showing it in still form. However, it is still worth a shot and some of these shots give you an idea of the cool spray patterns that result.
During the Parade of Ships for San Francisco Fleet Week, the first warship was led by a fireboat from the City. It sprayed water from its hoses to provide a focal point to the parade. As it got closer to us, the angle of the light and the mist from the fire hoses resulted in a clear rainbow forming in front of the fireboat. It looked pretty cool and I am not sure the photos really do it justice. However, here is a shot to show you pretty much what we saw.
While at Coyote Point, I was surprised to see how the wind was clearing out some of the particulate matter in the air and giving me a good view of things at SFO. A few times I watched the departure of some of the big jets including three A380s. They each lined up on 28R for departure. What I had never noticed before is how much their jetwash disturbs the water off the end of the runway. Once they get to full power and before they move too far down the runway, the water gets quite some spray in motion. Probably not a good place to find yourself if you are one of the many birds that live in the bay!
Living in the city you can get a lot of things happening out of the window. They can spring up and catch your attention but can equally end before you know it. This can be a problem when you are trying to decide whether to go out and see what is happening. One such example happened recently. I was on the phone when I looked out of the window and saw that the Michigan Avenue bridge over the Chicago River was up and didn’t seem to be showing any sign of coming down. Finally it did lower but not completely. This is when the fun started!
One of the Chicago Fire Department’s boats came up to the bridge and then started spraying water on the bridge. It wasn’t clear at all what was going on. Some fire trucks also showed up spraying onto the bridge from each end. I grabbed some shots of this from our windows. This is the time when you have to make a decision. Do I grab my stuff and go down to get more shots and risk that it is all over before I get there or do I stay upstairs to see what happens and find out that it goes on for ages and I could easily have been out and shooting for a while? I have got this decision wrong both ways in the past. This time I decided to go out and see what I could see.
I didn’t find out what was happening since Chicago’s finest were happy to shout at you for stepping in the wrong place but certainly weren’t going to tell you anything. I later found out the bridges had expanded in the heat and needed to be cooled down. I managed to get to a few locations and get some shots before they opened the bridge up again and then lowered it. This time it went where it was supposed to go and a few cheers came from the crews.