I had to travel up to Blaine for an immigration interview early one morning. The sun was just coming up as I headed north and the nearly full moon was setting on the other horizon. The moon was sitting just above the mountains of the Olympics and looked stunning. Sadly, I was on the interstate so no option to get a photo. I did eventually manage to find a spot to pull off near Mt Vernon and was able to get some photos. The angle of elevation made it look a little higher in the sky and this far north there were some clouds on the horizon obscuring the mountains so it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. However, it still looked rather nice.
The sunsets at Tofino were beautiful and I included some shots of those in this post. Sunrise was also pretty impressive. Winter means the sun is pretty far south so the position it comes up is not so far off that in which it sets. It does provide a very different light to things with some of the headlands that we could see from the hotel now having nice light on them. When you wake up to a view like this out of your hotel window, you know you are a lucky guy and are likely to have a good day!
A work visit to Dallas and I was meeting some colleagues for breakfast early one morning. Looking out of the window at the hotel and the view looked pretty dramatic. Everyone was heading to the window to get a picture. Making the best of avoiding a reflection from the window was pretty tricky but I managed to sneak a couple that minimized a view of the inside of the room. It only lasted a few minutes so the timing of getting there was lucky. A minute or two either way and I’d have been sitting at the table eating breakfast.
Boeing is now delivering KC-46s to the Air Force at a rate that is a bit of an improvement. There are still plenty of issues with the project (with some only recently discovered) but at least jets are now making their way to the customer, even if they are not flying them too much! However, there are still a lot of the jets parked at Paine Field. The early morning sun provides some nice light on the line of aircraft. It is a rather cluttered view with plenty of airfield material in the shot but the light makes it a bit more appealing.
My buddy Paul was visiting so we had a day out looking for some interesting shot opportunities. We started off the day at Paine Field before the sun was really up. A Dreamlifter was due in and we figured we would give it a try. However, as we drove towards Everett, the fog was pretty thick. The field is on the top of the hill so we thought it might be clear, but things did not look promising as we got closer. The low cloud was also blocking off the sun that was just above the horizon which, given that it would have been backlighting the jet, might have been a bonus.
The Dreamlifter came out of the cloud very late on the approach and I was able to grab a few shots of it as it emerged. It was a rather ethereal look as it came into view. The dampness of the air meant that the plane was pulling vortices as it floated across the threshold and in to the touchdown zone. Conditions might not have been the sort of thing that sounded good, but the result was a really cool shot opportunity. As the plane taxied in to park, we got more shots of it although there was one that would have been fantastic, but Paul only spotted it when it was too late and I didn’t see it at all. I won’t say what it was but maybe there will be another chance in which case you will see it here!
I was heading east for a work trip that needed an early start. We got airborne from SeaTac before the sun came up and turned to the east after departure. We were heading towards what I thought should be Mt Rainier. However, I couldn’t see the mountain. I could see a cloud that was above the majority of the cloud bank which I assumed was the mountain but I couldn’t be sure.
As we came around the south side I was able to see that the cloud was indeed once that was forming over the windward side of Mt Rainier. The east side of the mountain was uncovered and, even though the sun had not yet come up, the early light was enough to give a view of the mountain. I was using the M6 which is not so great in low light but, even so, I was able to get some shots of the mountain as the plane headed on its way.
Boeing started delivering KC-46s to the USAF as I covered in this post. However, it didn’t take too long before the Air Force found various items of tooling in the aircraft that shouldn’t have been there and stopped taking delivery. Consequently, rather than delivering the backlog, it has continued to build. Paine Field had well over a dozen aircraft in various locations when we were there including three over by the Heritage Flight Foundation’s hangars. Here three were illuminated nicely by the sun as it rose across the field so a pano seemed in order.
The Convair CV580 has shown up in a couple of posts at least so far. Getting to Everett early one morning prior to heading to Whidbey Island, it was a pleasant surprise to see it out on the ramp. It was even nicer to see the door was open. Before too long the giant square blades of the props started to turn and they were heading off. They did turn the opposite way to what I was hoping for when they taxied but nothing to sniff at. We decided to see whether we could get to the end of the field before they did but they must have taxied smartly and got a quick take off clearance because they were up and away as we drove towards to the runway. Still, a nice start to the day.
I was watching a YouTube video recently where they discussed photographing Mesa Arch in Canyonlands. This is one of my shots from my visit there and, while I had some similar experiences to the guys on YouTube, I also had a great overall experience.Mesa Arch is famous for the sun rising through the arch. I wanted to be there for that so an early start was required. Getting there requires a reasonable drive from Moab but we were staying a bit outside Moab anyway so we had a longer drive. I wanted to get there in plenty of time so we started out very early.
As we drove into Canyonlands, I could see some large taillights ahead of me. It looked like a coach and where else would it be going at this time of the morning. Sure enough, we followed it in to the parking lot near the arch. The coach disgorged a group of tourists from Japan and we followed them up the trail.
At the arch itself, a ton of people were lined up directly in front of the arch. We decided to hold back a short distance and see how things played out. Everyone was waiting for the sun to appear over the horizon. The good thing about shooting landscapes instead of aircraft is you know what time things will happen. Sunrise is never late and, while it might be overcast, the sun doesn’t go tech. Up it popped. What followed was quite funny. There was the sound of lots of shutters clicking as soon as the sun popped up. I’m sure it wasn’t immediate but it then felt like everyone turned and walked away. About fifteen minutes later there were probably half a dozen of us with cameras and tripods left alone. The group worked well together moving around and giving each other space and time.
Here is the best bit. The sunrise was okay but nothing special. However, after about fifteen to twenty minutes, the light started to really illuminate the rock surfaces around us. The walls and the underside of the arch were glowing. It was infinitely better than when the sun came up and hardly anybody that had trekked out early that morning saw it. They had all gone. Those of us that remained had a great time. If you ever go to Canyonlands, be patient!
Finally, the first Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tankers were delivered to the USAF. Not one but two tankers were delivered in the ceremony, a nice effort at a joke by Boeing having left everyone thinking it would only be one. Then again, when you have that many of them sitting around, I guess it should have been even more! The ceremony took place on one day and the delivery was the following morning.
The jets left from Paine Field just after sunrise. That is sunrise if you don’t have clouds on the horizon. The sun had barely squeaked above those when the two jets took off as Medusa 1 and 2. They were preceded by a McConnell AFB KC-135R – the aircraft that they will be replacing. It got airborne in very limited light and headed for Kansas. Then the two new jets lined up in turn and departed. No flybys or wing waggles. Just gear up, switch to departure frequency and off into the steadily brightening sky. Avoid the traffic inbound to SeaTac and off you go. Lots more should be following soon while efforts continue to fix the issues with the camera system and the underwing hose and drogue pods.