One of the tourist attractions in Gastown in Vancouver is the Steam Clock. Sitting on a street corner, this looks like a giant grandfather clock with steam whistles on the top of it. It was surrounded by tourists and the number of selfies being taken was substantial. We were there close to the top of the hour so we waited around to see what happened. Below is some video of the lock striking the hour if striking is the right word.
Sometimes you just forget what you have tucked in the garage. I have been trying to get shots of the hummingbirds in our back yard and more recently shot a little video with the DSLR. Then it occurred to me that they might be wary of people but not of inanimate objects. Why not stick a camera on a post right next to the feeder.
While it hasn’t had much use recently, I have a GoPro (or two). I have an adaptor that would sit on top of a lighting stand which is plenty tall enough to get up to the height of the feeder. Moreover, I can control it all remotely using a phone/tablet including a live video feed. I sat indoors with the iPad on watching for movement on screen while doing other things. As soon as one appeared, a press of the button and they were being recorded. The initial attempts failed until I remembered to switch off the beeps and the LEDs that flash during recording. After that it was easy. The results were rather pleasing.
Here is a bit of video I shot of a Dreamlifter heading out of Paine Field. I was there with a visitor who wanted to see the large beast and, rather than shoot more stills, I figured I would go with just video. If I had planned for it, things would have been a little better but hopefully it shares a little of the experience.
I got a few stills of the hovercraft but I also decided to film some video. For those that haven’t seen hovercraft in action, stills probably do not give a suitable impression of how they rise up above the surface yet still leave a wake. Quite a cool form of transportation and I do enjoy seeing them. Hope you enjoy the video.
Walking through the woods at Meerkerk Gardens, we came across a tree that had fallen across the trail. Sitting on the log was a squirrel. This squirrel was happily munching on its food. We weren’t going to continue down the trail so were not likely to get in the squirrel’s way but we figured our very arrival would spook it. We were wrong. While it was clearly aware we were there, it did not seem to see any need to interrupt lunch just because of us.
I had a lucky break one evening when I headed up to Paine Field for one thing, only to discover that the 777-9 development airframe was undergoing taxi tests. I got there to see it on the Boeing ramp with cooling fans running to cools the brakes. I was worried that I may have missed all of the action but this was not the case. They had two more taxi trials that they ran before wrapping up. Each time they would have a brake cooling session with the fans.
The engines are a problem at the moment so they don’t have a flight clearance. That means that the taxi trials will not get too fast. High speed taxi trials require a flight clearance to be available should the aircraft get airborne by accident. These were not going to do anything like that so no lifting the nose wheel. Just accelerate down the runway, gather data points and apply the brakes. I wrote a piece for GAR which is here that covered the trial and there is some video below which includes a head on view of the folding wingtips being lowered into the flight position.
While it is not what it was designed for, I have been using Adobe Photoshop for my video editing for quite a while now. It did enough for my purposes so I couldn’t see the point in investing in new software purely for video. However, I was talking to someone hat was starting to play with video creation and they wanted something to work with, so I looked around at what was available. I saw that DaVinci Resolve, while available as a full feature video editor commercially, came also with a free version that seemed to have a lot of the features that the basic user could want.
Since I was potentially going to recommend this, I figured I ought to try it out myself first to see how it worked. I have to say I have been very pleased with it. There are clearly plenty of features in even the free version that I am unlikely to take advantage of. It is also a lot more user friendly than Photoshop when editing video (which is hardly surprising given that is what it is designed to do). I have played with a few edits now and I am starting to get the hang of it. One lesson I have learned so far is to choose the continuous save option. I spent a lot of time on an edit and the software locked up after lots of work. The whole thing was lost. Now it keeps a running save going (although I haven’t tested that properly as it hasn’t crashed since). This looks like it is my new go to for video work.
The 787s fleeing the hurricane weren’t the only aircraft arriving at Paine Field while we were there. The regular schedule of 787 component deliveries was underway with the Dreamlifters. One of the jets landed just after we got there. We watched from the rooftop as it taxied in, the crew opened up the tail and a fuselage barrel section was offloaded. There was another Dreamlifter already parked up when we got there.
Once our tour was over, we headed back upstairs because this Dreamlifter was now ready to go. It pushed back and taxied out. I decided to try some video of it rather than more stills. The jet was off to Japan and was fueled up. Consequently, it used a good chunk of the runway to get airborne. I was watching through the camera and can admit to being a little surprised how long it ran. The video I got is below.
The Fiesler Storch was a most unusual aircraft. It was used for utility purposes and was able to drop in to the smallest of locations and get back out again. Speed was not its thing but it was the one for special missions. I have seen scale versions in private use and some in museums but I am not sure I have ever seen a genuine one fly before. Skyfair included a performance by FHCAM’s example. I got some shots of it airborne although the dark paint scheme was not ideal on a sunny day. When it came to take off, I figured stills would not show anything about the performance so I switched to video. This allows you to see just how quickly and easily the slatted wing lifted the plane off the ground.
I was walking along the trail that goes through the park next to the airport at Renton taking a look at the stored jets. There is a bridge across the river that is used by Boeing to move jets from the production areas to the flightline and, as I got close to the bridge, I could see the tractor hooking up to a China Southern 737-800 that had yet to be painted. They looked like they might bring it across the bridge. I figured I might linger and see what was up.
Sure enough, they started to pull the jet out and towards the bridge. I stayed out of the way but the wings of a 737 hang over the trail when they are moving it. This was not a problem so they were happy for me to stand there as the jet was moved out. I figured a little iPhone video was in order.
They pulled the jet onto a taxiway and left it there so I figured it might be heading out on a test flight. With the light now slightly to the other side, I chose to go back to the car and move to the overlook on the west side of the field. The jet was starting up but they clearly had a few things to run through so I had time.
They taxied to the south threshold which initially disappointed me. The wind had flight operations in the other direction which would have meant a takeoff towards us and into the light. Going the other way meant they would be airborne a long way away and heading over the lake. What I hadn’t figured on was, just like at Everett, they would do a run with an abort first prior to flying. They carried this out and were then at the north end of the field.
A turnaround at the far end of the field and they were soon lined up. A floatplane was flying about in the background as they got ready to take off. Then it was power on and rolling. There was a lot of crap in the foreground and this was a bit of an obstruction at the point of rotation but I was able to get some good shots as they got airborne and climbed out past us. The green primer/protective film was glinting in the sun. The flight will have ended at Boeing Field where I hope everything was trouble free.