Located on Mare Island, St Peter’s Chapel was a non-denominational chapel to support the naval facility. It is no longer an active chapel but it is available for use for ceremonies. The structure looks pretty small from the outside but it is surprising how many people it can accommodate without trouble. The wooden structure is very different to everything else on the facility and it looks quite rustic. Many panels inside the chapel reflect the naval history of Mare Island and, particularly, the submarine forces.
The striking feature of the chapel is the stained glass windows. Many of them were made by Tiffany and they are considered very valuable. An exact value is not given but, since they cannot be replaced, you could argue they are priceless. Not all of the windows are from Tiffany but most are and some include a signature which makes them even rarer. The windows survived relatively unscathed in the recent earthquake that hit the area so the team is making sure that they are left alone as much as possible to avoid causing more harm than good.
I imagine you are wondering how many posts I can get out of the theme of window cleaning. Well, here comes another one. I think this will be the last one though, not least given our departure from Chicago. This time I found myself looking down as a couple of guys were heading out over the edge of the building roof to clean another line of windows. Watching people descend the side of the building is one thing but the first step over the edge always seems more precarious.
Additionally, the guys attach their lines to something solid on the roof. However, I was not so impressed by the choices they were making. Hooking on to an air conditioning unit did not seem quite as solid as whatever I would choose to base my survival on.
Slightly strange to manage to get more than one post out of window cleaning but that is exactly what I am doing. I mentioned in my earlier post about the ways in which buildings have their windows cleaned. Our building used ropes with guys abseiling down them. I was working at my desk when they came by. I wasn’t prepared but I grabbed my phone and got a couple of shots. Here is the view of the guys at work from another guy at work.
The window cleaning in Chicago is done one of two ways. Some buildings have cradles that are hung from frames on the roof in which the guys can stand while they clean the windows. Others involve ropes being hung from the roof with the guys abseiling down the side of the building cleaning the windows as they go.
I was working at my desk when I saw a crew cleaning the Kemper building’s windows being cleaned. The guys looked very small against the side of such a large building. As I shot them with a longer lens, the building became more abstract and the individuals looked even more remote. It looked good to me so I grabbed a few shots before returning to my work.
More on the looking out of the window of airliners theme today. This time the subject is other airliners. If you don’t stare out of the window much, you might not be aware just how much other traffic is out there. Actually, there is quite a lot. At various times you might see other jets passing in the opposite direction, pacing you at a distance and crossing your path. Sometimes they seem very close. With some of the apps that are available now, if you have wifi on-board, you can even be prepared for some of them showing up.
Here I shall highlight a quality warning. The attached shots are not great. They illustrate a point but nothing more. There have been quite a few occasions when we passed very close to another aircraft. However, those were not times I had a camera handy. even if I had, the chances of getting a good shot are not great. Even when you are close, you are really not that close. It just seems a lot closer than normal – which it is. However, you are still well separated. Therefore, to get a shot, you need a medium length lens at least.
Sadly, aircraft windows are not designed for optical perfection. Moreover, since they are pressurized and scratches are a source of fatigue which you certainly do not want, the manufacturers put a nice perspex sheet between you and the window. They certainly are not optically perfect. Now you are shooting with quite a long lens through two layers of less than perfect material. This is not a good recipe for quality shots. There we go. I have made plenty of excuses.
You are now going to get a small aircraft if you are lucky and a small blur if you are not. If it is pulling a contrail, you might do better since they can make some nice shapes. However, chances are you won’t get much at all.
As the spring moves closer to summer, the view on my flights home changes. The timing is not any different but I get further east before the sun gives up and disappears. Arriving in the light is not far off now but I am still getting to experience the sunset while airborne. Sometimes it doesn’t appear to be very interesting. I guess this is a function of where the clouds are relative to us. However, one recent trip included a very nice looking sky. Looking back across the wing, I could just make out the sun going down.
The light on the top of the clouds looks particularly nice from above. Sadly it is one of those events where I am disappointed that the image can’t replicate exactly how it felt to be looking out. However, maybe it will give you a small example of how it looked or, if you have seen the same thing yourself, remind you of how nice it looks.