Q400 Full Disc On The Props

I took this a long time ago but just came across it again.  I was under the approach path for SeaTac and one of the many Q400s that come in and out every day was setting up on final approach.  Since it was nothing special, I figured a low shutter speed was in order.  With the light on the front of the plane, this should show up the prop disc nicely.  It worked out pretty well.

Trains Through Steilacoom

Another post for the rail fans out there.  My visit to Steilacoom has yielded posts about the ferry and McNeil Island but it would be remiss to not discuss the rail line that runs along the waterfront.  The weekend day I was there, there seemed to be a lot of traffic.  This is the BNSF line along the coast but it is also currently used by Amtrak services.  That was due to have stopped a while back with the Point Defiance Bypass having opened but, with an accident on the opening run, trains have continued to use the old route.  That will transition at some point this year, though.

A bunch of trains came through while I was there.  Most of these were freight services but one was an Amtrak Cascades train.  It was being operated with a Talgo Series 8 train owned by Oregon DOT and on which I have done a bunch of work over recent years.  Since only one train is running per day in each direction as a result of the pandemic, it was a lucky coincidence that I was there when it came through.  I did get a nice wave from the engineer.

Shooting Slower Landing Shots

One evening, I was shooting at Boeing Field.  The light was lower in the sky but it was still pretty bright.  The thing with corporate jets is that they are often predominantly white and the brightness of the jet with a darker background can make for more contrast than a camera sensor can adequately deal with.  You can sort out things in post but it is often too bright.  I figured I wanted to try and reduce the glare on the jet and that the polarizer was a good way to do it.

This has a second outcome.  Taking out that might light allows the use of slower shutter speeds without having ridiculously small apertures – a sure fire way to find every bit of dust on the sensor.  Since I was shooting bizjets at Boeing Field, things weren’t terribly special so I was happy to play around with going down to lower shutter speeds.  A boring side on landing shot is a bit more interesting when the background is blurred and the sense of motion is enhanced.  I need to practice this a bit to use it more often since it makes for a more interesting shot which I want to be able to use on something a bit more special.  Definitely need to lower the shutter speed further.

Killdeer With Attitude

Nancy and I were at Meydenbauer Park in Bellevue when we saw this Killdeer.  A crow was hopping about nearby and it seemed to be causing the killdeer some concern.  We wondered whether the crow was going to harm it in some way when we suddenly realized that the killdeer was far from defenseless.  It suddenly went on the attack and charged the crow which freaked out and took off.  There was I worried about this bird and it was totally in control.


Another new airline for me with this post.  Belavia is not an airline I am familiar with but I understand that they are from Belarus.  One of their Max jets was on test while I was at Boeing Field and it came in late in the day.  I was glad to add another unusual carrier to my library of shots.  Nothing special about it otherwise but nice to get something new.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Art

Driving home from Steilacoom, I went up the coast rather than cutting straight in to the interstate.  My route took me up towards the Tacoma Narrows bridges.  The original bridge is well know to any engineering student and many people will be familiar with the footage of it collapsing in moderate winds.  That bridge was replaced and, more recently, a second bridge was built alongside it.  In the early evening light, both bridges were nicely illuminated so I stopped to get a few shots.  Zooming in on the towers at the near end, I really liked the shapes of the towers and the pattern work on their surfaces.

Under the Biz Jets

While the 777X was the reason for being out at the end of Boeing Field, it wasn’t the only plane to come in while I was there.  I also got a couple of bizjets arriving at that time.  They are an easier target to deal with than a wide body airliner but they still show up quickly when they come in to view.  In this case, though, I stuck with the longer lens and just shot until they got too big.

The Beach at Cape Disappointment

My Cape Disappointment visit had started with a look at the area best known for big waves but I then decided to head off and explore the other parts of the area.  I drove out along the shore until the road ended and started walking west along the peninsula.  The water was to my left but I could hear the sound of waves from the right.  I eventually came to the beach at which point I could see what the source of the noise had been.

A fantastic beach lay off to the north.  It was a wide expanse of sand with another headland at the end with its own lighthouse.  It was one of those scenes where it was hard to judge how far away anything was.  Since I had not fixed place to be, I started walking north towards the Headland.  The sun was out and it was a gorgeous morning to be out.  There were plenty of people on the beach doing the same thing but the beach was so large, it felt like you could have been totally alone and, if you wanted to avoid everyone, it wouldn’t have been tricky.

I was certainly right about not having a clue how far along the beach things were.  It was true that I was in no hurry and so was ambling along at a leisurely pace.  Even so, I didn’t seem to be getting closer to the headland.  In fact, it was quite a while before I realized I was almost there.  At this point, I glanced back over my shoulder and realized the other end of the beach was disappearing from view.  A look out to see suggested rain coming in from there and that I might be about to get wet.

I turned around and made the return leg with a little more urgency than the outbound leg.  Even so, the rain soon reached me.  Despite this, I actually wasn’t too unhappy.  I had a good coat on and my pants seemed to openly get damp.  The rain didn’t last long and I was dry again not long after.  I did take a slightly shorter route back to the car, though, and a second rain shower hit as I was getting close so I was glad I had done so.

Later, as I visited the North Head Lighthouse, I got a great view from above back down the beach I had been on earlier in the day.  It looked just as large and deserted as when I had been on it and I was quite taken with what an amazing place it was only a relatively short drive from Seattle.  This is a place I shall definitely be back to explore, both in the nice weather of summer and when the winter brings storms.

Stored Dreamliners in the Early Days

Having seen the increasing number of 777s and 787s parked up at Everett (777X won’t be certificated for another year or two and the 787s have stopped delivery since October due to fuselage issues and are only now starting to be accepted again), it reminded me of the number of 787s that were stored in the early days due to the extended test program given how many issues there were with the jet.  (Does this all sound rather familiar?)

I didn’t live in the Pacific Northwest in those days but came up to Seattle for an ISAP symposium.  The field trip included time with the Heritage Flight Museum n Paine Field.  We were checking out the collection and also getting to see a few of the aircraft in action.  A few of the attendees had also paid to get flights in the planes as well.  We got to hang out on the ramp as well as on the berm which I understand was a popular spot in days gone by but is now out of bounds.

There were plenty of 787s parked around the field in those days.  To be honest, I can’t recall whether deliveries were underway and the numbers had thinned a bit but the earliest airframes were the most trouble and they might have been the ones still sitting around awaiting a long list of rectification issues and the potential that the original customer wouldn’t even take them.  These are some of the jets that I got shots of that day.

Cascade Falls

Back to our trip to Orcas Island and our hike around Cascades Lake included a diversion to Cascade Falls.  (See a naming theme here?). I had seen something about these falls online which had led me to think that they weren’t terribly large.  I was, therefore, rather surprised to find out that this was a decent drop.  We came in from the top of the falls so were looking down on them from above.  The trail continues along the river and so we got to take a look at them from lower down as we continued on.  They was a side trail that would take you right down to the water but we had a fair bit of walking to do before it got too dark so I avoided the diversion this time.