Category Archives: photo

The A-26 Makes a Long Trip in the Rain

During the holidays and just before New Year, my friend Paul was in town for a day, so we did some exploring.  The weather started out being less than ideal.  We had swung by Renton to see if there was anything of interest and the A-26, Sexy Sue, was out on the ramp looking ready to head off.  We debated which direction they would depart and which would be most suitable for shots.  In the end, we stayed where we were figuring it would be too high at the lake end of the field.  (That proved not to be the case with a very low departure!)

Our chosen location did give us a good view of start up and taxi out of the plane.  They were flight planned to Oakland CA which struck me as quite a long trip to take in an A-26.  Sure, in combat people would have done that and when they were corporate transports it would have been normal but there are more comfortable ways to travel these days.  Anyway, before long, they were lined up and powered off.  There was plenty of vortex action from the props in such a damp atmosphere but it probably looked better from other angles.  With them gone, we jumped back in the car and decided to continue our adventures elsewhere.

Sunset Comes Too Soon for BA

My Arizona trip with mark started out in Phoenix.  I got there earlier than he did and shot a little at Sky Harbor but, once we had met up, we decided to try what the evening shooting might offer there.  I was particularly interested in getting the British Airways A350 when it arrived.  Phoenix is a busy airport but does not have a huge amount of variety so this would be one of the more “exotic” arrivals.  It was due to make it in just before sunset, but the flight was running a touch late, and I wasn’t sure if it would make it.

Keeping an eye on the track of the flight was one thing, but we were also keeping an eye on the horizon.  There was low cloud in the distance which suggested that the sun might disappear from view before it actually set.  Sadly, this proved to be the case.  Things got gloomy rather quickly once the sun went behind the cloud bank and then, as it got low in the sky (out of sight) the light was fading fast.  That’s when the jet arrived.  Still, it wasn’t a total loss.  Sometimes low light can be interesting.  It wasn’t as good as the last light of the day glowing on the nose, but it was alright.  We watched the jet taxi in and then decided to see what low light shots we could make work.

A Shield Bug – Looks Like a Stinkbug

I was out in the garden of our place in Stockbridge and was surprised by how many ladybirds and flies I saw on the leaves.  Then I saw something a bit different.  I reminded me of the stink bugs we see in Washington.  According to Ian, who was in the yard shortly afterwards, it is a shield bug.  In all my years in the UK, I had never heard of or seen one of these.  Now I have.

Two C-37s With One Being a Bit Shy

The US military operates a bunch of Gulfstream jets for transportation of key individuals.  One afternoon, I was at BFI and there was a C-37 from the USAF sitting on the ramp.  It had the powder blue livery common across the USAF VIP fleet.  I was hoping to see it takeoff, but it was not moving while I was there.  A little while later, it was joined by a second example.  This one was a lot less conspicuous.  It had no livery and no obvious markings at all.  The USAF has been toning down its planes recently and this was definitely in that style.  The lack of a registration might have told you that it wasn’t a civilian Gulfstream but the bigger giveaway would be the array of antennae that were on the fuselage.  This clearly could communicate with more than the average bizjet.

Cormorants Aplenty on a Ferry Trip

Time for another cormorant related post today.  When taking the ferries on the various routes around Puget Sound, the infrastructure at the terminals is often popular with the cormorants.  This can mean that you can get quite close to them while on the ferry without them getting spooked.  They are also coming and going with some frequency so takeoffs and landings are common, and they will often fly quite close to the ferry.

On this trip, the angle of the light to the terminal was in my favor and I was able to get a few close-up views of the birds.  There was still some ironwork in the way of a totally clean shot, but not enough to ruin the images.  They also obliged by flying around at convenient times when I was ready to get an image and I got some of the better shots that I have taken of cormorants in recent years.

Photoship Over the Air Show

The Abbotsford Air Show was also apparently an event that the Aviation Photocrew from Europe had made the trek for.  They had arranged for a variety of photo flights associated with the show and involving some of the performers.  I didn’t know that this had been set up but, when we saw the Skyvan flying overhead with planes formating on it, we knew what was happening and my friend Mark told me that the same folks were running things.  I hope that they got some good shots.

Some Ted Lasso Tourism

On one of our days in the UK, we made a trip to Richmond.  It is over 30 years since I have spent time in Richmond, and it was nice to go there again.  A first for Nancy too.  We were having lunch with family but got there a little early to walk around.  One of the things we wanted to do was check out the area around Richmond Green.  This was a location for many of the scenes in the TV series, Ted Lasso.  It was on our way anyway, so we stopped to have a look around.

Looking like a tourist is never too appealing and I imagine plenty of people come by because of the show.  The pub that they feature apparently has fan memorabilia for the show’s imaginary team.  Some of the shops also have “Believe” signs above their doors.  TV does a good job of cutting together unrelated spaces, but you can easily recognize some of the places.  We did struggle to identify one or two other spots, though.  There is some demolition and construction underway now, so I wonder if that took out any bits that were previously used.

Avelo Visits BFI – Can They Last Too?

A while back I posted some shots of New Pacific and commented on whether they would survive.  They are not alone in starting up an airline and operating tenuous routes.  Avelo is another airline that has been created and runs between secondary destinations.  I guess all of these new starts undertake charter work as well to keep utilization up and cash coming in.  Avelo did a run to Boeing Field, and I figured that, unless I get to one of their destinations at any point soon, this might be my only chance to photograph one of their planes.

The arrival was not in the best of light, but conditions weren’t too bad, and I was happy to get some reasonable shots.  When it came to departure, they were due out later in the day and the one thing you know about charter flights is that they won’t go even close to he planned time unless you are running late.  Then they will be off early!  Sure enough, they were dragging it out.  I was wondering whether there would even be any light left when they went but, having spent a bunch of time waiting, I was not giving up.

One of my friends had been waiting too but finally decided enough was enough and headed home.  I was not so sensible and stuck around.  Finally, they closed up the jet and got the engines going.  They taxied across the runway in a location that was quite convenient for me, so I got a bunch of shots.  Then they got to the hold point and waited.  I was thinking that they were toying with me, but it wasn’t too long and then they rolled.  Overall, I was quite happy with the results.  If I don’t end up seeing them again, these will have been worth it.  If they become a major success and are all over the country, this will have seemed a touch futile!!

Repeating Cloud Patterns

I was down in Burien on a day with some stronger winds from the north.  As I looked in the direction of Mt Rainier, my attention was drawn to the east and a string of clouds that had a very repetitive pattern.  I might have expected them to be downstream of a summit, but they were not obviously connected to a high point.  They did like someone had just discovered the clone tool in Photoshop and had not yet worked out how it creates repeating elements.  It took little time before they had dissipated, and I was left wondering what the cause was.