Category Archives: Travel

Interchange Construction

Continuing my theme of aerial photos from my flight to DC, as we got in to the metro area, I could see a major interchange under construction on one of the highways.  I’m sure, if I could be bothered, it would be possible to work out which highway this is and where the interchange is being built but I’m not that interested.  If you happen to recognize it, I would be fine knowing since that would require no effort on my part!  The evening light angle meant the shape of the construction was picked out with more clarity.  I wonder when it is due to be completed?

SoFi Stadium

When I last went to LA, the racetrack in Inglewood had been flattened and construction was underway on the new football stadium.  Since then it was completed and opened as SoFi stadium.  I was keen to see it in person having seen it on TV a lot.  I made sure to be sitting on the left of the plane thinking I could get some shots of it from the air.  Having previously photographed the racetrack, I mistakenly thought it would be further south and had a longer lens on the camera.  The stadium is closer to the approach path so I had way too much lens and only got shots of parts of it.

However, after my meetings wrapped up, as I headed back to the airport, I did drive by the stadium.  There were tours available but I didn’t have too much time so instead parked up and walked around a bit of the outside.  I mainly used my phone to take some shots – good for shooting through fences – and also stitched together some shots to make some panos.

The stadium is really impressive to see in person.  There is plenty of development going on in the area around it and I imagine it is going to quite transform Inglewood over time.  Whether that is for the better or not, we shall see.  The landscaping certainly adds to the impressiveness and the overall structure is far larger than just the football stadium which seem to sit inside it and feel rather dwarfed.  If you get a chance to go by, I would certainly recommend it.  Spending billions on sports stadiums is a controversial topic but this one has certainly got something special about it which is what you would hope for when it cost as much as it did!

JetRed

Early morning at Washington National and I was waiting for my flight home after a work trip to DC.  As I sat at the gate, a JetBlue aircraft was coming up from the south end of the field.  It was painted in a red scheme representative of the fire department of NY.  They have a few different special liveries on their jets but a bright red one is quite the opposite of their normal look.  Sadly, the light was a bit dull but I wasn’t passing up the opportunity to get a shot, even if it was through the terminal windows.

Dodger Stadium

The approach to Los Angeles International from the north brings you in from the coast heading east almost directly over downtown before turning south and then west to make the approach to the north complex.  This approach gives you a very good view of Dodger Stadium.  I had the camera to hand as we came in so grabbed a few quick shots of the park.  With the MLB dispute now solved, there should be crowds showing up here before too long (if they haven’t already depending on when I post this).

Wind Turbines

When I took the flight to DC for work recently, I got to see the countryside to the west of DC in nice light as we descended later in the day.  Shooting the ground form an airliner window is never an ideal thing.  The window quality is not going to be great so having a clean shot is a crapshoot.  The distance also means that things are never as contrasty as they seem to the naked eye and editing often leaves a result which looks a bit harsh.

Low light can help a bit but being lower down is the best way of getting something reasonable.  As we came across the hills running in towards our destination, I saw a lot of wind turbines.  These were in line along ridge tops on the hills to maximize their exposure to the prevailing wind.  The shadows they cast looked neat too.  I tried my best to get some shots with my M6 and some of them came out okay.  Shooting through multiple layers of non-optical quality transparencies is not going to be ideal though.

Flying Into Washington National

For the first time in two years, I made a work trip by plane.  I was heading to Virginia for some meetings and was flying into Washington National Airport.  I picked a seat on the left side of the plane in the hope that we would make a river approach.  That gives a good view of the Mall and the surrounding area as you are on final approach.  The weather was lovely with a sunny day and low sun angles as we were arriving later in the day.

At first, we appeared to be heading the right way and then we were too far to the south.  I thought we were going to approach from there but then we made a 180 and headed back towards Dulles before starting down and turning on to the river approach after all.  I could see the area around the mall coming in to view as I looked forward obliquely, but aircraft windows are not good enough to get a shot like that.

I waited until we were closer in getting shots of Georgetown, the Watergate complex and the Kennedy Center.  Then everything was in sight and I was trying to get shots as quickly as I could.  Of course, we are not moving slowly at this point so it is not long before any shots have been missed so it was a question of getting as much as you can.  I was a little hinder because I was shooting on the back screen of the M6.  To see this clearly means taking off my glasses but that isn’t ideal for seeing where to look out of the window.  I think I made it work well enough though.

BC Ferries And A Competitor

On our trip to Victoria, we took the BC Ferries crossing to Vancouver Island.  On our return journey, we got to the terminal at Swartz Bay quite early and the sun was shining so I wandered down to the water edge near the ferries to see what was going on.  There were more BC Ferries vessels in place along with a competitor ferry, Seaspan, that appears to be focused on freight traffic only.

That ferry left before we loaded but it ended up following us through the passage towards the Strait of Georgia.  We made a couple of turns through the passage which meant it appeared and disappeared from view for me but I managed to catch it a couple of times.  The passage is also the place where the ferries pass in opposite directions since it is mid journey.  A chance to get some more ferry shots.  After a pause, it seems I am back on the ferry photography trail!

Hatley Castle

About half an hour from the center of Victoria BC is a large estate called Hatley Castle.  It is a pretty grand place in a lot of land.  Much of the land is now turned over to a university with the campus buildings spread out through the estate.  The old house is still there and I think it now an administrative building for the university.  I read that it is also used for a lot of filming work.

The house is quite impressive and there are also some formal gardens.  We wandered around the outside of the house and up the hill a little.  We could look over one of the gardens from the terrace area but it appeared the access to the gardens was restricted when we were there.  Not sure whether that was a COVID issue or just for work to be done.  The lawns slope down towards the sea and there is a nice view from the terrace.  It isn’t hard to see why someone chose to build their home there!

Geology Lessons In Stratification

Short Sand Beach was a pretty place to hang out but it also would be great place for a geology field trip.  There were some very clear strata in the rock and they were angled from the level.  It appeared that the corner of the beach was in the middle of the slope of the strata with the angles opposed on either side.  Low winter sun makes the shading on the strata stand out.  Every time I see something like this, it reminds me of a friend from school who used to impersonate a teacher whose Welsh accent really made the words sing!  You know who you are…

Patterns In The Sand

Another repeat of a previous theme.  Water flowing over the sand on a beach creates some interesting patterns.  The sand on Cannon Beach included a lot of very dark grains.  These made the visualization of the movement of the sand easy to do.  It also allowed you to see where the water was flowing deeper or shallower which helped when walking through the water running across the beach.