International flights are starting to increase in frequency and, it seems, capacity. Lufthansa has been making the run to Seattle with the A330s for a while now. Recently, they changed from the 300 to the A350. One quiet Saturday, I figured I would head down to grab a shot. Sadly, the old livery example of the previous day was replaced with one in the new livery. I do prefer the old livery but that wasn’t the reason for my disappointment. It will go away before too long so there will be plenty of chances to get the new livery over the years. It was hot and sunny and arrival is noon so about the worst time you could think of for photographing. A polarizer to take out some glare and to deepen the colors was the best I could manage.
I complained recently about my lack of luck when shooting the A330NEOs that Delta operates out of SEA. I finally got some better light on them. I was out for the Aloha Air Cargo 767 which was coming in just after sunrise. About half an hour later, Delta had a NEO coming in from Honolulu so I hung around. The light changed a lot in that half hour with the super warm light getting a little subdued as the sun came up but it was still by far the best light I have had on one of these jets. Thankfully it came in on the inner runway so no shooting it in the distance!
I was in a location where a couple of the departures from SEA were overflying me. I happened to have the camera to hand (of course I did) and I had the polarizer on there at the time. I had an Alaska Airlines 737 (what a shock from SEA) and a Hawaiian Airlines A330. I grabbed a few shots. The thing I like about the polarizer is cutting down on the glare from the white fuselages but they were still pretty bright. The rest of the sky was darkened considerably and, when editing to address the white fuselages, even more dark. I quite like the deep and moody look it gives to the shots with very little editing involved. Both jets pulled some vapor as they came through the same area so clearly there was extra moisture in that one spot. Maybe it was a thermal?
The Aloha Air Cargo 767 was the reason for me being out early one morning but it wasn’t the only freighter coming in. (Indeed, this was the case for both of my efforts to get the Aloha jet.). Kalitta were also operating a 767 which is under contract to DHL. Some of Kalitta’s jets are plain white so you wonder whether a given day will bring something in that has a bit of color to it or not. On this occasion I was lucky. It might not be the most dramatic of the DHL schemes but it is better than no color at all!
A 767 freighter conversion made its way across the country and stopped off at Boeing Field recently. Unfortunately, there was no way I was going to be able to get there to see it so I figured it was just one of those things I had missed. However, not long after that, it showed up with a flight plan to SEA. The flight plan was listed against Northern Air Cargo but the plane is marked for Aloha Air Cargo. I was taking the day off and it was due in at the beginning of the day so I decided to head down to try and get a shot.
Sadly, the traffic was getting busy at SEA and, with plenty of departures and not too much on arrival, they put it on the outer runway. It was a bit far out from where I was but I got some shots, although nothing too special. I then saw it was coming back on the Sunday but this time it was due to land at 5:30. With sunrise just after 5am, this would produce some good light. However, I didn’t plan on getting up.
At 4:30 on Sunday morning, I woke up. I thought this was an opportunity so decided to get up and head out. At that time of the morning, no risk of traffic problems. I got down there in good time and, while it was a few minutes early, I was ready for it. The sun was barely up so the light was really excellent. Also, with no departures at that time of the morning, they came in on the closer runway so a total win!
I had a brief visit to Seattle Tacoma International to get some images for work. These images were not of the aircraft but the configuration of the roadways in to the airport. Not a great opportunity for photographing an aircraft. However, you could just see some of the ramp area and, as the sun came out, the Alaska Airlines A321neo in the More To Love markings taxied in. It was just visible above the terminal buildings so it would have been rude not to get a shot!
SeaTac is not the easiest place to get shots of the arrivals in the afternoon if the flow is from the north. The inner runway is okay but the outer is not so easy without bugging the more experienced locals. I was heading to the airport for a meeting but, with easy traffic, I got there a little early and decided to do a quick trip around the airport. I came across a gravel parking area that gives a view of short final. The planes appear quickly and are soon below the sight lines for the runway but there is a window in which you can shoot. On this day the weather was crummy with rain constantly coming down – sometimes very heavily. This was just a recce but I did get an A220 and some other types in the few minutes I was there before heading to my meeting.