Word and Image

Aerial

Airplane

It’s a shame no one really cares about flying. That is to say no one flies with nose pressed to the window looking at the scenery passing below. I do. And there must be others like me. We were fortunate enough that the flight path crossed over NYC. And the cloud cover was not too bad. Not good, but not bad. We flew over my old house. Yeah, it’s too diffused to make it out. But… hey! For reference, that blank space is midtown and Central Park.


Sandy Hook, NJ – revisited

It’s a New Jersey beach just south of New York City. It’s within sight of the city though it takes quite a bit of time to get there. It’s a clothing optional beach. That would be euphemism for naked. So, many people do. I knew it as a gay haven. But alas, after these many years I must apologize to Charlie. We flew over the beach in his helicopter and he was delighted to surprise me. I wasn’t (surprised). And furthermore, I pointed out that it was all guys who were waving up at the helicopter overhead. He immediately steered the ship away. He and I are not gay buddies. But my apologies. It seems that there were mixed couples. It took me a long time to get back to the old slides. I wonder if it’s still clothing optional? Sadly, the WTC is no longer there.


I know where I was

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Fireworks. I’m a whole lot better taking pics of fireworks. I learned to do it right somewhere around 2009. I learned the basics. Use a tripod! You can hand hold too. That would be because the light/glow of fireworks is good enough to shoot at 1/30 sec. But you are much better on a tripod with 3 sec exposures. This slide was from 2000, the millennium in NYC. It was done in three locations that year: Hudson River, East River, and Statue of Liberty. This pic shows the water tower in front of the Hudson right by the Intrepid (air craft carrier). It’s my pic. It’s far from perfect. It’s dramatic enough. And I would have been happy. But I now know a different standard. The first 30+ years I thought I was good. Then I read that I could improve. It’s in my skill set now. I just gotta find some fireworks.

With digital it’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax. I did these handheld because I was not prepared for fireworks in California on the beach in December. Ok! Lemons? Lemondade! I used the Canon point and shoot. Video is something I never look at again. There were plenty of failures. But digital processors do so much. I got passable shots. I could do better with a tripod. But I was not willing to buy one on short notice.


Starry night

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No, not Van Gogh. I just stuck my camera up and took a pic. Wow! The son of a gun (camera) actually got a picture of the stars. (Warning: If you have a small screen device or your screen is dirty, you ain’t gonna see nuthin.’ Sorry. What you should see? White dots and star trails… and clouds – upper right.) No tripod. Hand held. I was about as surprised as you might be. The darn thing shoots in the dark. Technology! Ain’t it great? The things that a CPU will do never ceases to amaze me. I’ve tried it a few more times, but with less success. Mostly, it’s been too cold lately…. Brrrr.

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Note to self: A picture with little white dots is hardly gonna blow any socks off. There are a few clouds along the margin. Mostly it’s ho-hum, yawn….Add a little color so the readers will stick with me. Note to self: I am not a nut…I am not…

 


Sunset over NYC… if you don’t try…

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Everyone laughs when I take out my camera on a plane. It’s not good – the conditions. You are at altitude moving along at 500 mph shooting through scratched plexiglass with sunglare and cabin reflections. Try a night shot? Oh brother! It’s a slow shutter speed that will surely blur your image. “Every once in a while a blind squirrel gets a nut.” Never give up. I go with a shutter speed of 1/100 sec. Let the ISO run on auto. Press the shutter and hope for the best. Nuts! Yup!


Colgate Sign

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This is an iconic sign in New Jersey across the Hudson River from Manhattan. It will likely remain a reminder of the past. No one seems to mind it staying. With all that is torn down and built over top, it seems that this sign will continue to be visible for the time being. In the same view you can catch the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. So this sign shares space with other icons in the Manhattan skyline.

 


NYC Aerial

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This was my neighborhood for a long time. It is Manhattan. Charlie and I were returning from Rhinebeck. Ordinarily I would be handling the controls. But this time I was the photographer. I still have my nose pressed to the window of a passenger jet whenever I pass over NYC. But this one time we were over Manhattan and I had a perfect view.

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I admit to three fantasies. Flying, diving, and jumping from an airplane with a parachute. The third is not an option any longer. I have finally decided to act my age and will pass. However both my kids jumped from an airplane in a tandem jump in different countries on different hemispheres within a week of one another unbeknownst that the other was doing it. Does the apple fall far…?


Safe Landing

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The pilots at the Rhinebeck air show are very experienced. Some, as in this case, are flying their own planes. The easy part is the flying. The interesting moments occur upon take off and landing. As I said the airfield is by no means smooth. So it requires a bit of skill and concentration to return safely. From a certain viewpoint it seems the planes are about to crash. But so far so good.

 


Goggles

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I love the googles. This old biplane did not go more than a few feet off the ground. It was too delicate to fly. So every week or so someone took the plane, taxied to one end of the field and flew a few feet off the ground for about ten seconds. It felt like Kittyhawk.


Biplane

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In order to maintain authenticity the biplane show at Rhinebeck used a grass field. It was sort of flat. At one end there was a nasty dip. And there was an uphill. From the other perspective it was a downhill made to help you gain takeoff speed. All in all it was not so even and a challenge to takeoff and land. I am told there have been accidents. But in all my visits there were only a few close calls.