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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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…?
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.
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.
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.
When we were going to Rhinebeck and Charlie was giving helicopter rides, he cooked up the idea that we should also wear something more in the spirit of the place. He got me some suspenders. Yup. I looked pretty period.
He’s a handsome devil. I wore the stuff because he was my ride home. I didn’t want to walk.
It’s upstate New York and there is a grass airfield where on the weekends there is an airshow of old biplanes. I had the good fortune to befriend Charlie who flew a Bell 47 helicopter. So here we are hovering over the field in preparation to land and see the show. Nice entrance.
The grass field is just that. It is not paved. To make matters worse, the biplane are all pretty delicate. But in the interest of authenticity it was an unpaved ungraded field. At least the grass was short. But the landings were ever an adventure.
It’s upstate New York and on the weekends there is an airshow of old biplanes. I had the good fortune to befriend Charlie who flew a Bell 47 helicopter. So here we are hovering over the field in preparation to land and see the show. Nice entrance. Well, truth be told Charlie i hoovering and I am taking the shot because he moved the helicopter into position to be offering rides. I was his assistant. I told the patrons to keep their head low or risk a messy haircut. Everyone did as they were told. Imagine that!
I get a window seat when I can. This was the trip from hell. I was flying to Detroit and landed in Chicago. I drove all night to arrive at 5:30AM and then did an interview all day. I was pretty tired. And on the flight out and headed home, well, there was this sunset. I’ve haven’t been back to Detroit. I have always said it is preferable to sit in a window seat.
This was the first spring when Lisa and I started dating. I took her to Astoria Park. This photo was taken on Triborough Bridge when David and I recently rode across on bikes. The Hellgate bridge approach is in the background. The empty pool is four times the size of an Olympic 50 meter pool with a blue diving pool at the right. And in the park to the right of the pool is where Lisa and I spent a memorable afternoon just happy to be in one another’s company. It didn’t much matter where we were; it could have been anywhere. She had just cut her hair short – not my preference – but that didn’t matter either. As you can see we horsed around the park, went up and down on the see-saw and generally recaptured the days of childhood in the park. It was truly a day of innocent fun.
It was a long flight, 17 hours, count’em, 17 hours. I was half asleep. On the plane they keep the shades down so others can sleep in the dark. Come to think of it they keep the curtains closed all day and night where I live in the Middle East. Must be something about the light? I peeked and there was a fairly spectacular dawn over some snow covered land and water. Greenland! It looked pretty neat and the sky was clear and cold. I didn’t seen any population. It appeared desolate, barren, and wind swept. And I could make out some icebergs floating. I recall these same icebergs might have been the ancestors of the ones that got the Titanic more than 100 years ago this April. As for me I think that this is as close as I will ever be to Greenland. So I’m glad I awoke in time to catch this.
I don’t know about you but anytime I fly I try to get a window seat. With online booking this is now an artful guessing game. The last step when booking is to pick a seat. I’ve flown in and out of many airports and especially NYC . I know the landing and takeoff patterns so I try to sit looking right or left to get a last view of the Manhattan skyline. Sometimes you are in the right spot. How anyone flies and barely looks out the window is a mystery to me. Coming into JFK at midnight I was disoriented but then I caught the lights of Manhattan. Right below the engine is midtown and the Empire State Building. Okay so it’s too dark to really catch anything in focus. Who cares? I’m not getting paid for the image. And the visual cortex can process things so much better than a digital camera. Nonetheless I can make out the Queensborough, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and the Brooklyn bridges. The pattern of street lights is pretty stunning in its own right. Yup, there I was nose pressed to the plexi-glass and loving it.
Portland Airport. It was not the jet runway but close enough. They advertised an air show. With little else to do that day I went to see what’s up. There were some vintage planes. There was no flying show. It was a walk around of the gathered planes. Nice?!
I’m always torn between getting the whole plane or just a detail as an image. Yeah, with digital, just shoot away. I still have to pick one. You go to these events and never know what you’ll find. It wasn’t that much, judging from the sparse crowd.
Another day, another airshow…. If you keep scanning the internet, actually, I’m not sure how I got the news of this show. So you experiment, long tele or wide angle, I keep thinking that the detailed close-up is a better shot. But then you don’t get the whole picture. I was there. But it took cruising my archive to remember the event. Nothing too photographically memorable that day…
I got some shots in formation. The jets fly low and the noise is impressively loud. The government budget for airshows was already being cut back. I read that this was the last show that would occur in Portland.
Red Bull. San Diego. The series. They happened to be staging the air races, a series, in San Diego. Lucky me. Looking at the series of images, this was a documented event but I didn’t really have the eye to catch a signature image. If I did it over again, I’d try some different things. I certainly keep evolving my photographic eye. It’s what’s fun. You’re always changing things.
Do they even say that anymore? But do you want to know what my fantasy has been? Yup, helicopter. Well, at least one… others – scuba, but you knew that. And the best would be to fly over your house and get an aerial. Silly, but fun. I had the good fortune to have made friends with Charlie. He had a Bell 47 (MASH, TV/Movie) helicopter. I had taken care of his mother while she was hospitalized. He invited me for a ride and the rest is history. Carol and Ginny were deadest against my adventure. Lisa didn’t want to know. (She knew I was going no matter what.) They were worried because helicopters crash. In fact I one day saw a helicopter crash. I was driving up the Westside highway and a helicopter dropped down over the Intrepid Space Museum (aircraft carrier). I didn’t know you could land on the ship. They didn’t. The pilot and air traffic reporter were both killed by a catastrophic engine failure. I’m still here after many many hours in Charlie’s ‘ship.’
It’s always fun to see where you live from a plane. The two large buildings under construction (middle left) are on Thalia St. Following Thalia St, on the upper right is another large building. And to the left is the compound where I live. They are low-lying white two story buildings. Yeah, I can see home from the plane. And, no…, you can’t see if I made my bed.
The large towers spewing smoke are supposed to be the desalinization plants. The cost must be staggering. But oil is cheap. After they make water, large tanker trucks deliver it each day. No one seems to drink it. Everyone buys bottled water. Go figure.
The island to the left belonged to a deceased king. No one lives there now except a caretaker staff of about 1000. Someone will get possession and it will be nice to have your own island in the harbor. About the closest vantage is the Hilton Hotel across the way( the tall building to the right). And King Fahd’s fountain is also there but it’s not turned on in the afternoon.
I learned a great Photoshop trick from Julia to cut the haze. We used it on the underwater shots. And in this image, it sure worked on the afternoon haze. It’s about as good a shot as you could get of the tower since it is not close into shore and therefore I am about as close as you can be if you’re not in a boat.