Word and Image

Aerial

International Medical Center

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I understand the topography better now. I was on the side of the jet ideal for aerial shots. The building to the right of the park (near center) is my hospital. We’re about 5000 feet up so it’s not sharp. And, there’s jet wash from the engine. But, at least I can pick up landmarks now. “Toto, we’re not in Kansas…”


Coast of Jeddah

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We just completed a boat dive last week. Leaving the harbor we went due west into the Red Sea for about seven miles. I watched the GPS, otherwise I’m not so smart. But on the water all you see is a blue horizon, while from the air I can now appreciate all the coral reefs. It makes sense  that there are a number of ship wrecks to explore. Without a good chart you will be in big trouble around these parts.


Red Sea

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I waited for the first glimpse. Even at 600 mph it’s a long wait from the Nile to the Red Sea crossing. Here it is just as we leave Egypt. All I could think was that Charlton Heston (Moses) parted a whole lot of water in that movie.


Egypt and the Nile

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I passed out like never before on the flight back to Jeddah. I was barely awake after takeoff, just long enough to eat the meal. The shades were down so I didn’t peek until we were over Egypt. The first view was the Mediterranean Sea. Nope. It was just the desert. With the layers of blue I thought it was the sea. Wrong again, it was just a vast expanse of desert. The Nile from 39,000 feet is narrower than I expected. But you can see the irrigation and neat rectangular agricultural fields. I see the relationship between the river and the economy.IMG_2654 copy

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Dawn Over Jeddah

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This darn camera got the moon exposure pretty good. Well, I did a little Photoshop work here. The moon came from the next frame. I just hadn’t cropped as well. Slipping it in here, it’s exactly where the other moon was, but not quite so well exposed. Otherwise I’m not too much for post processing. Life is spinning way too fast these days.


WTC Memorial

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It’s open to the public. I haven’t been there yet. Once again there is something of historical significance to have a shot while the construction is still in progress. This is a view that won’t be repeated. I watched the dedication on TV at the 10th year anniversary – James Taylor, You Can Close Your Eyes and Paul Simon, Sounds of Silence. It was pretty powerful stuff.


City Hall Park

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I just love this shot of having a snack surrounded by the petals in a light rain. ‘Nuff said. And then again, I had the good fortune to catch the tulips from high atop a building overlooking the park. It’s a good idea to always have a camera handy. I’m a full time tourist these days and always have a camera close by.

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World Trade Center, Freedom Tower

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The recent news is that the tower is topped. They have positioned the antenna and will complete the outer structure soon. I’m glad to have an opportunity to get these shots. They will be unique, a one of kind memory. From here on you can only get shots of the completed building.

 

IMG_2177 copy Shot on the approach to JFK.

 

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And when you happen to be traveling without a camera, an iPhone at least gets you a shot.


Aerial

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As I said, I shoot just about anything. So when you’re on vacation, the camera is always out. It’s on my shoulder, in my lap, or in my hand. And it doesn’t much matter if we’re riding up a bumpy road at 50 mph or flying in a plane with tinted windows. I’ll take a shot. Sometimes you win out. Of course there are ways to make your odds better. When flying I like to look for patterns. I can never understand when people have the window seat and they never look at the scenery. Flying across Tanzania, we had plenty of opportunity and especially because we were not flying so high.


Dorothy

 

The women in the middle would be dear MaryAnne and Lisa. For some reason they decided that a hot air balloon ride would be quite alright. Neither woman is considered a risk taker. That would be Bob to the right. He’s cool with the idea. The shot reminds me of that last scene in the Wizard of Oz as they head back to Kansas. Oh, yeah.

 


Hot Air Balloon

 

Charlie (Bell 47 helicopter) and I chanced upon this scene while flying east toward New York City. As usual he saw the balloon before I did. We gave chase and soon came up on it from above. It was looking for a place to land. At the time I didn’t understand the etiquette of ballooning. Landing is not planned. You start looking for a landing site. Then you try to land in an area that won’t damage your balloon. It’s quite an event to have this large object drift down to land on your front lawn. With the late afternoon sun we had a great vantage and great light.


Zip Line

What’s missing is the sound track. In the rain forest of Costa Rica, they have a zip line experience. It was a rainy foggy day as is usual. In the mist and rain, I had camera and video on my person as usual. My son kept saying that his mother would never go. So because of that statement the guides singled her out for first ride. If she went, no one else would hesitate. So there she is screaming her head off, zipping along into the fog. I ask why you would hold your legs up when there is nothing for hundreds of feet below, but it’s a natural reaction. I went swinging with camera and video, somehow managing to hold onto everything. Yeah it could have used a sound track.


Rhinebeck NY

It’s a place in which World War I biplanes fly demonstrations every weekend in spring and summer. Picking a single photo is a hard choice. Charlie and I have been there for many a weekend. I got a backstage pass since I came with a pilot. Charlie gave helicopter rides while I roamed the field and shot from behind the ropes. It was a real privilege.


Aerial View

From Charlie’s helicopter, I was able to get this view of the apartment. We have the decks in the lower portion of the slide, there where the two lounge chairs are on the right. It’s kind of like google earth from in close. This one’s for the kids.

 


Balloon Sunset

After the ride the pilot filled his balloon in the glow of sunset. The flame filling the balloon is in the lower left. The moon is there on your right. It’s more memorable for me because I was in the chase car that pursued my wife and friends as they went on a once in a lifetime ride. I wasn’t chicken. I’ve been in a helicopter, so that was a hard experience to top.


Empire State Building

It’s a pretty distinguishable landmark. After all King Kong clung to the top at one point. I actually have a picture of that somewhere. It was a balloon replica of the king that was inflated to commemorate one anniversary or another of the movie. Anyway this view is from the east looking west to the Hudson River and New Jersey. If you look near the bottom, the round building is Madison Sq Garden. Once again, it’s a shot from the Bell 47 helicopter.