Before I belt in I have my camera on my lap. You never know. Gotcha! Yeah, you can get some interesting shots. Arresting. Be careful or you might be….arrested. But clouds never obscure your view of the sunrise or sunset. However, sometimes the clouds will help to make things more dramatic. You can’t get the shot if the camera is not in your hand. It’s ain’t photo lessons. It’s opportunity.
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 was my view landing in Jeddah. In the 11 o’clock position (in the traffic circle) is the world’s tallest flag pole. Yes! They made the traffic circle just for the flag. Urban planning? Yup! There is a traffic jam going ‘round that circle every single day and night that lasts for hours and hours. No one can complain to the king? When he goes through his motorcade has a path cleared by the police. It’s nice to be king. Oh! No trees either. There are lots of people.
And now, it gets dark at night. My weather changes. And at night it gets really dark! The view is unpolluted. There are lots of trees. I have to look closely to see any lights in the dark. Nice. I can do this for a while. Serenity. Don’t mess with mine.
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.
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!
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.