… not really. I’m not professional, strictly amateur, as far as photography is concerned. I have sold an image or two. It was a mix of surprise and curiosity that I was contacted via my blog for use of an image. The request came via an unused link from an unused blog I had many years ago. I was suspicious of a scam. But, it turned out to be a legitimate request. The image in question was cropped from the original and used strictly in an internal memo. So, what the hell, they got it for free. Dumb, maybe. I got a credit for the use. Consider it a charitable donation. The image? It was the NYC Marathon Sunday crossing the Verrazano Bridge.
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.
I’m just spinning back the image files to the year 2016. Nightfall, at 35,000 feet. I’m over Long Island headed back to the Middle East. The glow of lights below outlines civilization. There is no blankness in the landscape. I am amazed at the image. It’s not perfect. But, detail is there in the glow of sunset… enough to appreciate the curve of the earth?
Reality? Can you feel the heat of the desert? There are no trees… few. And the crowded streets. It’s barren and foreboding. It was a great adventure. I’m glad to be gone.
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.