Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Creek Series 34 Additional Studies

May 22, 2012

    Having not yet received any new images this week,  I went back into the shots I received for series #34, and found two blurred photos that I originally dismissed as unusable. Treating the blurriness of the original photos as a first step of image manipulation, I continued to experiment with them until I got to the following two pictures.

Creek 34, Study 5

Creek 34, Study 6

Friday, May 25, 2012

Creek Series 34

A continuing series of images created from photos of Wappingers Creek, taken over time:

    Because it has become difficult to browse quickly through the complete series, or to see enough of it at once and perceive the progression over time, as the photos accumulate,  I have created a separate site exclusively for The Creek Series, which will allows you to scroll through a thumbnail menu and see the different posts quickly, and keep a wider perspective on the whole project. I will continue to post here, though, barring some compelling reason not to.
     There is also a link on this page in the "Places We Like List". Be sure to enable Java Script.

May 22, 2012.

    More rain, and low tide.

     Cliquez pour voir en grand:

Creek 34A

Creek 34B

Creek 34C

Creek 34 Study 1

Creek 34 Study 3

Creek 34 Study 4

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Black Creek 7

A continuing series of images created from photos of Black Creek, taken over time:

May 18, 2012.
    There have been a number of updates in quick succession, recently. Be sure to scroll back to catch up.

    Black Creek is now nicely verdant with the season.

Cliquez pour voir en grand:

Black Creek 7A
Black Creek 7B
Black Creek 7C

Black Creek 7D
    A couple of studies of a view we have not seen before:

Black Creek 7 Study 1
Black Creek 7 Study 2

Black Creek 6

A continuing series of images created from photos of Black Creek, taken over time:

April 27, 2012.
    A belated post to catch up with some photos sent a few weeks ago.

Cliquez pour voir en grand:

Black Creek 6A

Black Creek 6B

Black Creek 6C

Friday, May 18, 2012

Creek Series 33

A continuing series of images created from photos of Wappingers Creek, taken over time:

May 18, 2012.

    Little Muddy: Spring runoff has apparently increased the turbidity in the water.

     Cliquez pour voir en grand:
Creek 33A

Creek 33B

Creek 33C

Creek 33 Study 1

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Creek Series 32

A continuing series of images created from photos of Wappingers Creek, taken over time:

May 10, 2012.
     This series marks six months of photos since we began in November. The sides of the creek are solid masses of green, and the trees on the right bank have finally leafed-out.
    There are a few other interesting views taken by Paul at the same time, but I have not gotten to them yet, as Aviation Week and out-of-town visitors have dominated my free time for the past ten days. I will post additional studies as  soon as I can get to them.

 Cliquez pour voir en grand:

Creek 32A

Creek 32B

Creek 32C

Creek 32D


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Air Show Overload Part 3

May 13, 2012: Aviation Week Finale

    Aviation Week, continued; See Part One here, See part two here.

    Not yet having had our fill of of old planes, we ventured back down to Orange County Airport to take the plunge and see the nice people with the planes about joining in on one of their short trips.
    We dutifully filled out and signed waivers, paid our fee, and waited as the first flights departed and returned. As the flight before ours was in the air, they gave us a short briefing about how to enter the plane, where to sit, and what would happen in the air.
    Flight #2 returned, and the B-17  taxied to the front of the hangar as we waited outside. The passengers departed, then we were told to board.

    I did not take many pictures while we were in the air, as we were busy enjoying the short flight, and gawking at the scenery. The following video clips are sort-of a Blair-Witch point-of-view within the plane, but we are hopeful that there is enough to convey a sense of how fun it is to ride in one of these. I don't have a Go-Pro video camera yet, so the resolution is not great, and with the noise of the engines the audio is pretty worthless, so turn the volume down a bit.

B-17 ready to start engines.

B-24; the other ride

Boarding with engines running.
In this exciting clip, we board the plane through the tail door, and move forward through the waist, past the ball turret, through the radio room and bomb bay, to the forward cabin, right behind the pilots.

     Immediately after take-off, we were allowed to get up and move around the plane. Since we were seated right behind the pilots, we had the first chance to go up into the nose.  In the clip, we are still climbing out of Orange County.

    Working our way back, we stopped briefly to look out of the top turret, then moved through the bomb bay, and stopped in the radio room. They fly the plane with the canopy above the radio room open, and they encouraged us to poke our heads out into the 150 mile-per-hour breeze.

The view outside: Newport Harbor in the background.

Outside view to port from the radio room.

    Continuing through toward the rear, past the ball turret, the waist is the roomiest part of the plane, with large windows at the two waist gun positions. We watched the coast of Sunset Beach and Surfside pass below the starboard wing:

Back in the Radio room again, I poked my head up as we reached Long Beach and began to turn around. The port of Long Beach and the Queen Mary are visible in the distance. The guy with the sunglasses is the flight engineer, then we move forward, back through the bomb bay.

    No one else was in the nose, so I went forward again and had the bubble to myself for quite a while. On commercial flights, one is never able to see directly ahead and watch the scenery approaching. The view from the nose is  amazing: it is possible to look down, as well as forward, and I sat in the bombardier's seat to watch the ground pass below.

The bombardier's view:

    Of course, the flight seemed too short, and all too soon, we were returning to Orange County when the engineer asked me to work back to the rear to find a seat for landing.

     After landing, we drove down to the north end of the airport to watch the final flight return. The next day, the planes were scheduled to fly north to Santa Barbara, and will continue more or less north along the West Coast, then eastward throughout the summer. (See the website of the Collings Foundation for their schedule.)

    I do not like the term, "bucket list", but this qualifies as rare and adventurous experience that I have wanted to do for some time, and was thoroughly enjoyable and worth the admission. We highly recommend it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Air Show Overload, Part 2

May 11, 2012: Aviation Week continues.

    The Collings Foundation is an organization that maintains and flies a group of older planes, and travels around the country exhibiting them at airports, spending a few days in one place before moving on. Almost every year, they come through Orange County, at John Wayne Airport. The planes they tour with on their "Wings of Freedom Tour" are a B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-24 Liberator, and a P-51 Mustang. At the airport, they were parked at the Lyon Air Museum, which has their own B-17, a B-25, C-47, DC3, and a few other period aircraft and cars. The Lyon Museum occasionally flies their own planes, and I have seen their B-17 departing or returning to Orange County Airport, but when The Collings Foundation is in town, their planes come and go several times each day. For a few dollars, they will let you walk around and through the planes parked on the ramp; for many more more dollars, they will give you a thirty-minute ride. My Brother, Tony, was here to visit for the weekend, so we went down to take the tour.

Lyon Museum DC-3

DC-3 engine

Lyon Museum B-17, "Fuddy Duddy"

    The B-17 is our favorite bomber, and is an icon of American World War 2 history. Its profile is a beautiful 1930s design, and for a heavy bomber, looks quite elegant.

Collings Foundation B-17, "909"

Front seats

Inside, looking at the top of the ball turret.

Ball turret

B-17 nose.

Nose art. Photo by Tony Austin.

  The B-24, on the other hand, has a shape that is all business, but is a little hard to love. The overwing configuration with the pendulous belly seems a bit ponderous, but we really enjoy watching and hearing it fly.

Collings Foundation B-24 "Witchcraft"

Waist gun window.

Please observe all posted instructions.

Interior view forward toward cockpit. Photo by Tony Austin.

B-24 nose. Photo By Tony Austin

Walking forward through bomb bay. Photo by Tony Austin.
    Their P-51 is a two-seat "C" model. Its not quite as pretty as a "D", but this is an unusual model, and one of only a few to be fitted with a second seat and a second full set of controls and instruments for flight training.

Collings Foundation P-51C "Betty Jane" Photo by Tony Austin.

Warming up. Photo by Tony Austin

Taking off.

Taking off.
B-17 takeoff:

    We will return to the Orange County airport for the final part of Aviation Week, in the next post.