Saturday, April 08, 2006

Mobile Army Surgical Hospital

It was briefly a scene from MASH today at the airshow when these Bell helicopters were circling at sunrise. But I don't remember the helicopters from the TV show ever having dancing hula girls sitting atop the instrument panels.

It's Easy Bein' Green

I spent the full day at the airshow today, almost 11 hours on site. I think I walked almost 10 miles around and around and around. I found whole areas I missed yesterday. One of the things I found was this Stearman Biplane that belongs to a friend of a friend. I didn't see it in the air, but I bet this plane looks real nice up in the friendly skies. Apparently, they came with Pratt & Whitney engines, or at least this one did.

Friday, April 07, 2006

One Plane, Two Plane, Red Plane, err, Red Plane Again

If there were only one inverted plane in this shot, you'd accuse me of turning the picture upside down, but since there are two planes, and only one is inverted, you believe me when I tell you it's a genuine shot. OK, I suppose I could have used PhotoShop and done the same thing, but it's hardly worth the effort when you can see the real deal at these airshows.

For The Anal Types Out There

Ahem! There is no period after the "S" in Harry S Truman. His middle name was S, it wasn't short for anything. You'd think they would know better!

Yellow-Bellied Something-Or-Other

You didn't think I'd forgotten about my feathered friends just because I was at a mechanical flying machine convention, did you? Of course not. I was probably the only guy at the whole show looking at the flying things in the grass instead of on the runways. I have no idea what this guy is called, but he seemed to make his home in the grass between the runways. He had his mouth open like that most of the time I was watching him. Pretty little fellow, though. I'll have to keep my eyes open for more of these and figure out what species exactly they are.

Update: It's an Eastern Meadowlark. It took me a while to find that out, since I kept searching for a name with the word yellow in it. Shows what I know...

Googie II

Well, I thought I had brought you all of the googie architecture in Lakeland, but I guess I was wrong. I had forgotten about this structure at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, home of the airshow I was visiting today. It houses some sort of equipment for the airport, but that design is just far out there. It looks like a giant bowling pin surrounded by it's own satellites or something. Googie!

Name That Plane

Any of you aviation buffs out there want to guess what plane this rear end belongs to? Come on, take a guess...

Roll With It

Just for the record, the two shots you see here are time stamped one second apart. The second one is a little blurry, but you get the idea. This guy was rolling fast!

Let The Planes Begin

Today was my first chance to visit the Sun N Fun Fly-In. I've been trying to go all week, but I've been ill. And on top of that, it's always been held in Lakeland, Florida, where I was born and raised, and yet I've never been. So today I tried to make up for lost time. And I will continue to do so tomorrow and possibly Sunday as well. So stay tuned for some pictures. This is the first airshow I've been to since MacDill Airfest last year (which they are postponing indefinately for some reason), and it's supposed to be the second largest in the country. I got there today just in time for the airshow, and it was opened by the parachutist above who was trailing a large flag. I couldn't see if they had a flag catcher out on the landing strip to keep the flag from hitting the ground though. I hope so...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

On The Prowl

This is the shot I wish I had been able to get of the eagles I saw the other day, but I didn't. This is the same osprey you saw the other day with the fish in his talons. In fact, this picture was taken mere seconds before he dove into the pond and made the catch. You may note how his head is cocked to the side a little. When he was zeroing in on his prey, he moved his head from side to side, no doubt performing difficult trigonometric calculations in his head to be able to know exactly where his prey was.

How Long Can You Go?

Here's a little demo for you to show how far away I was from the eagles the other day. The overall picture was shot with the camera zoom set at it's shortest length of 75mm. The small rectangle near the center that's slightly brighter blue is with the lens set at 300mm. This is what most camera makers refer to as optical zoom.

Above you can see the full picture at 300mm. As you can see, the eagles are stil pretty much dots near the center.

And here is a detail of the picture where you can actually make out the birds. This is an 8 megapixel camera, so there is a lot of detail in there. This would be digital zoom. All I'm doing is cropping out extraneous information. The picture is smaller, but it's easier to see what you're looking at.

I could go really crazy and zoom in on just one of the birds if I want, but the picture quality is getting really poor.

You can take the digital zoom to it's logical limit, if you'd like, but pretty soon all you can see are the zeroes and ones that lie behind the digital data.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Five More Hens

Here's another picture from last Sunday's trip to the Venice Rookery. This little family is a group of moorhens. This was the first time I've ever seen any babies, and as you can see, they look pretty much the same as mommy and daddy.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Unprocessed Fish Sticks

I promise I will get more from this little adventure up later, but this is the best of the bunch, and I couldn't bear not to post it. I caught this osprey and his prey at a pond near the Venice Rookery today. I bought a new monopod and a 2G memory card this weekend and was trying them out. I think the monopod allowed me to take this shot without it coming out blurry, and I filled up the 2G card with 500 pictures, mostly of this same osprey.

Perch Like An Eagle

Real quick, here's a picture of a bald eagle. I found this fellow and his mate down at Stump Pass State Park near Englewood, FL. He was way on the other side of the Intercoastal Waterway, so I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get anything other than by usual blurry, far away pictures, but fate had something a little better in mind. A nearby boater asked me what kind of bird I was shooting. I told him it was a bald eagle, then, being braver than usual, I asked him if he minded giving me a ride to the other side to take a closer look. He said sure, but then another boater came along and needed a tow. I told him to take care of the fellow mariner in distress, and he promised to come back. It took an hour, but the fellow was as good as his word and returned. We still weren't able to get too close to the eagles, and the light was rapidly failing, but I got a pretty good shot. I've got plenty more I want to share, but it's late, and I have to go away on business in the morning. Hopefully I'll get more pictures posted during the week.

Hope It's April

Almost forgot to post the monthly picture for April. It's only the second day of the month, though, so I guess I'm not doing too bad. This large statue is on the side of the Hope Memorial Bridge in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. That's Terminal Tower in the background, which you may recognize in the upcoming Spiderman 3, as they are shooting there as I type this. I think I shared this picture out earlier while I was actually in Ohio, but I'm not sure. Anyway, it was good enough to make my monthly calender. I hope you enjoy it.

A Week In April

Oooh, here's a good one for the first full week in April. This was taken at the Virginia Kendall Ledges in Ohio. The path I was on wound down through these incredible rock formations overgrown with ferns. It was tough to get a good picture, since I was on the shaded side of the mountain, but I think this one came out quite nice.