This blog is titled “Of Life, Flying and Photography.”
Mostly though, it’s focused on photography. This has happened for two reasons.
One, an immense case of writer’s block. Seriously, I can’t seem to write a thoughtful blog post to save my life. It fizzles out after a couple of paragraphs.
Two, it is very hard to photograph during flight training. When you’re practicing stalls, steep turns, lazy 8’s and chandelles, it’s hard to hold a camera at the same time. Recently, however, I was on a training trip that was a long cross country. 9 hours total time, actually.
I flew down to Southport, North Carolina from Cincinnati, Ohio. What should have been a 3 hour and change flight was nearly 5 hours due to winds that were stronger than forecast. This meant two things. First, I was going to be out later than I had planned and two, I got to the airport and couldn’t leave. The Fixed Based Operator had closed after I arrived. What I had planned to be a couple of hours grabbing some food and photographing some landmarks turned into what we in aviation call a quick turn. Land, use the restroom, fuel the plane, and leave. I was disappointed the day had gone as it had.
However, not all was lost. I brought a Canon AE-1 that I bought at a yardsale after shooting my grandfather’s and falling in love with it. I also brought a roll of Kodak Ektar 100, and a roll of Fuji Superia 800. I made photographs most of the way down to North Carolina, and some of the way back. It got dark about a third of the way home.
Photographing inside an airplane with a manual focus film camera is not the easiest thing in the world, especially when it’s a turbulent day. I fly Cessna 172’s normally, and the high wing configuration allows for wonderful views of whatever you’re flying over, at the cost of constant shade. Plus moving at over 100 miles an hour, several thousand feet above the ground, makes things tricky. I had two lenses, the FD 50 mm f/1.8, and the FD 135 f/2.8. Both came with this new AE-1. I had no idea how these shots would turn out, but I knew I wanted to try. Fortunately, I got lucky.
Now, a note. I had these developed at a shop that has given me some troubles in the past with bad developing, but I was assured the machines were fixed. These images are really nice, I like them, but there are some issues and you might notice them. I know some people don’t care, or won’t notice, but I did. So if it bothers you, believe me, it bothers me. But I like the pictures too much not to share them. So. Apologies.
Every time I fly, I’m reminded of something, and this is something that many people, even myself, struggle with sometimes.
We focus so much on the negatives in our lives. Our jobs aren’t that great, our cars, our clothes, our phones, our computers. The government stinks, the world is a mess.
Yet every single day, we are surrounded by the beauty and creation of the God of Israel. We are reminded that everything has beauty, and everything has purpose. We get so lost in the grind that we lose this sight. That the world, and ourselves, are beautiful. Even if we don’t feel it sometimes.
We’re all surrounded by immense beauty. Sometimes we need to take a break and make our way into it.
Or if you’re just lucky enough, you can get on top of it. And that’s not so bad either.