Saturday, July 04, 2009

My Favorite Spot

Earlier this week, I built a small, wooden platform whose purpose was to assist my 90 year-old mom-in-law in the process of stepping up into our new pickup. We had done a dry run just after getting the truck to see if it were possible for her to comfortably step in and have a seat. Well, she needed another inch or two to pull this off, hence, I built the platform. Then, I tossed it into the back of the truck and pretty much forgot about it.

Then on Friday afternoon, at long last, I grabbed my camera gear and headed to DFW Airport for some photography. I had been out there just once in the past 9 months or so...mainly because of the necessity of dealing with Mom and then the selling of her house. In times past, I would drive out there twice a week to feed my passion for aviation photography. So I eagerly headed west and upon arrival at the airport, immediately went to my favorite spot to "shoot" planes.

This is a perfectly legal place located at the end of a public road. There's a concrete platform I stand on that covers a sewer of some kind. When I'm perched there using my 6'4" height, there's just enough visual clearance over the barbed-wire to get a clean look at landing aircraft on runway 17L. But when I arrived yesterday, I found that the authorities had installed razor-wire around the barbed-wire at the top of the perimeter fence. This added about six inches to the height of the fence and meant that my shots there would now feature fuzzy wire at the bottom of each picture.

What to do. I found a small concrete block and tried standing on it, but it wobbled and I tossed it aside. Meanwhile, my scanner crackled with the sound of air traffic control clearing an American Airlines flight to land on 17L. Suddenly I remembered Nana, and the platform in the bed of the truck. I immediately limped off to retrieve it...uh, I don't run much anymore. I returned to my spot, set up the platform, and stepped up. Bingo! Just the right amount of clearance to shoot these birds from a favorable angle. The AA plane touched down (from St. Louis), turned off the runway, and taxiied right toward me. It was a 757, which is to many the most photogenic aircraft this side of the Concorde.

I squeezed the shutter and got the shot you see above. And I couldn't have done it without Nana's help. And I can't believe you've read this much of one man's boring blog.

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