Yesterday was travel day. Once more I took my usual Delta flight from Amsterdam to Portland. Apart from sitting 3 hours in the plane while still on the ground in AMS (they were fixing a problem with the water system) and apart from finally having a few new movies on the entertainment system (with the start of the new month) it was a totally uneventful and photographically dull flight with one single exception: while starting the decent into PDX we passed Mount Rainier in very close proximity, and the top of the highest stratovolcano of the Cascades Range was raising above the otherwise solid cloud cover. Enough to warrant the seventh episode of my Monday Mountains. For more info about Mount Rainier and more photos continue after the jump….
I know this is not the prettiest of photos. I took it handheld with 1/2 sec shutter speed and a whopping ISO 25600. Out of the window of an airliner that was shaking from light turbulence. But for me it meant the world. Just a week after crossing off two items from my bucket list when skiing on Mount Hood I saw the very first Northern Lights of my life. And this was in the top 3 of my list. It came upon me out of the night sky 38.000 feet above the Northern Atlantic. For the full story and a few more images continue reading after the jump…
As the job that pays the bills denied me any time to go shooting these past days I need to dig in last weeks archive to send you into the weekend. All these photos are from past Thursday and I took them on my Delta flight from Portland to Los Angeles on my way home to Nuremberg. Camera was my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom. I post the images in sequence from Mount Jefferson that we passed soon after Takeoff from PDX to the streets of Los Angeles while landing in LAX. For the full series continue after the jump….
I’m safely back home from my trip to Portland. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a very northerly route, that took my Delta Airlines A330 over the center part of Greenland, I was on the lookout for Northern Lights, as I had a window seat on the left side of the plane. A few weeks ago I saw a Blog Post from someone who actually photographed the Aurea Borealis from a plane. As it is a dream of mine to see the magnetic lights in the sky, I stayed up (watching “The Accountant” with Ben Affleck – a super movie) and waited for the green flares to appear, but I didn’t saw any. As it turned out, I might have missed them by just one night, as from this fantastic blog here I learned the Aurea Borealis was active the night before.
But I got lucky on two very important aspects on my return flight. The first you see in the photo to this post, I was blessed with an incredibly colorful dawn high in the sky above France. The colors were insane. I took the photo with the Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4.0-5.6 Travel Zoom pressed to the window. Image specs were 1/10 sec @ f/4.9 and ISO 1600. The photo is a jpg out of camera.
Almost more important was the fact I saved 4 hours of lay-over at Paris Charles De Gaulle. The Delta flight got in 30 minutes early, which gave me an outside chance of catching the 8:35 morning flight to Nuremberg instead of the 13:00 connection I was booked on (and believe me, waiting 4 hours in the remote Terminal 2G of CDG is no fun). I gave up hope when we taxied in for 15 minutes and then on top parked at an apron position where buses took us to the terminal 2E once everybody was out of the plane. But then security control went so smooth and there was an immediate shuttle bus connection to Terminal 2G where I arrived just when Boarding started for the Air France / HOP flight to Nuremberg. I went directly to the Transfer Counter (where there was also no other passenger) and asked if they can put me on the early flight. The lady there told me it would not be possible as I was on a Delta ticket, and rebooking that would take too long as boarding was already in progress.
Refusing to give up I went directly to the boarding gate to try my luck once more. And there you go, the great guy at the gate typed something in his computer, made a phone call and then printed my new boarding pass. The flight was not even 1/3 full. Instead of coming home Sunday afternoon I was home in time for breakfast with the family, what a treat!
So the lesson learnt here is: Never give up, always try! Works wonder in travels! And: try to fly with carry on baggage only. With a checked bag this would not have been possible. I can live up to 6 days out of my carry on, I’ve optimized that over the years, so I never check bags unless I absolutely have to.
Have a great Sunday!