Just recently got back from a trip to Seattle. I’m usually lazy about posting photos these days, but here are a couple shots of the airshow for ya from Seafair. The first is some crazy guy in a red biplane trying to stall his aircraft. The last three are the Blue Angels, and if you don’t know who they are then you’ve had your head buried under a rock.
If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that the first three photos (at 300mm) aren’t quite as sharp as the fourth one (at 96mm). The Tamron 70-300mm lens is really cheap, a fantastic bargain for the price, but it noticeably loses sharpness at the far end. Thing is, that’s where I want to use it, especially for stuff like this. It’s bad form to blame equipment, but in this case I actually did outshoot my lens. Looks like it’s time for an upgrade.
I’m not sure if it’s like this for anyone else, but three months out I still have a house with plastic tubs of stuff stacked in rooms and very little furniture. Most people’s reaction to this is, “Well go to Target and buy a kitchen table, it isn’t that hard.” Is everyone else really content to buy the fiberboard crap that comes out of those stores? The stuff is ugly as hell, and as soon as you bump or kick it the stuff starts flaking apart. Oh sure, it’s functional, barely. But it’s not attractive by any stretch.
I decided when I moved in that I wouldn’t waste my money on that stuff. I want some actual real furniture, made out of solid pieces of wood and not sawdust superglued together. So over the past few months I’ve been slowly accumulating things that don’t make my house look like a dormitory. The bed set was one. A couple of decent sofas was another. And a few days ago I finally bought a real writing desk. Not something to put my computer on, but something used to hold papers and pencils. This is a desk from when they actually knew how to make desks. No idiotic sliding tray to bang and scrape your knees on, no stupid plastic-covered hole in the middle. Genuine stained and finished mahogany, dings and scratches and all. This thing has character, it has panache. Someone was probably writing on this thing when you were in diapers. Damn, son, but that’s a real desk.
The city of Albuquerque hosts a hot air balloon festival every year in October. Balloonists from all over the world bring their equipment and set off from a field every morning for a full week. The best part: you can walk around among them right on the field as they prepare and lift off.
There’s something both ridiculous and amazing about watching six hundred pilots simultaneously fill up their contraptions and take to the sky in droves.
Most of the pilots launch right at dawn, but there is a small set that go up earlier to test the winds and make sure it’s safe enough for everyone else. I woke up at 4am to get to the field on time to photograph them as they set up and launched. I even bought a new lens specifically for the occasion, a Canon 10-22mm ultrawide, and used the tripod Annie gave me before I left. Be sure to click on each of the crops to view the full images. I’ll post the daylight images later, but for now enjoy the early bird set.