Sometimes special moments happen when you are not looking for them. These pictures are examples of that.
Recently the Astronomical Society of Kansas City hosted a special evening for the city of Louisburg, KS at Powell Observatory in Louisburg. I had planned on taking two of my telescopes to the event but at the last minute my work schedule changed. Instead of being off all night I had to go to work at midnight. I decided to go to Powell Observatory anyway but I only took a small telescope with me. I debated about taking my camera but I decided to take it.
I consider Tom Martinez to be my photography mentor. He has guided me in my camera purchases and encouraged me to use the more advanced settings on these cameras and lenses and he has also been my mentor when I need help and advise with Photoshop. Tom was there that night taking photos and I took a photo of him.
You can learn more about Tom and see examples of his photography by visiting his blog spot at http://tomjmartinez.blogspot.com/
Patty Wagstaff has become a friend of ours and we check her air show schedule to see when she is going to be in our area. She was at the Branson Air Show in 2009 and Miranda and I decided to go to that show. While there we were able to get on the hot ramp or area where the pilots and their planes are during the show. It was drizzling some rain that day but it never did pour. I took this photo as Patty was getting ready to fly her performance.
Later I sent it to Patty and I was honored to find she had put this photo on her webpage. Patty has at least three of my photos on her webpage, one of them was taken from the cockpit of Patty’s Cirrus SR-22 by Miranda when her and Patty were flying together.
Here is a link to a full resolution version of this photo.
There is more about Patty later on this page.
I have noticed Blue Herons at Santa Fe Park and I have tried to take photos of them but they are an elusive bird. It seems the geese and ducks there will eat out of your hands but the Herons will not let you get close to them. I have followed them around Santa Fe but I was never able to get a good shot of them.
In the summer of 2009 Miranda and I went to Atchison, KS to visit the Amelia Earhart Birthplace. While there we also visited the International Forest of Friendship to see a Moon Tree, ask me about that sometime. The Forest of Friendship is near Warnock Lake. We were driving near the lake when I saw this Heron.
It seemed to be more interested in fishing instead of flying away from me, at least for a while.
I had taken Miranda out for a shoot at Sante Fe Park in Chanute. It was getting dark and I thought the sunset looked neat. I had finished shooting the sunset and I had put the camera back in the bag when all of a sudden these kids started to feed the Canadian Geese. I got the camera put back together and I was able to shoot for just a few moments before it became too dark. I think this is a neat picture.
At another shoot at Santa Fe Park I had Miranda setting on the rocks of the spillway. The water was running down the spillway and she was setting next to the water in a shaded area. The sun was on the water behind her but it was making the water too bright. I thought the sky looked neat and I was watching it just waiting for the sun to slip behind a large cloud. Just then this lady jumped up on the edge of the dam and began to fish.
When I get shots like this it makes me want to always be ready.
These next two were not really an unexpected event that I happened to take a picture of. These two photos were taken at the 2008 Wichita Flight Festival. Miranda and I love to attand air shows. A couple of years ago we went to 7 air shows in one year.
This is an Extra 300 being flown by Patty Wagstaff. Patty was the first woman to win the United States Aerobatic Championship. Not only did she win but she won three years in a row. The plane she flew to win those awards is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. This is her current plane.
This was only the second time I had taken my camera to an air show. I thought this picture turned out great. Notice the rudder is turned and you can see Patty, with her head turned to the left, in the cockpit. The floor of her Extra is plexiglass and you can see the sky through the floor of her plane.
You can use this link to see a full sized version of this photo.
Two years ago Patty offered my daughter Miranda a chance to set in this plane. Last year Patty took Miranda up for a flight in her Cirrus SR-22. The Cirrus is a 4 seat passenger plane. This year Patty arranged for a close friend of hers to take Miranda up for an aerobatic flight in a Pitts.
A Pitts is a modern day, two seat, bi-wing. They are built for aerobatics. Patty had e-mailed me and told me that if I brought Miranda to the Flight Festival again this year that she would try to have her friend, Andy, take Miranda up for a flight. When we arrived at the Flight Festival and found Patty. Miranda asked her if she had brought her Cirrus to the Flight Festival. Patty told Miranda that another flight in the Cirrus would be boring. Then Patty took us to the hanger and introduced us to Andy. Andy agreed to take Miranda up. They did some loops and rolls and spins and half of a Cuban eight. I asked Miranda how she felt after the flight and she said she felt fine. It was Andy who was holding his head saying he did not feel very good! I asked why and Andy said Miranda was spinning the plane too fast. Andy had let Miranda take the stick and he had her doing the aerobatic maneuvers! Of course he was joking, you can see in the center inset picture, taken right after the flight, that he loved Miranda's flying. The lower inset picture shows Andy, Miranda, and Patty.
Miranda and I attended the 2009 Columbia Air Show at Columbia Missouri. While there we noticed a nice PT-17 Stearman setting in the display area. We had a nice talk with the owner and he let Miranda set in his plane. Miranda has actually flown in one of these Stearmans.
The pilot always sets in the back seat and the passenger or trainee sets in the front. While the owner of this plane did not offer Miranda a ride he did let her set in the pilot seat.
Miranda is a fan of the early history of women in avaition and once I had this picture I knew I wanted to do something different with it. I decided to convert it to black and white but the picture still did not look like I wanted it to so I added a soft seipa tone filter. I think it looks like Miranda could have taken part in the early history of aviation.