Saturday, 30 December 2017

Favourite photos of 2017

It isn't easy to select a few photos from thousands (and I do mean 'thousands') of photos taken during the course of a year but here are some of my favourite ones:

JA773J | Boeing 777-246 | Japan Airlines (JAL)

A6-EBO | Boeing 777-300ER | Emirates

A6-EUE | Emirates | A380-800 | Tokyo Narita

B-18908 | Airbus A350-900 | China Airlines

JA873A | Boeing 787-9 | ANA - All Nippon Airways

JA786A | Boeing 777-300(ER) | ANA | Tokyo Haneda | April 2017

G-VNYC | Airbus A330-300 | Virgin Atlantic Airways

N175DZ | Boeing 767-300(ER) | Delta | Tokyo Narita | March 2017

B-LJA | Boeing 747-8F | Cathay Pacific Cargo | Tokyo Narita | March 2017

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

I swear it was just five minutes since the last one...

There goes another year, and it seems that years are going by faster and faster and are increasingly just blurs punctuated by Christmases.
2017 wasn't bad for travelling and I got to visit a couple of new countries, namely Japan and Ukraine (the latter was to visit Chernobyl - I'm interested in physics and all things nuclear, so when I got the chance to go, I took it...but I did manage to get a couple of shots from the terminal at Kiev Boryspil) as well as my usual trips to Manchester, Amsterdam and a couple of visits to Heathrow.

2017 is ending on a slightly crap note, as there has been another round of staff cuts at work and I haven't escaped this time. This Friday will be my last day and, as I was only told this immediately prior to the Christmas break, I've not had a chance to look for anything else yet. Talk about shit timing. The fat cat shareholders will probably still get their inflated dividends though.

2018 looks as if it will go along in the same vein as 2017, I am going to Dusseldorf via Manchester in March and Japan again in May. I want to do photography at NRT and HND of course but I also want to do a few other things like visit some shrines, temples, interesting bits of the city, all stuff I didn't get a chance to do this year. I'll only have 8 clear days so I'll probably go no further than Tokyo.

Hopefully 2018 will bring a new job, more travels and a weight loss regime that I will actually stick to (including cutting down on beer). Oh, and my favourite sports teams to stop being crap and show some sodding ambition for once.

9V-SMH | Airbus A350-900 | Singapore Airlines | Tokyo Haneda

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Disastrous spotting trips?

I guess we must have all had them, spotting/photography trips that are memorable for all the wrong reasons - that special you were hoping for not turning up, unforecast bad weather, etc., a multitude of reasons can make a promising trip descend into a situation where you really wish you hadn't bothered.
I've had a couple of pretty rubbish trips but the worst was back in April 2016 when I went to Birmingham and Dublin. The drive up from London to Birmingham on the Friday evening after work was bad enough, dreadful traffic, driving rain and poor visibility made me wish I was actually heading back home to the Isle of Wight than heading north, particularly since I was in south London for two weeks for work, but had already been away for three weeks in Australia (I'd had a grand total of three days at home).
The hotel I booked in Birmingham, while not a complete hole, was something of a cross between university halls of residence and accommodations in Prisoner Cell Block H - what sort of hotel doesn't even have a bar...? That said it was easy to locate just off the M5.
The next day in Dublin I got both frozen stiff and bored stiff. I didn't get that many usable photos, due to a ridiculous combination of heat haze and highly variable (mostly bad) light and one of my camera bodies, a Nikon D750, locked up and refused to work because the shutter failed. In the end I cut my losses and went back to the airport for my Ryanair flight back to Birmingham as, at that point, a pint or three of Guinness was more appealing than freezing my bits off in the company of litter, dumped white goods and dead rats.
Worse, however, was to come. The following day I stopped off in the ASDA car park at Halesowen to get something to eat before heading to the airport for some photography and then the drive back down to London to work. As I backed out of the space in the car park, I managed to hit my car on a steel girder and do considerable damage to the front end (long story short, my car needed a whole new front end, including headlights and windscreen washer, and my insurance premium doubled overnight). Once I got to the airport, with a patched up car, my Nikon D750, which had resumed working, failed again and the heavens also opened so I called it a day and departed back to south London. To say I was extremely pissed off with it all is an understatement.
That was one to forget.

The End of a (Short) Era

The sad but inevitable news was announced on 14th February 2019 that the A380 would no longer be built after 2021. This is due to Airbus not...