Okay, this end of the month abstract image was from an outing with the Immaculate Mr Bugg several nights ago, and I gave him every opportunity to post first, because he likes that kind of thing. Ah well, too late!
The last time that I had done this kind of thing was close to two decades ago, which surprises even me; it was more recent than this, but not by a lot – in fact, I think the copyright date of that shot was from when I published it to the website, and not when I took it, but I’m not absolutely sure about it. And these were taken in almost the same spot. What you’re looking at, both here and there, are the trails of jetliners landing, the shutter remaining open during final approach – in this particular frame, just shy of three minutes. You can see the glare from where the landing lights were aimed a little more directly at our position, as well as the reflection through the trees from the lake, and there’s even the hint of the approach strobes, the lights that help guide the planes in, along the bottom of the frame – no, not those bright spots, which are road lights, but the faint line of poles more towards the center. The strobes face away from our position here so their presence was barely discernible at night. You can also see some star trails, the amount they moved during the exposure time.
I hadn’t done this since the September 2001 attacks, for obvious reasons, but I finally called the airport to see how they felt about it, and as long as we weren’t on airport property, it was fine; we could even have been shooting from the top of the parking decks within the airport itself, but that wouldn’t have put us in the approach corridor like this one did. We were actually on the roadside where it passed just outside of the fences and the end of runway 5L.
The biggest difference in the intervening time was the ability to determine, through a smutphone app, exactly when a plane was due to approach – takes a lot of the guesswork out of it.