2022 – WEIRDLY-LARGE OVERHEAD VEHICLES IN PLANE VIEW
………………………(I((Ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on March 3, 2022)
(I had to lead off with the money shot that I’m proud of. Continue reading to see how I got there. You’ll see it again later, so make believe you didn’t see this.)
NOTE: most of these images are large files. Click to enlarge all but the two vertical shots. Some of them need two clicks to fully-enlarge, but then you’ll have to do a bit of lateral scrolling. In either event, just hit your return button to get back to this page.
After exhausting the street vehicle option, I happened to look out my LR window last Sunday morning and noticed that planes bound for Teterboro Airport – about 4 miles south of me – were approaching it from the northeast because the strong winds that day were coming from the southwest. The planes were traveling left to right – just like the block-long bus from two days earlier.
Great – something else I can shoot from home. They were nowhere near as close to me as the buses, but maybe I could create noticeable sky-snakes out of each one.
The first attempt was not encouraging:
This one pic I took made three planes out of one and the mental extrapolation of that didn’t appear to be all that interesting if it DID work the way I envisioned. The most interesting thing in the image was the Manhattan skyline down to the WTC.
I had to get closer.
I knew that there was a section of the Hackensack River Walkway a couple of miles south of me that I recall where Teterboro-bound planes came close to passing overhead, so I drove over there.
The first attempt there gave me three separate planes again – just like from home, but a little closer:
The second attempt gave me more snakey-ness, but it was still too far away:
I HAVE to go to Teterboro!
The northern end of the airport borders on Rt. 46 and when planes are coming in from the north, that’s the place to be.
Unfortunately, it’s not the safest place to be. As you’ll see in some of the pictures, three lanes of east-bound traffic don’t even have a curb on the right edge. There’s road asphalt, then dirt punctuated by muddy holes, some sloping grass, etc, into a ditch and then the airport’s metal fence. The only place to walk, stand and shoot from is on the roadside dirt/mud.
And it was a very windy day. At one point, as I was maneuvering around a mudhole, a sudden gust practically blew me into the ditch. Oh well……………better that than onto the highway.
There are a couple of highway traffic lights at either end of the airport on 46. The distance between them is about ¼ to ½ mile. I parked on the northern side of the highway, crossed at the eastern light and walked westward to a point where I thought the planes would cross the highway.
I didn’t have to wait long.
Unfortunately, from this location, the planes were moving right-to-left as I was panning left-to-right…………..and remember: there is only ONE plane in each image. Predictably, these 3 shots are pretty useless:
I knew I’d have to hike more to the west to shoot the other side of the plane (and get the left-to-right motion to match my panning).
Before I got to where I needed to be, I saw a plane approaching, coming from over a building on the north side of 46. I was too “underneath” and only got a shot showing two images of the plane (and the lead one is missing a wing tip):
I saw a helicopter in the distance and wondered if I could get a stretched-out shot of it, but – once again – only got two images of the same chopper:
It looks exactly like two helicopters in the air – also useless.
Finally, I got where I needed to be, but – as you can see – I still needed to match my panning motion to the plane’s motion: Plus – you have to remember that this plane is still traveling pretty fast. From what I can find online, private jets can land at speeds up to 150mph:
(My panning hand needs some jet fuel)
Almost there (gotta cut down on those 43 wheels):
(Even if the plane had to disconnect from its train to land safely…………..and it has a nice, balanced arc over the highway and fence)
I cannot find anything like this on the Web. If you can, let me know.
I had something to do at home, so I started to head back. When I had almost finished my walk back east to cross at the light, I happened to look back and saw a plane coming in and took this shot:
I held the phone upside-down so I could pan right-to-left and match the right-to-left plane motion. I just wish I stopped it before it reached the bush so I could have gotten the front of the plane.
Anyway, I already had what I came for, crossed the highway and went home.
I hope you enjoyed this 3-part series that was inspired by a truck that was squashed by its motion in the background of a panoramic shot I took last year.
So what else is there to shoot that this technique might work with? Trains are too long…………..maybe speedboats? Track and field? Horse racing?
Suggestions always welcome. And if you have an iPhone with a panoramic setting and feel inspired, I’d love to see what you come up with………….but be warned – it might inspire me to do another series.
In any event, I promise that you won’t get another post from me for a fourth day in a row.
But the day(s) after that?