Today I found myself visiting an old friend somewhat by accident. But this wasn’t a friend in the traditional sense, but rather a place and an experience that I have enjoyed countless times before.
This was a situation where I was literally “just in the neighborhood”, and wasn’t even thinking about this particular place. It is a spot about two miles from where I grew up, and as a child I visited this spot often. You see, I have long been quite the aviation buff, and growing up near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), I would often walk, ride my bike, or skateboard to various spots where I could watch the planes takeoff and land.
Today, while running an errand near LAX, I spotted the approach lights that cross a major thoroughfare, and remembered the great spot for watching planes land on the northern pair of runways. I took a slight detour and headed over, pulling my camera out of my pack as I approached.
As soon as one plane flew directly overhead, I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be a fast detour. When a small crowd gathered I heard talk about an Airbus A380, which is a huge double-decker monster of a passenger airliner. I inquired. They knew a Korean Air A380 was due to arrive soon. That was all the excuse I needed to stick around for a bit longer.
In the meantime, I captured more than a few photos. The challenge was getting a “clean” shot. I was mostly focused on including the overhead sun in the frame as a jet flew by. Even though I was mostly shooting almost straight up, there was still quite a bit of clutter nearby in the way of approach lights, street lights, trees, and more.
I kept on shooting, and caught sight of the A380 on its downwind leg, getting ready to land. I figured I might as well wait just a little longer. I watched the A380 approach and pass directly overhead, snapping as many shots as my camera could achieve in burst mode.
Later, upon reviewing my images, one of my favorites was actually of a rather small commuter jet. The only problem was that a light post cut into the frame quite significantly. But it was in open sky, so I managed to clean it up without too much effort. Here’s the “before” version, with the light post in the frame:
And yes, for those interested, I did photograph the Airbus A380 in much the same way…
Have you ever re-visited a subject or place you’ve seen countless times, with or without photographing that subject? Feel free to share your comments below…