October 11, 2012

Back from Vacation…

Certainly with less money than I departed with… Vegas will do that to you… but with great memories of fun with friends!

A few items…

  1. The Cosmopolitan Hotel is the BOMB!
  2. I am glad Colorado does not have an “In and Out Burger” else, I would be fat… wait what?
  3. Don’t sit Karyn near the light switches in an Italian Restaurant…
  4. KA is good… Mystere and Love are still better, in my book
  5. Emeril’s place at MGM is still some of the best food around!
  6. Blackjack Dealers sure have a knack of having a 7 hole card when they have a 4 showing!
  7. Downtown has really gone downhill!  Not that it was ever too Up Hill…
  8. Hugos has lost its mojo… Time to find a new, hidden gem in Vegas
  9. Play the Red Rocks Arroyo Course… Pass on the Sienna Course… But no matter what, playing golf in Vegas is probably the best spent $100.00… it certainly lasts the longest!
  10. D-Bott is hilarious at broken escalators, and very photogenic!
  11. 5 and a half days is not too long in Vegas… so long as you play two rounds of golf, and catch a show!

Now time for the pics… you didn’t think I went without my camera did you?

To begin, this is the view Ginger and I had from our “Wrap Around Suite” at the Cosmopolitan… Stunning!

Cosmopolitan Balcony View 2

The inside was none too shabby either…

Cosmopolitan Suite Interior

But as night fell upon “The Strip”… it got better!

Vegas Strip at Night 3 Pano

Vegas Strip at Night 2

And of course there was the Bellagio Fountains to watch!

Dusk on the strip

Now a few of our fellow travelers!

On “Day One” coincidentally our buddy and pool teammate, John Neuhalfen was in Vegas (for a Grateful Dead Concert) so we joined up at Mon Ami Gabi at the base of the Eifel Tower for a Anniversary Lunch.  It was the first time John has ever tried Escargot!  I think he is hooked now… and is seriously contemplating becoming a Snail Rancher!

Newie Gin and John

D-Bott, the character!


Karyn and Bob, liv’n and laughing it up at Hugos!


And Pam and Cliff enjoying the spectacle!


There was a lot of laughter this trip.  Actually how all vacations should be in my mind!

John and Ginger at Caesars

The scenes from the trip were a photographer’s playground…

Bellagio pond fog



And finally, the trip was made all that much better by enjoying my and Ginger’s 5th Anniversary!  She’s more beautiful to me now than ever!

Ginger lounge chair

Ginger Balcony

And there you have it… Now, GET BACK TO WORK!

October 11, 2012 in Biographical, Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


October 02, 2012

The 2012 Grand Junction Airshow

This post is part 1 of a 2 part article… This initial post will focus on the Airshow in Grand Junction Colorado… Part 2, will focus more on the “Cattle Baron’s BBQ and Tailhook Gathering.

The weekend of September 21-23 I found myself on the western side of the Rocky Mountains to attend the Grand Junction Airshow.  I had received a “Media Pass” to the event due to my affiliation with The Tailhook Association as the Editor of “The Tailhook Daily Briefing”, the association’s online blog presence.  Now, ‘Media Passes’ sound all glamorous and preferential and all… but in reality all they do is allow for access to the field on the Practice Day and then grant me early access to the field on the Show days with preferred parking.  (hmm maybe that is preferential…)


As a certified “Aviation Geek”, I look forward to this event every 3 to 4 years, it is really too bad this is not an annual event because the venue is fantastic!  Grand Junction Airport is nestled up against the “Bookcliffs” Mesa, with Mt Garfield providing an appropriate bookend to the range.  These cliffs provide for an excellent backdrop to photos taken at the show.

Also, Grand Junction’s Airshow is still small enough to have that wonderful ‘Down Home’ feel to it. It is reminiscent of the older style of airshows, much more intimate with attendance measured in the thousands instead of the 100’s of thousands like Miramar.  Never the less, it was still quite beneficial for an aviation photographer like me to have access to the flight line the day before the crowds align the rails.

Friday morning, Ginger, Ken Schoeni (who had flown in the day before from his home in Seattle) and I all piled into the GMC and began our roughly 4 hour trek west along I-70 over the Rockies.  The drive was splendid… Vail Pass was decked out in all of its Autumn Glory, the aspens presenting explosions of gold among a sea of evergreens.  We arrived at the Hotel in Grand Junction right on time, checked in and headed to the room to deposit our bags.  Ginger had some work to follow up on so she took the opportunity to hole up in the room and catch up.  Ken and I headed over to the Airport.  Actually, since we were close enough, we walked the mile from the hotel to the West Star Aviation Terminal where I had been told my Media Pass would await.

Inside the terminal lounge, a variety of people were milling about.  Many were West Star employees trying to finish preparations for the show, coordinating everything from fuel for the birds to beer for the spectators.  But also loitering were the various airshow performers including a couple of the ‘civilian’ acts, the Navy Super Hornet Tactical Demonstration guys of VFA-106 outta Oceana, and the V-22 Osprey folks from VMM-166 “The Sea Elks” from Miramar.  I took a few minutes to introduce myself to the crews, toss about some casual conversation and then proceeded to the counter to inquire about my media credentials.

The young lady (fresh outta high school by my estimates) behind the counter greeted me politely, but then her look rapidly turned to one of confusion.  Apparently not an uncommon look these past few days.  They seemed to embrace their disorganization more as the status quo than the exception.

“Um… What Media list?” was the response I received from young blonde…

Rather than try to explain what should have been there behind the counter, and apparently wasn’t (…I’ve tried that pointless action before only to end up right back where I started, shorter on patience and 5 minutes closer to my death than I had been…), I simply excused myself for a brief moment to make a phone call.  To the Director of Marketing for the show.  Within five minutes, the media list was delivered to the girls behind the counter, with my name clearly in attendance.  “Sorry for the mix up Mr. Carmichael, please go right ahead…”  And off to the flight line, camera gear slung over my shoulder I went.  I had Airplanes to photograph!

There is something very surreal about walking onto a flight line that is fully decked out in preparation for the masses to attend, yet few people are about.  A photographer’s dream, not having to muscle your way to the front, fighting for a vantage point without obstacles, like speaker stands, trash cans, umbrellas, kids!  Nirvana I’m tell’n you! 

V-22On the apron static displays abound.  Dominating the landscape is one of VMM-166’s V-22 Osprey Tilt Rotor Aircraft.  In its shadow, a WWII vintage TBM, looking very well preserved considering her age, a great testament to the love and care provided by her owner.  I crawled all through that TBM and with the exception of an oil leak from the cowling… which in these aircraft simply means, “She ain’t Empty!” it was immaculate!

TBM Cockpit HDR

Further down the line were many more aircraft and helicopters, like this CH-53E pictured below. DSC_0304a

But alas, I was here for the flying!

The first to go for the Friday practice sessions was VFA-106’s US Navy’s Super Hornet Flight Demonstration crewed by, LT Tony “Neon” Rizio and LT Jacob “Rooney” Lerner.  And I had front row seats!  --- of course, in hindsight, that might have been poor planning on my part!

Neon and Rooney

Ya see… their crew chief directed them out for what was to be a "Right Turn Out"... Which, woulda been fine with me...

What none of us expected was the 170 degree right turn! As I was filming, I realized in a classic "Ahhhhh Craaaap" moment that the Blowers were about to point right at me, just as the "Need for Speed" - (Taxi Speed anyway) came upon the crew. Lemme tell ya, that zephyr is hot! And quite gusty!

F-18 cans

I maintained my stance amazingly enough (well, I took a knee actually!), but the VIP folding chairs behind me got blasted all over the Grand Junction Apron! Oh and so did the rest of my camera gear including 2 lenses that happened to be sitting on one of the now "Gone With the Wind" chairs!

Yard Sale Yard sale 2

I captured and assembled a little video (amateur as it is...) that shows the initial taxi, the turn , and then some stills of the after... The video concludes with stills from the debrief where 'Neon' and 'Rooney' are told of the carnage.  [Link]

Ah well, the hazards of Naval Aviation!

The only real casualty of having that big blow dryer pointing at me is that my big lens, the 70-300mm, took a tumble and pretty much has given up the ghost.  I know what is now on my Christmas list!

DSC_8675The crew chiefs of VFA-106 were really cool however, and after “Neon” and “Rooney” were well on their way down the taxiway, they came over to help reset the chairs and pick up my yard sale of lenses and other photographer paraphernalia.  Also, when the second crew taxied out for their practice hop, the Crew Chief had already briefed them of “Hurricane Neon” and recommended they keep the right turn to 90 degrees… “Grippy” and “Trig” obliged. 

VFA -106 Grippy and Trig taxib

The rest of the day was uneventful… well except for the Sound of Freedom from the Super Hornets, the V-22 Osprey, and oh yeah… the Blue Angels!

VFA -106 Grippy and Trig low transition touch n go

VFA -106 Grippy and Trig low transition touch n go 4

VMM-166 Sea Elks V-22 Taxi-a V-22 Forward Flight

Fat Albert

Fat Albert Landing  Fat Albert Banana Pass

Blue Angel #1 Greg Mcwherter 2

Blue Angel #1 Crew Chief  Blue Angel #1 Greg Mcwherter Smoke Check


Blue Angel Diamond Practice 1

Blue Angel Fortus

Blues #5 Sneak Pass

Blue Angel #5 Min Rad Turn

Blue Angel #5 high speed

Blues Crossing

More images from the show can be found on my Smugmug pages here: [Link]

Part 2 Soon to come… The Party!

October 2, 2012 in Aviation, Navy, Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


October 01, 2012

When September Ends…

You’d think I’d lost the keys to Carmichael’s Position with the scarcity of posts…

Actually it is simply a function of having been exceptionally busy these past few weeks.  September was a blur!

NYC- Early in September, I was back in Manhattan (Brooklyn, Queens, Newburg, Staten Island, Poughkeepsie, and White Plains) New York for my customary business meetings.  I happened to be there September 11.  So I took the opportunity to head down to Jersey City, directly across the Hudson from the Manhattan “Financial District” to snap a few images of the “Missing Towers” commemorative lights.  It was quite impactful.

Manhattan Lights 9-11-12 a

Looking north, I was afforded a spectacular view of Mid-Town as well.

manhattan night 9-11-12

I spent a couple of hours along the walkway just absorbing the enormity of what took place eleven years ago, and what has transpired since.

The next day I had a couple of meetings on Staten Island, and while usually I drive to the island, this day’s schedule precluded any chance of that.  So I had to take the Staten Island Ferry.  Fortunately, unlike my last adventure with the Ferry, this day was beautiful, and… there was not a herd of misunderstood youth thugs boisterously bragging about their female conquests, and pugilistic accomplishments.  (I was thankful).  The views afforded of New York Harbor were spectacular.

Clear day Lower Manhattan2 

statue of Liberty

I recommend, if you find yourself in Manhattan with a couple of hours to spare, head down to the southern tip of the island and jump a ferry ride.  It’s FREE!!! By the way!  Seriously it is easily the best ticket in town for views of the harbor.  (On a clear day… that is…).

The Oven - Upon my return to Casa de Carmichael, I was treated to a new oven!  Ya see whist I was off in NYC doing my part to Bring Home the Bacon… my lovely bride was doing her part to insure we could cook the bacon!  Our (came with the house) nearly 20 year old oven decided to give up the ghost!  So Ginger went and acquired a fancy-schmancy stainless steel glass top job.  Hey, as long as it gets used… I ‘m good with it.  And considering, Ginger cooks an average of 5 nights a week, it’s getting a workout.

Golf League - The weekend of my return from NYC, we also played in our Golf League’s year end tournament.  I played poorly in the tourney, BUT!… I did come in first in the league.  What was a little awkward was we had a side competition in the league where each player submitted an entry stating who you thought would win the league and what you thought that person’s final cumulative score would be… Eh…er… uhm… I won that too… Very fun tourney and banquet never the less, and a great group of people!  I am already looking forward to next May when we crank it up again.

Airshow - And finally, the weekend of the 21-23 I found myself in Grand Junction, Colorado for the (not often enough) Grand Junction Airshow and Tailhook get-together.  More on that in the next article… It’s a bit involved…

October 1, 2012 in Biographical, Current Affairs, Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


August 13, 2012

“I’ve Seen it Raining Fire in the Sky!”

This line is from the John Denver hit song “Rocky Mountain High” and was reportedly inspired when he and some friends spent the evening in the high Colorado Rocky Mountains (above tree line) staring at the clear night sky, and were captivated by the intensity of shooting stars during the Perseid Meteor Shower.

This weekend my bride Ginger, a couple of buddies of ours, and I went camping and fishing up near Steamboat CO.  One thing I was looking forward to (in addition to ‘getting away from life’s daily small stuff’) was having opportunity to cross off one of my Photography ‘Bucket-List’ entries.  Taking a good star field photo, to include the Milky Way if possible.  I had forgotten, until Friday that the annual Perseid Meteor shower was this weekend! 

We arrived at our campsite Friday evening about 7:30, greeted by a low cloud deck and notification that the local ‘Fire Ban’ had been re-initiated that very day… Meaning no campfires!  Ok, that’s like going to a movie and finding out there’s no popcorn!  But what option do we have, we’ve journeyed 3 hours to get here, its not like we’re gunna flip a uhey and head back home.  We’ll tough it out… and do what I did before during a ‘Fire Ban Camping Trip’… put one of our electric lanterns in the pit and gather around the warmth of a glowing LED!

Fortunately gas stoves were not affected by the ban, Beer Brats (and Saturday night’s chicken) were tasty!

The serendipitous advantage of the fire ban was a great reduction in nighttime ambient light… Looking up, as the clouds began to yield to the black, stars began to appear.  And once the lantern was extinguished, our canopy was a cathedral of light!  The Milky Way directly overhead…

Camp Site Sky 2

Campsite Steamboat

We were still pretty close to the Steamboat City Limits so every cloud reflected the red-orange glow from the town, still made for some interesting images. 

The next evening promised clearer skies, so Dan (my fellow photography hobbyist) and I planned for greater opportunity to photograph the star fields arrayed above us.  Late Saturday afternoon, we had gone fly fishing on the Elk River, and on our trek to the fishing grounds, we reconnoitered locations for good dark conditions for our expedition.  The best we could find (within 20 minutes of our campsite) was a rancher’s field a few miles north.

That night, the mostly clear skies materialized!  And off to our spot we went, Nikons and tripods in hand!  Always good when the directions to our spot included the sentence, “Ok, turn left here and proceed up the dirt road for about a mile!”

We set up our rigs, set our cameras with the proper parameters necessary for capturing the stars (there’s a lot of technical considerations when doing this by the way), did our best at focusing (not an easy task in low light conditions mind you…) and fired away.  Within a couple of minutes of our arrival in the field, the show really began…  Intense, long trail, brilliant streaks of light began to sprint across the heavens.  The Perseids!  Some burned across half the sky!  Others dashed like a stone skipping across a pond, it was a sight to behold!  and… photograph!  If I could!

In this first image below, you can see a few (3 actually) streaks just above the ridgeline.  Two of these streaks are actually aircraft, the long exposure allowing their anti-collision strobes to form trails in the sky, the third (highest one in the image) is one of the meteors.

Milky Way Telephone pole 3

In another shot, a slightly different angle of that same telephone pole, you can see another couple of meteors (one crossing left to right just above the transmission lines, and the other paralleling the Milky Way just below the transmission lines).  The clouds are reflecting the lights of Steamboat Springs to our southeast.

Milky Way Telephone pole

And then finally a shot looking at the Southern sky… The lit-up trees are what I presume to be the Rancher’s residence, and the glow off to the right is once again light pollution from nearby Steamboat Springs.

Colorado Camping

And there you have it…

August 13, 2012 in Biographical, Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack


July 17, 2012

New York, July 2012 Photography

Back from my New York trip last week.  This visit had me driving the countryside of New Jersey… That’s right, New Jersey does have a “Countryside!” it’s not all Newark!  (Thank Gawd!)

Unfortunately all of my drives through said countryside required my attentiveness behind the wheel, and as such did not take any pictures of the lush green woodlands and fields.

This first image really challenged my knowledge of the new technology that is Digital SLR Photography.  A year or so ago I upgraded my equipment to now include a Nikon D7000 camera.  At the time it was the leader in Mid-Level Semi-Pro Camera Bodies.  I’ll spare you all of the Marketing Propaganda, but one of the advanced features of this camera is better resolution and less noise at higher ISO Numbers.  (In English… The Camera has better ability to process images in low light conditions).  I really tested that ability with this image… This shot was taken from about 1,500 feet over Manhattan as my airplane flew the "’Downwind, up the Hudson” leg of our approach to LaGuardia.  This was about 15 to 20 minutes AFTER sunset!  The plane is moving along at nearly 250 miles per hour and bouncing a bit.  I make the necessary adjustments to the camera (for those who understand camera hieroglyphics: ISO800, 1/60, f3.5, 18mm) and take the shot.

Approach over NYC

Which was right behind the zoomed in one I had taken a few seconds prior…

Empire State Building from the Air

This next one was of the White Plains Train Station, deserted at 10:30pm on Sunday night.

White Plains Train Station

I did have my usual allotment of meetings in Manhattan, but those were going to be mostly on Friday. Tuesday was the only evening I had that was “unaccounted for” so I took the liberty of jumping the train from White Plains down to “The City” as it is referred to in the burbs, to see if I could find a way to take photos of landmarks that have already been photographed hundreds of millions of times!

I’m sure not one of these images are anywhere near an original photographic idea… but at least I challenged myself to exercise some creativity.

Empire State Building from Bryant Park Times Square Subway 2

Times Square Low Angle

Top left is the Empire State Building (duh…) as seen from Bryant Park.  The highlights in the foliage on the left is created by a bank of lights (think night baseball game) shining down on the park from the rooftop of the building at 1095 Avenue of the Americas. 

Top right is a creative shot I took at Times Square of the 42nd street subway station entrance.  Shot with a shallow depth of field and a long exposure.  I reduced the color in Photoshop to help draw attention to the subway station.

And finally, the bottom shot is of Times Square… probably THE most photographed landmark in NYC.  So I tried something different.  This shot was achieved by literally placing the camera on the ground!  Then executing a long exposure using a wireless shutter release.  I love the motion effect of the cabs streaking by, and the spinning sign on the Paramount Theater’s Façade.

And there you have it… July in NYC.

July 17, 2012 in Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


June 18, 2012

New York last week…

Duty called and I responded… last week I was in NYC, NJ and the Hudson Valley visiting clients and insuring our company is performing to our clients expectations.  We are… of course… we don’t fail in Client Services… at least not on MY watch!!!  Winking smile

As is my usual I always have my camera attached to my brief case in case a good photo op presents itself.  And New York, for all of it’s many faults, does usually deliver photo opportunities.  The question is… do I have the eye at that particular time to recognize it?  Or the time to take advantage of the scene before me.  Sometimes “yes” sometimes “no”.

This trip was not one for too many opportunities.  I was on the run constantly.  15 meetings in 4 days will do that to you.  But alas I did capture a few.

This one was along Park Avenue (quite near the Waldorf) I was actually trying to capture a little bit of the hustle that is New York.  My challenge was to create that feeling using a long exposure to illustrate both the motion and the structure of NYC.   I liked how the image conveys the motion of the traffic yet shows that some can take a break in all the bustle.

Busy Day NYC

This next one was taken of the Mid-Hudson Bridge in Poughkeepsie New York.  Nothing really spectacular about this shot (as it was shot in the middle of the day… not recommended for capturing any emotion in an image) but I was working on capturing a foreground element in a landscape.

Mid Hudson Bridge3

And finally, the one I like the most.  An abstract of 8 Spruce Street.  A new tower completed last year by renowned architect Frank Gehry.  I often feel its cheating a bit when I take a picture of something that by design is artistic, it’s like painting a picture of a painting… but, to hell with it!  How many pictures of buildings have you seen in your lifetime?!  There’s a reason they look cool!… So we appreciate them!!!

8 Spruce Street Gehry Tower 4


June 18, 2012 in Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


April 23, 2012

Case III Recovery to a LaGuardia Wave-off

Yesterday I flew from Denver to New York for a scheduled week of presentations and client visits.

All was going quite well initially.  My Frontier airlines flight departed on time amazingly enough (despite two similarly routed United flights posting a 2 hour delay).  I sat, mostly comfortable (as comfortable as a economy airline seat can be) traversing the countryside at 500 miles per hour, enjoying the distraction of the 4 inch TV broadcasting from the seatback in front of me.

I can’t say I was surprised when about 3/4 of the way through the planned duration of the trip, somewhere over western Pennsylvania, I noticed we took a significant left turn.  Followed shortly by another left turn… and alas another followed by another.  Yep your typical holding pattern.  I changed channels on my video, first to the moving map display to confirm my suspicion, yep… we had apparently joined NASCAR… then I changed to the Weather Channel to see the onus of our penalty laps. 

Gleefully explained by some tight skirted blonde with a pair of “Store-Boughts”, the New York Metro area was getting pummeled by 40 knot winds and torrential rain!  About that time the Captain came on the PA to explain what I had already deduced… we’re gunna be delayed.

We continued in marshal for the better part of an hour, finally released to our approach into LaGuardia through still angry skies.  The airbus? She was a’buck’n.  But alas our Cowgirl of a pilot pressed on!  We continued the approach bouncing off airborne moguls with all the dexterity of a drunk hippopotamus riding a pogo-stick!  Our bus driver ever determined pressed on though the murk… “down” appeared an easier direction to maintain.  No comfort in that by the way…

As we proceeded through the soup, altitude, attitude, and bearing all appeared to be mere suggestions… and even that a stretch!  We broke through the clouds at a mere 600-800ft, and the runway?  It was Dutch rolling!  Out MY WINDOW!  (remember, I look out the side of the plane…).

I’m pretty sure our Captain made a Bovine Scatology reference and then pressed the throttles forward!  Really forward!  We climbed… and there was much rejoicing!  We eventually poked our nose through the top of the turbulent cloud deck, and heard the voice of our frustrated Captain inform us that we were running out of “Go Juice” and would be modifying our itinerary to include a stop in Philadelphia!  Yep, we made yet another left turn and headed south.  About 30 minutes later we arrived in the city of brotherly love… or at least their airport.  It was 1:25am.

Oddly enough our plane did not taxi to the terminal in Philly.  In a heavy rain, we taxied out to the far east section of the airport and set the parking break in front of the Signature Air terminal.  Engines secured, the airstairs drove up, door opened, and in walked 4 soaked, reflective vest clad ground crew.  One I swear was holding a credit card swipee thing… No, no need to fill-er-up, we’re just going a few blocks!  The gas truck pulled up, and added needed ballast to our wings.

We hung out, there on the apron, passengers awaiting their turn for the head (toilet) and others continued watching the Food Network programing droning on in front of each of us.  Many also texted our plight to friends and family in an effort to reswizzel completely FUBAR’d logistics.

Me, I pinged Ginger and gave her the promise I’d let her know whatever happened, as it happened.  What the hell else was I gunna do? 

After another hour bored on… and amazingly enough the same chick who had won on “Chopped” earlier in the night won again!  It might have been a repeat of the same show… We were cleared to try again at LGA.  Yippie!  Load her up in the shoot again!  Let’s see if we can stay on the whole 8 seconds this time!

We got airborne quite expeditiously and turned north, toward the city that never sleeps… wondering when I would.

We broke through the cloud deck at an uncomfortable 400 feet, and proceeded to land after a somewhat less dramatic approach, reverse thrust kicking up the two and a half inches of rain that had fallen on the runway that day.  Taxied… and eventually parked.  That is the emptiest I have EVER seen LaGuardia!!! 

The one smart thing I had done is checked the Metro North Railway schedule to learn that the trains did not… train… between 2:30am and 6:00am… it was now a few ticks past 3:00am.  So taking a cab to Grand Central Station would be pointless… borderline stupid.  Yep, was gunna have to pay the fare to White Plains.  Assuming there was a cab to be found!  You see, cabbies in New York have learned over the years that hanging out past midnight at an airport where the last scheduled arrival is 11:30pm, is only good if you want to nap.  There were no cabs… there, I said it… IN NEW YORK!  I COULD’T FIND A CAB!  I or 130 other passengers of our flight… So I walked to the middle roadway and hailed a car service!  White Plains please… Ok. 

Fastest I’ve ever got to my hotel from LaGuardia actually.  I walked in my room at 4:15am… Have to be at the office in 4 hours… easy peasy! 

And that’s just day one of the trip!  Looking forward to my Earth Day Celebration with the GSA tomorrow.

Me? Tonight?  I have a date with my eyelids and my pillow!  G’night!

April 23, 2012 in Aviation, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


March 21, 2012

Moving on…

I wanted to give Lex’s dedication a proper life here on my pages as the post you land on when visiting Carmichael’s Position.  It is hard to believe we were all struck with the news of our friend’s passing two weeks ago now.

In that two weeks, the rest of my world blurred a bit.  Not because of accumulated tears, though there were those… but more because life’s obligations did not let up in his passing for the rest of us.

Me, after hoisting numerous Guinness's – for strength – I had to get my act together, get all my shit in one sock and then “Move On”. 

Moving on for me involved my work obligations, which required my presence back in New York City, the “Center of the Universe” (their opinion… not necessarily mine!).  Work was good.  Fifteen meetings in 4 days is not an effort to be made by the weak or meek… Although being 10 pounds lighter and possibly five laps less around the sun might not have hurt none… I was beat by the end of the week.  It’s good to be exhausted once in awhile.  All of the meetings went well and were productive.  I like our clients, they are good, hard working people.

In the course of my daily rounds I occasionally have opportunity to work on my passion of photography.   Unfortunately, I was mostly disappointed in my efforts this time around… be it poor subject matter choice, poor composition or the occasional poor technical settings, I was not excelling at my hobby.  I did however, manage to capture a couple of images I rather like, and after posting these on my Facebook pages, others have liked them as well… I am flattered and humbled by their appreciation.

The first one I took while waiting for my train’s departure from Grand Central Station.  I had to have a long exposure due to the low light conditions in GST.  What I captured was all of the motion of the busy transportation hub, all better exemplified by the still, motionless photographer in the middle of the bustle, trying to secure a photo of his own…

GST Photographer

And the second image from the trip, was taken on the way home after the long week.  From seat 7F of a Frontier Airlines Airbus 319, meandering along at 34,000 feet and 486kts, I looked out my window and was captivated by my view.  Through an arch created by two spent thunderheads, in the setting sunlight, a cumulus cloud was highlighted in all its grandeur.  It was fascinating and I had to take a crack at capturing it through the double plated window. Here’s my result.

Sunset 34000ft 

This week following has been busy as well, always is after a trip back to NY.  Plenty of life’s daily’s to keep me busy and focused.  That’s a good thing… sure beats the alternative.

March 21, 2012 in Aviation, Photo, Travel, Weather | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


October 15, 2011


I travel quite a bit for my work… less than many, more than most.  Most of my commute is between Denver and New York.  The majority of our clients are in the New York, New Jersey, Hudson Valley area so that’s where my travels take me.  A couple of times a year we are invited to Washington DC to give a performance briefing to one of our largest accounts… Think Federal Government…

I really dig Washington DC!  (Not necessarily the Carbon Dioxide Factories that work there…) the city itself is captivating in it’s history and architecture.  One just feels pride as an American when strolling the Mall.

I didn’t have much time for photography as our work schedule was packed with presentations and client and potential client visits.  But I managed a few right around sunset on Monday while I was waiting for my Boss’s flight to arrive at DCA later that evening.  All around the Lincoln Memorial (one of my favorites).

So as always here are some of the fruits of my labors… I hope you enjoy.

lincoln Memorial HDR

Capitol HDR Lincoln Memorial Ranger Silouette

Then once again it was back up to New York for the remainder of the week.

I was hoping to capture the Northeast’s famous fall colors, but to my surprise and disappointment the foliage was only in it’s early stages of transition, and not very vibrant.  Probably had  a lot to due with all of the moisture the east has experienced this year, and the fairly mild fall thus far… That and the persistent gray overcast each day I was in town.  So… no leaves for you!

I joined my sister and brother-in-law in Brooklyn on Thursday evening for our usual sushi dinner and then took a stroll to the East River overlook of Manhattan to see if I could capture some compelling images of Lower Manhattan in the mist. 

lower manhattan fog pano

lower manhattan fog3

Eh… had better, had worse. 

Then Friday… after multiple meetings in the city it was off to LaGuardia to catch my flight home.  I hate LaGuardia… (JFK and Newark for that matter too!) I would say I get out of that airport on time about 17% of the time.  This time was no exception… Due to leave at 5:30… Left at 7:30!  (Had better, had worse!) Things were looking ok until a cold front came through bringing a line of storms with it.  Knocking the NYC TRACON on it’s ass!

LaGuardia went into a ground stop, suspending all departures and arrivals for about 40 minutes… wrench, meet gears!  At one point I counted no fewer than 27 aircraft on taxiway “Bravo” in line for departure on Runway 13.  At 3 and a half minutes between departures… you do the math!

LGA Crappy Weather

Yep… supposed to be home around 8:00pm last night… opened the garage door at 10:30pm.  I’ve had worse.

And there you have it.  This week in Denver… next? Jacksonville FL, Vienna GA, Tampa FL, then back in Denver.  Boy are my arms tired!

October 15, 2011 in Photo, Travel | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


October 01, 2011

Bear Creek

Went fly-fishing with a buddy of mine today in Colorado’s Bear Creek.  A nice day to say the least.  We saw tons of trout!  We caught OUNCES!  Well… One of us caught ounces… Your’s truly got bubkis!  Seriously I fished this one hole, where there were literally 10-15 trout lining the bottom of the stream, I floated countless drifts over them with a variety of flies… Got bumped maybe twice!

Scooter was also experiencing the same poor luck as I, until he switched to a black fly with white wings… and nailed a 12-14 inch rainbow.  That was it for the day for us.

So after getting shut out, I decided to pull out the Nikon and try to catch something…  Here’s the result.

Bear Creek 3

Bear Creek 2

Bear Creek 1

Again… didn’t really matter that I got shut out… it matters that I got out!  Into GOD’s country!

October 1, 2011 in Biographical, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack