Day Sixteen

I knew there would be a penalty for violating the prime directive for this blog.

That being, ALWAYS carry a camera.

I  don’t know what I was thinking.  Before getting onto the plane, I mounted the 50mm on the 5dm2, changed out film in the Leica (also with the 50).  I was ready.

But I wasn’t really.

I put the bag in the overhead and I grabbed the window seat (good thinking).  But I didn’t grab the camera and take it OUT of the bag and leave it in my seat.

Was I kicking myself on takeoff.

The minute we lined up on the runway to take off, the stormy horizon created an interesting look from the window.  It only got better as we headed west quietly over the Newport Coast.

The sky had an eerie glow and the sun was blocked partially by a ring of blue/black clouds on the horizon.  Cargo ships waiting to dock in the port of LA or San Pedro (not sure which) caught the glow of a goldenrod sunrise — somehow the sun eeked through an open hole in the clouds and hit them at the right angle.

I’m still kicking myself as we proceed higher and higher.  Damn. I’m locked in my seat and I don’t even have my iPhone turned on so at least I could make a photo — even a godawful one — to at least trigger a memory of what I am in the midst of seeing.

“Ping.” “We’re now at 10,000 feet and you can use your portable devices…” came the voice of the lead flight attendant over the loudspeaker.

That jolted me into remembering that I could actually keep my iPhone on though in the airplane mode).  I quickly reach between my legs, rip open the zip and run through my brain how to turn it on again.  Is it hold the top botton for five seconds or the bottom for five?  I forget.  Finally I figure it out.

As the phone is waiting to load, I keep an eye on the sky.  It’s changing and changing fast as the plane has made the turn to the northeast, heading up to Las Vegas.

The clouds which were at first on the horizon for me are now becoming a part of the immediate scenery.

And just as the phone has reset, I’ve turned it to airplane mode, I look out the window, ready to pounce on what little of a photograph might be left.

And it’s gone. I’m in a white out.  Even the early morning sun in the upper third of the frame, which looks great to the naked eye (man, it would’ve worked on neopan), but through the POS lens of the iPhone there’s just a bright circle surrounded by a blue ring and virtually no detail in any of the cloud layer that encases the plane.

Shit. That sucks. But damn, what a lesson to learn.

Twenty feet outside the jetway, I stop. Drop the bags and pull out the camera with the 50.

That is not going to happen again.

I didn’t miss the sunset though.  This image was made on a country road in far northern Iowa, just before the sun dropped.  And it was cold.

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