A cold shower

Cabin fever set in, I had not been out much this week mainly because I had some DIY to get on with and the weather was mostly un-flyable…. however…

I went out on Sunday afternoon over to Portmoak, which was about the only place where flying was taking place for some much needed photo therapy. I would have stayed longer but it was bitterly cold out.

Portmoak has three strips, well they have four, the north, which today was used for the powered aircraft, the center and the south were used for landings and the bit in the middle was being used for the launches, which suited me fine as it brought the gliders into range of my 400mm lens.

I have to admit that I love photographing gliders, they are so graceful and so very challenging to photograph mainly because they are so unpredictable. You never quite know where a glider will go or what approach it will make to land. Sometimes you are lucky and sometimes not. The ones that infuriate me the most is the ones that land on the south strip. I know that there is a photo in there to be had but one never quite knows if the aircraft will land on which strip. I have a place in mind to take my photos from but there is no where to leave the car and it is a no go proposition to ask for permission for air side access either. Funny, the Scottish Gliding Union don’t mind spending my Lottery money but I don’t seem to get anything back! The other thing about the SGU is that they are so unsociable. I have only once been out on the field taking photos and that was with members of a visiting University Gliding Club.

Polish Glider

This Polish registered glider is a bit of a rarity and a surprise to see through the view finder. The russet tones of Bishop Hill add to the scene, well that’s my excuse for the wide crop.

The shape of things to come a motor glider

Motor Glider


Just look at the way the wings bend of take off. The strong wind enabled some rapid launches.

Bending wings


A based Jodel was doing circuits and taxied up to the car park to change pilots, giving me the chance to put a narrow depth of field in the the picture. A pity about the car in the background. One can not think of everything!

The Jodel

The last picture was a wee bit of fun. I rigged up the camera on the tripod and set the shot up from behind the launch point, only for to have someone place another glider right behind it. I could live with that until they parked another glider right in front of me, necessitating a rapid change of location and and a rapid re-composure of myself and the picture! I guessed a wee bit wrongly as the aircraft ran out of the side of the picture, however it seems to work. The rest is all down to layers in Photoshop. It is a tedious process to layer up 50 odd images, usually in batches of 10 between saves. I learned that lesson the hard way, losing an hours worth of work in an instant.

Glider launch


If you want to see the full set, they can be found on my Flickr site. 

I’ll need to go sometime soon to see my friends at the Angus Gliding Club near Kirriemuir. They know how to treat visiting photographers, mostly with friendly insults and damn good banter. It is always a joy visit. One of my all time favourite multiple exposure shots was made at Drumshade .

In the meant time, that’s me back at work, scheming away for my next set of days off and the next 18 day break in March.


, , , , ,

  1. #1 by bikeal on January 24, 2012 - 2:07 pm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: