As far back as I can remember I have always been drawn to the water. Whether a lake, beach or any other nautical body, I have always found them to be the great escape. There is just something magical about water, for me anyway. :-) In a previous post we had a look at some canoes for rent. Today we turn the camera 180 degrees in the opposite direction and capture that morning after a night of intense storms. This was during the "dog days of Summer" when we had a string of 100 + degree days. The storms provided some much needed relief and a little fog as well, as seen in the image below.
************ UPDATE ************
August 21, 2013
I was recently contacted by Mr. Phil Precht, a former crew member of "Chuckie" who informed me that the information in this post is completely inaccurate regarding the history of this great plane. Needless to say, I was quite surprised to hear this and wanted to learn more about the aircraft's true history.
As it turns out, the representative at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, unbelievably provided me with erroneous information on my visit there. I find this to be totally unacceptable behavior on a number of fronts and can only wonder why someone would rattle off such a fabrication with authority.
In any case, Mr. Precht was kind enough to connect me with the Wife of the gentleman who actually owned the plane for many years, Mrs. Charlyn "Chuckie" Hospers. I personally spoke with Mrs. Hospers by phone and thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. She was most gracious for me contacting her so that the record here can be corrected, which is extremely important for all. I am personally not at all interested in fabricated and sensationalized stories but rather, want to post actual facts about the subjects I choose to photograph.
I learned that the plane had been a fire ant bomber in Alabama before being purchased by the late Colonel Doc William D. Hospers in the late 1970's. Col Hospers then flew the plane to his home of Fort Worth Texas, landing her at Meacham Field. He subsequently named the plane for his wife, whose nickname is "Chuckie".
So the information initially provided to me, while making for a great story, is untrue. This plane has NO relationship with Chuck Yeager, as indicated by the museum representative, whose name I wish I had obtained during that visit years ago. We trust museum personnel to be knowledgeable about what is on display and generally accept what they tell us as being fact. In this case, it was surely an eye-opener for me.
The latest update I received from Mr. Precht is that the B-17 Chuckie, was sold by the Military Aviation Museum to Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon and has since been flown across country to her new home.
As I learn more about the history of this aircraft, I will return and update this post accordingly.
Many thanks to Mr. Phil Precht, who spent many years working on this aircraft and to Mrs. Chuckie Hospers for the opportunity to not only learn more about this plane's history, but also for the opportunity to converse with them and correct the record here regarding this subject.
By the way, Mrs. Hospers is currently affiliated with the Vintage Flying Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas.
ORIGINAL POST BELOW
Today we'll take another fly-by the Military Aviation Museum and have a look at Chuckie, the B-17 bomber. The plane is affectionately named for the famous aviator Chuck Yeager, one of the most decorated airmen of modern times. The B-17 bomber, also know as the "Flying Fortress" was key to gaining air superiority during the second world war. It was known for it's long range, precision and ability to defend itself as a strategic bomber. In short, this was the badass ruler of the skies.
Let's hope that every bomber known to man will someday become museum pieces and obsolete, but I digress. The B-17 was introduced in April of 1938 and was primarily used by the United States Army Air Force.
Chuckie has been refurbished and was flown in to Virginia Beach from Meacham Field in Fort Worth on January 22, 2011. It's such a huge plane that I'm guessing they will eventually build a special hangar for it's museum life.
Under the harsh glare of a mid-day sun I ran off quite a few shots, a few of which I share below. I should mention the obvious, the plane no longer has it's battle colors of OD green. :-)
Above we have a gun port, key to air defense. Not certain of the weapon but it's likely one that shoots 50 caliber shells, a devastating round.
Two of the 4 powerful engines. The original setup used 750-HP Pratt & Whtney engines. They were replaced by 930-HP Wright Cyclones, an engine that pushed this beast to speeds of 320 MPH. Not sure which model appears here.
To wrap up we have an angled view above and a black & white version below, which sort of fits with that particular time period.
Thanks for visiting, everyone!
One of my favorite topics in photography is architecture and within that is the sub-topic of churches. These buildings can often be exquisitely detailed both inside and out. While many churches look alike on the surface, a closer look always seems to show a little individuality with each having it's own character. The image below was taken on one of my road trips so I really have no information regarding the age of the building or it's history. This was really a drive-by opportunity that caught my eye so I took a couple of shots and moved on.
I decided to render this in black & white so I ran it through onOne's Photo Tools, applying the Wow Portrait filter. I know, a portrait filter doesn't readily come to mind when processing architectural shots but I love to experiment. :-)
In the city of Virginia Beach, on the shores of the Atlantic ocean stands a huge statue of King Neptune, that mythical ruler of nautical fame. It's a huge statue adorned with sea life. I was impressed with it's overall beauty and the detail that went into this creation. But there is one constant problem. Unless you visit the site very early in the morning or doing the off-season, you'll be hard pressed to get a decent shot of it. You see, it is continually covered with people from around the globe, everyone wanting to have their photo taken. It's a tremendous draw so it's popularity is understandable. :-)
While I was in town there were lines to strike a pose with this thing and although clearly posted, nothing stopped people from climbing all over the statue. So what's a person to do? Get creative.
I got an idea from Adam Allegro, who posted this nicely textured image, so I decided to finally do a textured background. It's one of those things I had considered a few times but just hadn't gotten around to doing. As it turned out I had started to process this image a couple of times before but knew it needed something besides the normal treatment. I went to great lengths to avoid capturing the standard frontal shot that I have already seen several times, so I shot this from a different angle.
The morning I shot this temperatures had already reached the 90s by 8:30 am, so you can imagine how harsh the lighting was, not to mention the drab gray sky. I even tried to position the sun between his arm as shown below in this horrible off-the-camera shot.
I only show this so you have a sense of how large this thing is. :-) Notice the guy to the left in the safety vest.
Anyhow, the textured shot above was taken with people all over ole Neptune so I shot above them knowing I would crop and come up with some sort of treatment to offset the bad sky behind him.
Having now taken the dive into a little texture, I'm sure I will be doing more in the future.
Thanks for visiting and have a great day!