I can fly! I can fly!

You might not know that I can fly an airplane. I can't fly one legally but I did take flying lessons in 1994 and flew solo several times. In 1994 I took lessons from Steve Green (not the weather man) of Aspen Flying Club at Centennial Airport. I didn't complete my training because it was too expensive.

1994 was the same year Denver International Airport (DIA) opened for business. A week before it opened they hosted a General Aviation Fly-in. When I learned about the fly-in I was quick enough to reserve an airplane before they were all booked. I was fortunate enough to be able to land an airplane at DIA, sign the gust book, snap a couple of photos, and take off again. We didn't have much time to look around; we had to have the plane back by 10am because it was booked the rest of the day.

Landing an airplane at Denver International Airport, or even soloing an airplane, isn't something everyone gets to do. I'm happy I took advantage of the opportunity and was able to do it.

This is me just before taking off from Centennial for Denver International Airport general aviation fly-in September 25, 1994. I've put on a few pounds since this photo was taken.

My first pinhole photograph

Flatirons by a pinhole camera
The Flatirons, Boulder, Colorado. May 25, 2016.
ILFORD HARMAN Titan 4x5 Pinhole camera, 73mm, f206, 8sec, ILFORD Delta 100 b/w film, ISO-100, developed in ILFORD DD-X @ 20c for 12 min.

Return to film

I've been thinking of getting back into film photography for a couple of years. I would like to get into a large format camera (4x5). There are thousands of used large format cameras on eBay but they are either beat up real bad or missing parts or too expensive. I use to shoot 120 medium format film in the 60's and 70's. In high school I had a used Hasselblad and my own dark room. I lost interest in photography after high school and sold all my gear.

While looking at used film cameras on eBay I came across a Hasselblad that looked to be in good condition and was within my price range so I clicked the Buy Now button. I didn't know the seller lived in Denver but he sent me a message the next day and asked if he could come by the house to drop it off. I had camera in hand that evening!

This is the first film photography I've done since 1994 and it's the first black & white film photography I've done since 1974.

Depth of field on stairs, Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm, Kodak TMY 120, ISO400, 1sec @ f22. May 14, 2016.

Woman pushing stroller , Hasselblad 500C/M, 80mm, Kodak TMY 120, ISO400,1/500 @ f22, Arvada, Colorado. May 14, 2016.

Used 1991 Hasselblad 500C/M w 80mm f2.8 lens. May 12, 2016. Taken with iPhone.

Lost in the storm

A spring snow storm hit the Colorado front range last week. It dumped several inches of heavy wet snow which damaged a lot of trees and some roofs.

I drove to Metzger Farm Open Space to see if the herons and owls survived the storm . All of the heron nests in the east tree have been abandoned. There are still two active heron nests in the west tree. The owls in the east tree and the owls on the north trail both survived. Another birder told me the hawk nest failed and some nesting geese were flooded out.

Great Horned Owl, Metzger Farm Open Space, Broomfield, Colorado, April 19, 2016.

This is one pathetic looking coyote, Metzger Farm Open Space, Broomfield, Colorado, April 19, 2016.

Jumping with joy

I went to Metzger Farm open space park in Broomfield, Colorado Saturday. The herons have returned again this year to raise their young as have some owls. As I was leaving I spotted a Kestrel right next to the road. I jumped out of the car so fast I almost forgot to put it into park!

Hallelujah! I finally got a decent shot of a Kestrel. I am jumping with joy right now!
American Kestrel

The Great Blue Herons have returned to Metzger Farm Open Space to raise their young.

As have Great Horned owls. This nest is in the same tree as the herons and was about 300 feet away. We counted three chicks.

This is a different family farther north. Officials put a temporary fence to keep people from getting too close. We were able to get about 100 feet from her. I could see two chicks.

I got a good photograph of a meadowlark a few years ago. I also want to get a good recording of the meadowlarks song. This is my second attempt at a recording.