Sunday, December 16, 2007

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

The View From Seat Number 39K

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

You know my credo about always having a camera with arm's reach? Each flight I've taken on this trip, I've had the camera at my side. This shot was taken about ninety minutes before my Singapore Airlines flight landed in New Delhi a few hours ago. Look carefully at the leading edge of the wing, near past the engine nacelle - and you'll see a delicate reflection of the colours in the sky.

About fifteen minutes before I took this shot, I was gazing out over the wing. I suddenly spotted a little silvery-white object reflected on the surface of the wing, moving from left to right. Realising that the reflection could only be caused by something above us, I looked up. And there, maybe a thousand metres above us and travelling in the opposite direction was a mid-size jet, about the size of a Gulfstream.

You're thinking: did I get the picture? Er, no. Even though I had my camera with me, I had my meal on my tray and I didn't have time to get the camera out of the case, get the lens cover off and fire off a couple of frames. It would have been a really rare shot in wonderful light conditions, because the Gulfstream's silver fuselage was reflecting the light of the setting sun.

But when you figure the nitty-gritty, the combined speed of both flights would have been well in excess of a thousand kilometres an hour, so I had only a couple of seconds to juggle my meal tray, and extricate the camera and switch it on. Maybe I should have taken a circus performer's course in juggling. And perhaps majored in Contortionism 101 as well.

PS: I did chuckle at Terry Fletcher's footnote a few hours ago, saying that I'm like a whirlwind. He's probably right, but this is one whirlwind that gets a lot of fun out of life!


Maddy said...

Hmm whenever I take a picture through a window I either get flash back or then realise that the window was pretty mucky. Somehow you don't really see the dirty window when you're looking through it at the view.
Best wishes

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Wonderful shot. Too bad you were unable to photograph the plane above your plane.

Les Becker said...

Ooh, ouch. I always kick myself when I don't have the camera in my hand - almost always, something really cool presents itself. Like the two gulls wheeling in the sky during a heavy snowfall a couple of weeks ago. They circled around for a good two or three minutes while I swore at myself over leaving the camera at home. I think the snow must have disoriented them.

I know I'll never see such a thing again.

Lee said...

Neat story. Thanks for sharing it and this lovely photo.


Lara said...

nevertheless, getting this picture is rewarding enough. at least for the viewer...

evlahos said...

fantastic colors, so simple so great!!!