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The Clear, The Cold & The Graduated Sky

It appears that I am a day behind. Having tapped off at least 100 images a day for the last 3 or 4 days a backlog is a certainty. Yes, here I am wanting to blog about yesterday(Friday)  and finding that I am having to include images from as far back as Wednesday and Thursday. So on this note, let me jump back to Wednesday. 05:45 and I hop out of bed to do a “sky-check”. Our bedroom faces west and I have no view to the east unless I wander through the house to look out of another window. If I am truthful I can actually look westwards without getting out of bed as I can see the sky between the blind and curtains. Checking the weather and the cloud base therefore means getting out of bed. A quick totter to the window revealed a clear sky, twinkling stars and an over flying aircraft with a feint vapour trail in the dark but slowly paling sky.

Coming up with new ideas for a decent sunrise shot is getting quite difficult. Yeadon Tarn is a great place for wildlife, water and trees as foreground and even aircraft. As am sure you will appreciate that once you have done something a few times it’s actually nice to have a change and try a different approach. Over 2012 I tried one or two different locations including the airport all of which proved very successful. I discovered that spreading the locations about over the twelve months allows different images as the sunrise location changes throughout the year. The weather and clouds play a huge part of this too with no two days being the same.
After grabbing a quick coffee I proceeded to de-ice the car and headed off to Yeadon Tarn. In an ideal world it would be nice to see it as still as a mill-pond with no wind, an ideal photo opportunity. Rarely does this happen as its location is quite high above sea level. From the area around the Tarn there are good views with great foreground subjects facing in most directions. In particular the view towards the airport runway makes for superb shots of aircraft taking off and landing in to the rising sun. I must admit that I don’t usually go for the aircraft option whilst I am by the tarn as the runway is about 20 feet higher than the level of the tarn making it quite difficult to obtain any decent background detail. I parked my car in the easterly car park and just 20 yards from that spot I am able to get some very pleasing images of the rising sun. Below you will see what I mean about the departing aircraft. I wouldn’t normally include an aircraft in a sunrise where the sky had clouds to reflect colour and give some definition to the image. This morning it didn’t matter, the sky was clear with hardly a cloud. My vision was about to be become reality.


As the sun just started to emerge over the horizon I could hear the noise of jet engines roaring in to life. An aircraft was about to depart. I had my plan laid out. I would capture the aircraft in single frame, then holding the exposure I would capture then same scene to the left and the right of the aircraft. This would enable me to stitch the three images together to make a panorama. The panorama looks more appropriate in a sunrise or sunset shot when there is a lot of plain foreground with no detail. See what you think, the shot is shown above. Or should I say three shots. I actually regard this series of images as one of my best mornings yet.

There was one more image that just screamed out “Take me, Take me”. From my location looking across the water the colour had now turned a bland yellow and was fusing with the now blue spring sky. However looking left just out of the direct sun I noticed a woman walking a dog. As she proceeded towards me I lifted my camera and tapped off a couple of frames. You could see her breath in the cold morning air. Both the dog and its owner cast long black shadows in front of them which made for a lovely composition as she walked the path through the gap in the bushes. The final image is shown below.


Once the sun had risen all chance of getting anything decent whilst facing east in that direction were non existent. It was just way too bright. So I decided to call it a wrap and headed off back home, to the warmth and a chance to sit down with my beautiful wife and have some breakfast.

Thank you for reading. As always, comments welcome.


Leeds Bradford Airport | 28th February – Shooting in to the sun grrrr

G-CELD Early Climb Out

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Leeds Bradford Airport | 27th February 2013

93-0701G-CGNPG-CGNP93-0701Sunset | Yeadon - 27th February 2013Sunset | Yeadon - 27th February 2013

The photos from todays little “muddy” jaunt to the airport. The last two images are of this evenings gorgeous sunset and afterglow. Thanks for looking

So its finally announced…the mighty 777 is coming to Leeds Bradford Airport

After many months of speculation, it’s finally been announced that Pakistan International Airlines are upgrading the aircraft on the Islamabad-Leeds-Islamabad service. Yes, the giant Boeing 777 will be coming to Leeds Bradford International Airport. Firstly, for those of you not familiar with aircraft sizes, below is a comparison. This is an image by Erwin taken at Amsterdam showing a Boeing 737 (a type currently operated by out of Leeds Bradford Airport) waiting for departure clearance closely followed by a Boeing 777 of Dutch airline KLM.0881502  As you can see that size difference is quite noticeable. The following is the press release from Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has announced the introduction of Boeing 777 operations on their non-stop services from Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) to Islamabad.

This larger aircraft, renowned for its comfort and spaciousness, will offer enhanced cabin facilities providing 35 business class seats and 294 in economy. Passengers in both economy and business class will benefit from increased leg room and a wide selection of refreshments from lights snacks to delicious meals.

Comprehensive in-flight entertainment with the latest films, music and games will also be available. PIA has introduced the Boeing 777 aircraft due to the high demand from travellers in Bradford and the surrounding Yorkshire region who want to fly to and from Pakistan from their local airport. The airline will introduce the aircraft on the existing twice weekly LBA schedule on a Wednesday and Saturday. Tony Hallwood, Commercial Director at LBA, said: “We have been working closely with the local community and businesses to introduce Boeing 777 operations at LBA. “We are now delighted that we have been able to secure this important PIA Boeing 777 flagship service to meet the growing demand from both the Yorkshire region as well as the airline’s customers in Islamabad”

Pakistan International Airline’s Manager at Leeds Bradford, Muhammad Shafique added: “This is excellent news for Leeds Bradford and the entire region that we serve, confirming our confidence in LBA’s status as Yorkshire’s premier international gateway for our customers. With the upgraded facilities available on the Boeing 777 for both business and leisure travel, alongside a competitive fare, we are confident that more Yorkshire passengers will decide to fly with PIA.”.

So there you have it, there has been so many comments around the airport community regarding this, from people saying it will never happen to others stating it wont fit and where will they park it. There are lots of questions that spring to mind, all of which would have been covered in detail by the airline and the airport. In the end, the press release has been issued and I am confident that this would not have happened without confirmation from the airline that they were committed to doing so. A simple check on the PIA website backs up the data on the press release. So, the 13th March 2013 is the first operational due date for the aircraft. I am sure I wont be the only one at the airport that afternoon to witness this arrival.  Below is a size comparison chart showing the Boeing 777 sat next to an Airbus A330 (which I will add has been in LBA before), unfortunately there is no Boeing 747 on this chart. That would have given a better comparison

Just in case it’s too small to read, the 777 is second from the right. A few years ago, Monarch Airlines operated an Airbus A330 in to Leeds on a trooping flight to Germany. The Airbus A330 on the chart is to the left of the 777 and as you can see doesn’t appear to be too much different in size. A photograph I took on the very day the Monarch Airbus A330 came in to Leeds is shown below


So, only time will tell. I firmly believe it will happen. Let’s just wait and see. Thank you for reading, please feel free to add any comments or thoughts…

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