Farewell to XH558...

I find it ironic that the previous blog post was entitled "Never a quiet day", because for the past 3 weeks since that post I've not been able to get out for any dedicated photography time!

Well, that's not entirely true, I ventured outside on a cold early Sunday morning (about 3.30am) to witness the "amazing" celestial event that was the "Blood-Super-Moon".

The "Super" part comes because it is at its closes point to the Earth in its orbit, but in reality it makes very little difference to its appearance in the sky!!

The "Blood" part comes in because it was in fact a total eclipse of the moon. It results in a blood red colour as the shadow is cast.

The downside from a photography perspective is that the light needed for the picture also disappears, so the result is a little bit noisier than I'd have liked (was using ISO 6400).

As the eclipse started to pass and the light came back I was able to grab a little more definition on the image.

The above early morning was rather inappropriately timed on the first morning of the start of a new job, so I really shouldn't have got up at 3.30am for it!

That aforementioned new job has somewhat hindered my ability to get out "with nature"... I know, how rude?!! But one event that I didn't want to miss was the farewell flight of the cold-war era Vulcan bomber "XH558".

It was conducting 2 circuits, one in the north of the country, then one in the south. Sadly it wasn't going to fly over our house so we headed off to Farnborough airport, which was a pre-arranged waypoint on its tour.

It seems that us, and about 10,000 other people had the same idea, luckily though we were there in good time and able to 'dump' our car on a 45 degree bank to keep us close to the action!

Well, it most certainly was worth the wait! I was tracking the progress of the flight on twitter so knew where and when to look, although the noisy (and smoky) old engines meant it wasn't the stealthiest of approaches!

There was a bit of haze over the airport, but it swung wide in a big loop and headed down the runway directly for us...

As it approached, it gave it a burst on the power to give a nice loud smokey approach...

I really wish I had set up a camera to record it, as it was very low, nice and slow and straight over our heads, absolutely stunning.

As you can see in the settings, I had pretty much backed off my lens as far as I could, so as it passed overhead I couldn't get the whole plane in view!

Just took a couple more shots as it passed off out of our view for quite possibly the last time we'll ever see this plane flying.


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You need to give up work so you can dedicate more time to your hobby...that's what I did! ;)  
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