I finally got to take my new 5D for a spin!
A friend of my wife, who works for Boeing, graciously invited me to go with him to the Boeing Employee viewing area for the first flight of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. What an exciting opportunity to photograph this airplane from an amazing vantage point (from Paine Field's taxiway Alpha!)
The weather could not have been better for March in the Puget Sound area. A few clouds to spice up the sky and a northerly breeze that would ensure that the plane would make a photogenic northerly departure.
The crowd wasn't as large as I expected, however this allowed most people to get a decent spot along the fence. A Boeing 787 made a few missed-approach tests (curiously, with the wind) while everyone gathered. Eventually, the 747 appeared from the south apron entrance and begain its long taxi. The chase planes flew overhead signaling the departure was close.
The take-off was quiet, those GENx engines are dramatically quiet as they lifted the Intercontinental up. I had some trouble getting photos as it departed as I underestimated the buffer of the 5D when shooting rapid-fire RAW. I didn't get nearly the photos I was hoping for, however I did get a few passable shots. The focus was also off on a few as I panned around between wide shots, 747 shots and T-33 photos. My goal was to get a good shot with the T-33 along side the 747-8.
After the 747-8 left eyeshot the crowds disappated and I headed down to KBFI to catch the landing.
The first flight took much longer than I had expected, however, there was still some interesting action at KBFI while I waited as well as some nice folks to talk to. The flight path of BOE8 was the strangest I've seen for a maiden flight:
While we waited, a solo F/A-18F departed. I didn't catch the call sign as I left my radio at home, unfortunately. A plethora of bizjets came and went, the usual Cessna and DiamondStar traffic did their touch-and-goes. Eventually a T-38 departed, and two 787's arrived from their test sorties. Finally, @BoeingCompany tweeted that the flight would be inbound at 2:30.
When the 747 did finally arrive, I got overzealous and attempted to shoot two bodies at once (HAH!), only to 1) lose the ability to adjust my zoom (it was too tight) and 2) the focus settings on the 30D were wrong so it couldn't get a shot off. I was hoping to use the 17mm to get the chase plane as it flew overhead along taxiway bravo. However, I did still come out with some passable shots.
All in all, I learned a lot about my 5D for future shoots. The image quality is astonishing and the image control and noise are generations better than my 30D (literally and figuratively). I look forward to more.
Here's a few photos:
Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental and T-33 chase plane
Boeing Company T-38 Chase
Boeing 787 arrives at KBFI