Posts Tagged ‘sky’

Exploring the Sólheimasandur Plane Crash Site in Southern Iceland

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Wreckage from the 1973 DC-3 on Sólheimasandur Beach plus a red coat and a rainbow

The Sólheimasandur plane wreck in Southern Iceland is a must-see destination for aviation geeks and photographers alike.

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Moody clouds and rainbows add Icelandic atmosphere to the U.S. Navy Douglas Super DC-3

Located on the black sand of Sólheimasandur Beach, on the coast of Southern Iceland, the wreckage of the US Navy DC-3 plane is worth exploring.

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The DC-3 fuselage adds an unexpected element to Iceland’s already dramatic landscape

The Sólheimasandur plane crash site is not morbid — all the crew members survived the crash landing which was caused due to extreme icing that forced an emergency landing on the black sand of Sólheimasandur beach.

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Left: You can still faintly read the United States Navy on the fuselage Right: wires dangling from the cockpit

Rarely can you get this close to plane wreckage. You can even climb inside.

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The Sólheimasandur plane wreck has been hit by graffiti artists. I don’t think the pink works.

According to Jórunn Sjöfn Guðlaugsdóttir, our photo guide in Iceland, the plane wreck site is much easier to reach since markers have been placed on the beach to guide tourists to the site. But you definitely need to be driving a 4×4 since the sand is soft in some parts.

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It’s amazing that you can actually walk up to (and into) the DC-3 wreckage

the Sólheimasandur plane wreck site can be reached off the ring road. Between the Skógafoss waterfall and Vik. The GPS coordinates are 63.459523,-19.364618.

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Sólheimasandur is a popular stop for aviation geeks and photographers visiting Iceland

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Dramatic clouds, rainbows, and black sand at Sólheimasandur wreck site

Visiting the wreckage on Sólheimasandur Beach is a bit surreal. The plane feels like a leftover prop from a movie shoot.

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Anastasia’s red coat adds a nice pop of color against the black sand of Sólheimasandur beach

 

 

 

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Australia’s Red Centre As Seen From a Helicopter Ride over Uluru

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If you want a bird’s eye view of Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) Helicopter is your best bet 

During my recent visit to Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre, it was incredibly clear that the one thing you shouldn’t do is climb Ayer’s Rock. Fortunately Longitude 131 offers scenic helicopter tours as part of it’s menu of “Bespoke Experiences.”

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My pilot and the R44 Raven II helicopter

The ride in the R44 Raven II helicopter was smooth. I liked this little helicopter!

Taking off from Longitude 131 in a helicopter for my scenic ride

The photographer in me always likes to get shots from different vantage points, so I booked the 30 minute scenic flight over Uluru & Kata Tjuta to Ayers Rock Airport instead of taking the car transfer. I’m glad I did. The bird’s eye view from the R44 Raven II helicopter gave me a great perspective of the vastness of the desert and stunning views of Uluru and the 36 domes (not all visible by ground) of the Kata Tjuta range (formerly known as the Olgas).

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A nice view of Uluru from a helicopter

 The helicopter ride was smooth and 30 minutes long and took me over both Uluru as well as the Kata Tjuta ranges before heading to the Ayers Rock Airport.

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Approaching Ayer’s Rock Airport

Seeing the scrubby dotted landscape below also made me appreciate the tribal prints of the native Aboriginal people, the Anangu. You can buy their prints at the cultural center.

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Different domes of the Kata Tjutas are visible from the ground

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Left: Approaching Uluru Right: Uluru/Ayers Rock is more solid than nearby Kata Tjuta

I shot some video on my iPhone 6 during my helicopter ride. Check it out:

 Flying over Uluru (Ayers Rock) in a R44 Raven II helicopter

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A view of The Kata Tjutas (formerly known as The Olgas) as seen from helicopter

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The domes of Kata Tjuta are visually more interesting that Uluru

While I went to Longitude 131 intent on seeing Uluru, The Kata Tjutas were far more visually interesting for me.

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Obligatory helicopter selfie

The 30 minute scenic helicopter ride over Uluru and Kata Tjuta from Longitude 131 to Ayers Rock Airport costs Australian $570 for two people and can be arranged directly from the resort. It’s great for both photographers and aviation geeks. Since I am both, to me it was totally worth the money.

Longitude 131

Yulara Drive,
Yulara Northern Territory 0872,  Australia
Tel: +61 08 8957 7131
Fax: +61 08 8957 7130

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Clouds and Sky: A Global Photo Essay

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Clouds and sand in the Hoanib River Valley, Namibia

It’s April and spring is in the air. That often means rain and cloudy skies. As a photographer, I much prefer a little dramatic cloud action to bright blue skies. Here are some of my favorite recent images to show why clouds can be a good thing. Namibia has the best clouds I’ve ever met. They add drama and softness to the often beautifully desolate landscape.

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Cloud reflections on the River Derwent

I recently visited Tasmania for the first time. The landscape reminded me a bit of Scotland, only the Southern Hemisphere’s version.

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#shotoniPhone6 unset panorama of the River Derwent 

The island had some gorgeous wispy clouds. This made it fun photograph landscape on the River Derwent at sunset. I liked framing the scene both vertically and shooting in panorama mode on my iPhone 6.

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Dramatic sunrise in Sydney

Clouds make all the difference when photographing sunrise and sunset. They are nature’s own filter, changing the color and mood of the magic hour.  I liked the way their texture complemented Sydney Harbour when I took this shot of the Sydney Opera House at sunrise.

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Blue hour clouds over the Olympics in Seattle

Seattle has too many gray days for my taste. But when the cloud cover is just right it can make for some fantastic colors during blue hour after sunset. I thought the Olympics looked particularly stunning bathed in pastel light this week.

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Morning Cloud Lapse at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Namibia

My husband enjoying the morning clouds in the main pavillion Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

One of the things that makes Namibia’s landscape so beautiful is it’s star-filled skies and shape shifting clouds. When you’re on safari, you wake up early to grab a bite to eat and a cup of coffee before you head out on your morning game drive. That’s when I set up my iPhone to capture the morning clouds just as the sun was beginning to peek beyond the horizon.

Morning clouds and sky time lapse at Hoanib

The moon was still clearly visible in the December morning sky.

The moon still visible in the morning skies of Namibia

Morning cloud reflections

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Is it Worth It To Go Watch the Sunrise at Haleakala on Maui?

First glimpse of the sun at Haleakala

If you’re visiting Maui for the first or 15th time and looking for things to do, someone is going to suggest going to see the sun rise at Haleakala. The concierge at the Andaz Maui suggested I leave at 2:30 am and “bundle up” because temperatures (and wind) up at the 10.000 foot crater summit can be very chilly before dawn.

Crater Coffee: your last chance for a cuppa before Haleakala

The drive from Wailea was 90 minutes and pretty easy. The road to Haleakala is not as well paved as the more heavily traffic tourist roads on the island, but the winding part (full of hairpin turns) was only after I entered the park.

Plan a pit stop at Crater Coffee (open from 3-7 am ) for your last chance for caffeine fix, pastries and bathrooms. The coffee is good and service friendly and convince you it was worth it to get up so early.

Clouds before sunrise

I arrived at the parking lot at the summit an hour before sunrise. The stargazing was incredibly. Watching the clouds shift before dawn was mesmerizing. I headed to the far side of glass visitor hut at the summit, so that the hut would buffer me from the wind. I shot this time lapse video of the sunrise on my iPhone 5s using the Sunrise and Sunset preset on the TimeLapse App.

Is it worth it go see the sunrise at Haleakala? Totally.

The changing colors and shifting clouds are all part of the Haleakala sunrise show

If getting up early doesn’t work for you, some people prefer to come to watch the sunset. You can check sunrise and sunset time for Haleakala here.

The parking lot at the summit after sunrise

There are also several tour companies that offer bikes for you to bike down the crater after sunrise.

I loved how this guy’s blanket makes him look like a superhero

My advice- don’t miss the sunrise. It’s unforgettable. It was well worth the effort. NOTE: mobile phone service is spotty once you enter the park.

The glass shelter at the summit of Haleakala

Haleakalā National Park

Address: Kula, HI, United States (Directions)

Open 24 hours

Phone: (808) 572-4400

You can check out the weather forecast for the crater summit here.

Daily passes are non-transferable and are valid for 3 days including the date of purchase:

Private Vehicle: $10.

Motorcycle: $5.

Per Person: $5.

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