Trip to New York(2000/03/29-03/30)

I visited New York during Spring break. The purpose of this trip was finish my battle with Concorde Airplane!! Acutally, I visited Heathrow airport to take photo of Concorde several years back. But, at that time, I couldn't take a nice picture because it was too cold. I arribed at runway end of Heathrow airport at 8:30 in the morning. I was standing there waiting for Concorde landing until 15:30. But, I couldn't see Concorde. It was in February and it was too cold to wait long time. Two years back, I went to Portugal for research presentation. Eventually, Concorde airplane came to Lisbon airport for re-fueling. I tried to take photos at that time also, but double fence prevented me from taking a perfect picture. On the way back from Lisbon, I stopped at Charles de Gaulle airport for transit. I spent one whole day in the airport to take photo of Concorde. Well, I took some photos. But it was cloudy. I'm not satisfied with that photo (See this page). So, my three attempt to take photo of Concorde airplane was not successful. As a result, Concorde became my kind of fated rival (^_^;) This is my fourth attempt to shoot Concorde by my camera.

I wanted to go to New York by an airplane. But I should have reserved ticket earlier. All cheap tickets are sold out. So I decided to use AmTrak. 11 hours ride from Pittsburgh to New York. AmTrak itself was comfortable, but 11 hours were too long.... Anyway, I came to New York.

Prior to go to JFK airport, I obtained time tables at British Airways and Air France. I refered to Concorde - FOREIGN HOMOEPAGE
for radio frequencies. But, I didn't know where to take photos. I heard that only Terminal 2 and 3 allow non-passengers to come in. But, it was two year old information. They might have changed the policy so that no passenger is allowed to come in to the terminal. This was only one unclear thing to me. But, it turned out nothing to worry about. I could come in to Terminal 2 without any problem.

But I made one big mistake. I left time table to the hotel. How stupid I was! So only thing I could rely on was airband radio. I tried to hear any single word of airband to catch "Air France Concorde XX" and "British Airway Speedbird XX". Unfortunatelly, I missed first British Airways concorde. That one was totally a surprise attack to me. I even couldn't take one shot. But, I knew I had two more chances. I kept listening to the radio, and at last I heard "Air France Concorde 02, Taxi Runway 31 Left...."!!

From terminal 2, I could see take off and landing at Runway 31 Left which exactly the Air France Concorde 02 was about to go. Furthermore, if Air France Concorde 02 was parking at Terminal 1, it should taxi right in front of Terminal 2! It was a first big chance!

Finally, Air France Concorde 02 came out from the behind of Terminal 1, heading to runway 31 left! It's coming to right in front of me! Sky was almost clear, scattered cloud. Concorde is in front of me and the Sun was behind me. Usually the best condition for the photo is often not the best for these white airplanes. Because the airplane is white, it reflects too much light. If I take photo by auto focus, auto iris, I'll get just a white thing. Maybe no blurred letters and airline symbols. Auto iris measures all lights coming in to the camera. So, if the target is brighter than the background, I have to reduce exposure than auto iris (use higher iris than the camera says) not to lose details. I chose F6.4 and shutter speed was 1000. The film was ISO200. I leaned on the wall for the camera support to reduce motion blur. I took photos under perfect condition. The result was those pictures that I put between paragraphs. They are not bad, are they?

On the third day, I visited Intrepid Sea, Air, Space Museum. U.S.S. Intrepid is moored on the shore of Hudson river, and lots of airplanes are displayed on the flight deck.