On Saturday I had to drop my son in the city, so I took the opportunity to grab my camera and head out to the airport. Whilst heading through Newtown, I was distracted by some crazy drivers and missed my intended turn to go over the saddle of Mt. Victoria. Never mind, I thought, there are other ways. I headed up past Wellington Zoo and over the hill there. At the top of the descent on the eastern side I caught sight of the airport from afar and so I stopped to see what sort of shots I could get.
With my trusty 55-300mm lens, the answer looks like this.
This view (a reasonable crop from the full 300mm of zoom) very much shows the workings of the airport and its surroundings. Lyall Bay beach is as popular as ever. On the other side of the road from that you can just see the very corner of the large retail complex. Beyond the hive of activity on the airport itself you can see golfers out for a round on the Miramar Golf Course. Taking centre stage in the shot is Cessna 650 Citation III, N163JM, which also features in the next shot, departing RWY34.
Here you can see part of the northern end of the western apron and the corner of Mirarmar township adjoining more of the golf course. Finally we see N163JM climbing skyward with a backdrop of the heights of Miramar and behind that (separated by the harbour entrance) the hills of Eastbourne.
A similar view is had in this shot of Eagle Air’s Beechcraft 1900D, ZK-EAG – one of the two resplendent in the All Blacks sponsorship colour scheme.
Next I headed down past the airport itself. I did take a couple of quick shots at the airport but won’t include them here. I was heading for a spot that Rodney reminded me of with a post not so long ago. There’s an access road to the Wellington VOR beacon in Strathmore which is freely accessible to walkers and cyclists. This puts you above the approach to RWY34, allowing shots such as this pair. The main difference is the use of different shutter speeds. The aircraft are ZK-NEZ and ZK-NEJ respectively, both Bombardier DHC-8 Q300s of Air Nelson.
Note not only the prop blur on the second shot, but also the motion blur of the background. I’m not sure which I prefer!
Of course, the prop blur problem can be solved by choosing a jet for the subject, such as Air New Zealand Airbus A320, ZK-OJS, seen here in an ‘over water’ angle but with the context of the South Headland Reserve at the edge of Lyall Bay.
And finally, ZK-OJS is seconds from touch down on RWY34.
You can check out the full collection of photos on Flickr.