Lake Hood Aerodrome (PALH) is the busiest seaplane base in the United States. It’s a killer place to spend time when you have the light, wind, and weather for photographing float planes. You will see every shape, size, kind, and vintage of aircraft taking off and landing right in front of you. I’ve spent lots and lots of time here over the decades either eating a picnic watching the action or like this afternoon, shooting. I love shooting in the fall because you have fall color for a background and at times like this afternoon, the first dusting of winter snow on the peaks. The vast majority of my shooting is when the aircraft is right above the lake and down the channel they taxi through. This is because as that’s where the fall color is located. I’m parked right on the water’s edge so you can see the aircraft on approach when landing to the north. You can pick them out minutes before recovery and pan with them all the way in. That’s how I picked up Rust’s DHC-3 Turbine Otter inbound.
You know a Rust’s Flying Service aircraft because they are all red. And with the gray moody skies, they really pop! So long before he splashed I tracked and photographed its approach. The Otter is a big aircraft, a tad bigger than your small commuter aircraft. Shooting with the Z400f4.5, it pulls in the background making it appear as if it were shooting the gap rather than just having entered the pattern. It was coming straight towards me so the Z 9 was hammering away producing a cool series of the approach. Then when it was over the lake, the Z400f4.5 provide tight coverage of the last seconds before splashdown. By the time it hit the water, I was way too tight to capture anything than a couple of drops of water. It didn’t matter, it was a great afternoon, Otter..ly too much fun!
de Havilland DHC-3 Otter captured by Z 9 / Z400f4.5