Tuesday 24 May 2011

Obama Slips into UK Under Cover of Darkness


Air Force 1
All best laid plans...

Having planned my moves for the arrival of Barack Obama for Tuesday morning, yet again, it seems an Icelandic volcano is responsible for putting a spanner in the works. I remember going to a particular photographic location to document the lack of aircraft in the sky, after airspace was shut down last time due to an unpronounceable billowing cone. It was eerily silent but was actually delighted to hear the birdsong.

Monday night found me prematurely back at that spot, following the news that the Presidential arrival into the UK had been brought forward. This time, the location was unusually quiet due to temporary suspension of normal air movements but helicopters were already hovering. Practice shots taken earlier in daylight would not be much help now, but it would still be worth a try. I walked to my vantage point and no sooner had I set up the camera on the tripod, than an intense light caught my eye. Could this be it? I had hoped for a practice shot in the new lighting conditions, but no such luck. It was go for it, as at 22.15, Air Force 1 slipped surprisingly quietly down to the ground. Needless to say, there were all the usual issues which are clearly visible in the picture above. Not one I am proud of.

Knowing that AF1 is always accompanied by a back-up plane, I waited for a second shot. This time, a more interesting, slightly more artistic effect but there will be no awards for these I'm afraid. Just goes to prove I can't get it right all the time.

Thanks Grimsvotn volcano

(Judging by the amount of light visible from the windows, I somehow don't think Obama and his entourage were given the little speech-
"We will shortly be dimming the cabin lights. This is normal pactice when flying during the hours of darkness")

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