2023 Spotting Year in Review - Cameron_Stone

Alright! Been a while since I’ve made one of these (which I feel like I say every time I make one of these, but that’s beside the point). This year had quite a bit to show for it, so I’ll do the best I can to cover the important bits.

The year started off with a bang. With a rainstorm having passed through all of California to close out 2022, January 1st seemed like a horrible day to go spotting. But I am stubborn and stuck to my guns, heading down to LAX for my first time since March 2022, and ended up with the best post-rain conditions I’d ever spotted in. I took plenty of shots I was happy with that day, but this photo of a China Airlines 777 eclipsing a short-lived rainbow takes the cake for me, and the LATAM 787 departing just low enough to showcase the mountains and remaining clouds was a close second.

Next, I made the extremely spontaneous decision to head to Seattle to see the final 747 leave Paine Field. Morning conditions could not have worked out better given the direction the lighting faces, with just enough sun for a cool sunrise without making the plane too backlit. You guys get to see both sides of the plane, because…duh. It was amazing to be out there with so many aviation fans braving the winter Seattle weather to witness history.

Most of my photography this past year was done at work. Sacramento (KSMF) is a relatively low-key airport, so I had plenty of free time to bring a camera out and see what I could get. Here are another two of my favorites: the first of which was circulated in our company’s weekly emails (not a big deal at all and no one really pays attention to them, but just let me have this) and the second of which I just was really proud of.

2023 was also my first foray into military spotting. I definitely need better gear as I haven’t purchased a camera or lens since 2018 (whoops), but just getting the understanding and a small bit of usable photography done was worth it in the meantime.

Next up, I flew down to Los Angeles for the Pacific Airshow with @AndrewWu, @Transport_Hub, @Altaria55, and @Kamryn. Before you point out that neither ANA nor Asiana Cargo were features at the Pacific Airshow…I know. I took plenty of photos there, but have not touched any of them in the months since because I’m lazy and don’t trust the quality. Maybe I’ll post them separately one day, who knows? Either way, our “contingency” trips to LAX (thanks to the airshow essentially being rained out) gifted us some good results, with some sunny, sunset arrivals on 24L making the evening worth it. Asiana was especially great because cargo almost never goes to the 24s, so to have this and an earlier MD-11 do it was icing on the cake.

Finally, some more work spotting. I decided to venture over to the other side of the airport to spot the post-midnight departures and overnights, of which there are usually quite a few interesting specials, like this AeroMexico one. This photo kind of looks like an accident, but I’ve seen plenty of people take photos like this and decided – intentionally – to give it a shot when I saw them flick their taxi lights on. I do have some proper stills of this aircraft, but figured that even if this one may not please everyone, the creativity I at least attempted here is worth showcasing.

As always, I appreciate the support you guys have always shown to my photography. There are much better photographers on here (cough Andrew, Kamryn, and Adam when he pays to win cough) but I am happy enough with what I do to share it with you all anyway. I hope you guys had a happy holiday season and that 2024 is better for you in every way it can be!

27 Likes

Be stameron cone

Be inactive in the IF space

Go on IFC once every week to comment on someone’s spotting post

Drop some fire photos

Refuses to elaborate

Leaves

you certainly cannot be worse than 3.5 skill issues (Adam counts as 1.5 bc 4000D)

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Mystery breeds intrigue, my good man

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I’m a CS major what are these big words

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Sorry sorry. Curious make curious

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image

3 Likes

Bro is scared of the truth

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