July 10 - The Royal Airforce 100th Anniversary Fly-by

July 10th, 2018

Yesterday I'd photographed a "Mk805" Spitfire at the (World) Premiere of the documentary "Spitfire". This premiere was specifically timed so as to be held just one day before the RAF Celebrated its 100th Anniversary with a fly-by of Central London.

I wasn't going to join the thousands of thousands on The Mall for this one.... I had another venue in mind.

Here's how it went down:

 My choice of location : Trafalgar Square. Quite crowded as well, but with lots of airspace, low buildings, no trees... and easier to leave afterwards!

My choice of location : Trafalgar Square. Quite crowded as well, but with lots of airspace, low buildings, no trees... and easier to leave afterwards!

 The other part of my three-pronged plan was also to shift location by a couple dozen paces after every few planes, to ensure I'd also get a different view rather than just one view.

The other part of my three-pronged plan was also to shift location by a couple dozen paces after every few planes, to ensure I'd also get a different view rather than just one view.

 I'm no aviation nut, but can I declare this to be a Lancaster Bomber and a couple of Spitfires?

I'm no aviation nut, but can I declare this to be a Lancaster Bomber and a couple of Spitfires?

 The overcast conditions were actually kind of good : less contrast means less editing to bring out detail in harsh shadows that bright sunlight would otherwise create. That, and lower chance of sunburn, of course.

The overcast conditions were actually kind of good : less contrast means less editing to bring out detail in harsh shadows that bright sunlight would otherwise create. That, and lower chance of sunburn, of course.

 I'd also brought along a Big Zoom lens, but the disadvantage of that over (say) a fisheye lens is that the photos are kind of context-free. This is a plane, in the sky, in other words. And that's where planes belong.

I'd also brought along a Big Zoom lens, but the disadvantage of that over (say) a fisheye lens is that the photos are kind of context-free. This is a plane, in the sky, in other words. And that's where planes belong.

  "Uh... Fred. You sure we're meant to be flying this low?" "Absolutely. I think that guy down there wants to high-five a serviceman, and I intend to oblige..."

"Uh... Fred. You sure we're meant to be flying this low?"
"Absolutely. I think that guy down there wants to high-five a serviceman, and I intend to oblige..."

  "This oughta freak out The Abbot somewhat..."

"This oughta freak out The Abbot somewhat..."

 My last major position-shift brought near the top of the stairs where the crowds were most dense, but the planes' flight paths were most direct, plus I could frame the planes with Nelson's Column on the right and either that Church There (or the National Portrait Gallery) on the left.

My last major position-shift brought near the top of the stairs where the crowds were most dense, but the planes' flight paths were most direct, plus I could frame the planes with Nelson's Column on the right and either that Church There (or the National Portrait Gallery) on the left.

   "No!! London Luton Airport is the OTHER way!!"   Actually, given the ongoing upheavals with those f**ktards at Govia Thameslink, heading to Luton is possibly better accomplished by heading away from it.

"No!! London Luton Airport is the OTHER way!!" Actually, given the ongoing upheavals with those f**ktards at Govia Thameslink, heading to Luton is possibly better accomplished by heading away from it.

  "I can almost see my house from here!" "Really?" "No, Frank. I live in an apartment. You know that..."

"I can almost see my house from here!"
"Really?"
"No, Frank. I live in an apartment. You know that..."

  "All the traffic on the streets has come to a standstill but we don't have to pay the congestion charge.... I love it!"

"All the traffic on the streets has come to a standstill but we don't have to pay the congestion charge.... I love it!"

 Cool x100.  (and I'm pretty stoked with my position)

Cool x100. (and I'm pretty stoked with my position)

  "Always the same. One of these days I'm going to win that bet and when we do we're gonna fly in "Q" formation...."

"Always the same. One of these days I'm going to win that bet and when we do we're gonna fly in "Q" formation...."

  "Okay, it's over now. If you stay in Trafalgar Square, the best thing you're going to be looking at is one of those levitating Yoda guys and some street pavement artists drawing pictures of Manga Supergirl...."

"Okay, it's over now. If you stay in Trafalgar Square, the best thing you're going to be looking at is one of those levitating Yoda guys and some street pavement artists drawing pictures of Manga Supergirl...."

So... that was that. I quite enjoyed it : 15mins walk, 15mins wait, and 10mins of photography.

Until next time! (in.... like... fifty or one hundred years?)

Jun 14 - The 'Game of Thrones' Live Concert Experience

June 14, 2018.

Yesterday I got to see Ramin Djawadi conduct "Game of Thrones Live" at Wembley SSE Arena. I'm a pretty big fan - I was at the premiere of Season 5 outside the Tower of London... and I even own 6/7ths of the soundtracks!

Here's how it went down (commentary pending):

 Feel free to sit on the chair at the back of the stage. It's really REALLY uncomfortable.

Feel free to sit on the chair at the back of the stage. It's really REALLY uncomfortable.

  "I gotta be honest with you - with the screen playing in the background you're going to see a lot of spoilers if you're not fully up to date with the show..."

"I gotta be honest with you - with the screen playing in the background you're going to see a lot of spoilers if you're not fully up to date with the show..."

 I can't quite believe what I'm seeing (my seat is at the far end of the SSE).... but 'Rains of Castamere' is a pretty great tune.

I can't quite believe what I'm seeing (my seat is at the far end of the SSE).... but 'Rains of Castamere' is a pretty great tune.

 Cover your kids' eyes, parents - this isn't Avengers-level violence (though, weirdly, the death toll is considerably smaller than Infinity War....)

Cover your kids' eyes, parents - this isn't Avengers-level violence (though, weirdly, the death toll is considerably smaller than Infinity War....)

 I couldn't quite photograph it properly in the lighting, but this is a circular organ being played by Ramin Djawadi.

I couldn't quite photograph it properly in the lighting, but this is a circular organ being played by Ramin Djawadi.

  "Don't worry, folks. It's all part of the show.... (pssst.....hey Barry.... is this part of the show, right??)"  It coincided with the music for the Battle of Kings Landing, so I'm guessing so...

"Don't worry, folks. It's all part of the show.... (pssst.....hey Barry.... is this part of the show, right??)" It coincided with the music for the Battle of Kings Landing, so I'm guessing so...

  "You're welcome. And thank you for your concern - most of the mist has cleared and I can breathe normally again"

"You're welcome. And thank you for your concern - most of the mist has cleared and I can breathe normally again"

  "Yeah I play circular organs. Who doesn't?"

"Yeah I play circular organs. Who doesn't?"

 Dragons. So hot right now... . .. not as hot as unicorns, mind you, but still hot.

Dragons. So hot right now...
... not as hot as unicorns, mind you, but still hot.

  "I'm not going to paper over it... a lot of people have died in this series so far. But it's still kind of awesome"

"I'm not going to paper over it... a lot of people have died in this series so far. But it's still kind of awesome"

  "Well... good luck outrunning those Ed Sheeran fans, whose concert nextdoor at Wembley Stadium is scheduled to end about the same time as we are..."

"Well... good luck outrunning those Ed Sheeran fans, whose concert nextdoor at Wembley Stadium is scheduled to end about the same time as we are..."

 Fine... I'll stay for the encore. I'll back myself to outrun those fans of Ed Sheeran.

Fine... I'll stay for the encore. I'll back myself to outrun those fans of Ed Sheeran.

 "Catch ya next time - we'll be at the private bar, and you'll be on the way to the tube station trying to get home". It's 10:45pm and I assume I'll be home maybe around 1am....

"Catch ya next time - we'll be at the private bar, and you'll be on the way to the tube station trying to get home". It's 10:45pm and I assume I'll be home maybe around 1am....

After that the concert had kind of a 'closing credits' In Memoriam section of all the dearly (or not-so-dearly) departed characters of the show in the 7 seasons shown so far.... (note : it went on for MANY minutes, and I didn't photograph all of them)

 Two Starks, a Khal... and a stableboy.

Two Starks, a Khal... and a stableboy.

 Alas, poor 'Biter' - he left us far too soon.  (Joffrey got a lot of cheers of good humour... the ones for Oberyn and Ygritte were more muted)

Alas, poor 'Biter' - he left us far too soon.
(Joffrey got a lot of cheers of good humour... the ones for Oberyn and Ygritte were more muted)

 Ah....Ramsey Bolton. That death scene of his could have been half an hour longer and I wouldn't have minded. And...  sniff...  HODOR ....

Ah....Ramsey Bolton. That death scene of his could have been half an hour longer and I wouldn't have minded. And... sniff... HODOR....

 LOL - she killed the whole house. THE WHOLE HOUSE.

LOL - she killed the whole house. THE WHOLE HOUSE.

So... that was all kinds of excellent. And once we left, and battled out way through the throngs of crowds from not one but TWO concerts, and got on a tube where holding onto rails wasn't necessary as the sheer overcrowding kept people upright... and after I got my train on the World's Worst Train Service <TM>.... I had to admit it was totally worth it.

Can't wait for the next one!

ps. if you ever want to know when I post one of these journals (or, more often, premiere journals) feel free to follow me on facebook at premeiresdotco, or on twitter at berndt2_photo.