Thursday, August 25, 2011

Be On The Watch

Hello and welcome to my latest post.

I am at loss for words at the moment. Life takes unexpected turns and to say the least this week I have bared witness to this ultimate truth.

Perhaps you have an old friend you haven't spoken to in awhile. No good reason why perhaps only because you are consumed with the day to day drama of your own life. You mean well. You intend to reconnect but haven't. What are you waiting for?

Do it.

I found this poem in the most unlikely place and decided to share an excerpt........

Your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.

Be on the watch.
There are ways out.

There is a light somewhere.

it may not be much light
it beats the darkness.

Be on the watch.
The gods will offer you chances.

Know them.

Take them.

You can't beat death
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
And the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.

You are marvelous.

The gods wait to delight in you.

Charles Bukowski's (Part of the poem titled "The Laughing Heart" )

Some images for you consideration.

Riding the Dhoni is pretty routine here. On my way out to the airport one day I snapped this one. The colour of the water here is something else.

A pre-dawn moment at the seaplane base. A long exposure proving a cool effect for the lights on the dock.

On call in the morning provided me with some time to take pictures of the maintenance engineers running up one our Twin Otters.

Best to make sure the aircraft is tied in multiple places with very strong rope!

If I could only insert some sound! A very noisy operation!

A shot of TMA landing on North Right waterway at the Seaplane base in Male'

One of our executive interior aircraft landing in Male'

Singapore Airlines on final approach. Loaded with tourisst who I am sure are more than a little eager to check out the Maldives!

A view of the Capital City Male about an hour before sunset.

Male International Airport.

My friends on final approach at Constance Moofushi! Most certainly my favorite place to spend a night.

Smooth touch down!

The from the "office" just North of Constance Moofushi!

LinkI never tire of this view!

It as if the Atoll goes on forever.

On certain days you can see right to the horizon.

Thanks for stopping by. If I can leave you with one thought it would be this, know someone you haven't seen or talked to in awhile call or write them and tell them how you feel. Sometimes you run of time and time is irreplaceable.

Until the next time.

Rob, one of the barefoot pilots.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Hello and welcome to my blog showcasing images of the my experiences in the Maldives.

In this post I would like to begin by speaking about balance!

It is an important thing to have not only in a seaplane but also in life. When your life is well balanced your outlook becomes so my clearer and attainable. Knowing you limitations about how far you can stretch yourself before you balanced is lost is a good thing! If you happen to lose your balance there is a good chance you may fall.The trick is to know how to re-balance,pick yourself up, dust off and find your own center of gravity again!

Balance as it applies to the aircraft , for those of you who are not in aviation, is a key element when loading every aircraft. Out of balance can have a much more devastating result than losing balance in ones life. Altitude and gravity can join forces and the results are inevitably quite nasty indeed!

When you come aboard a seaplane you will at times be directed where to sit. In a lot of cases people don't quite understand why that is and may even think we are doing this for no good reason. Most do not realize that this goes on inside the larger jet aircraft they flew in. It is just that as a passenger on a big aircraft you are not face to face with the pilots and load masters who direct which compartments are to be filled in order to remain inside a safe margin of center of gravity.

I know that some of my passengers are upset when I won't allow the front seats to be filled with children who are eager to see us fly the aircraft while the adults fill the back rows. Believe me I do understand the excitement the kids have to see how we operate up there .None the less I have to balance the desires of my passengers with the safety of all those on board and sometimes this will mean that the kids will have to sit at the back of the plane. Believe me the alternative is not good! If we do not load the aircraft correctly a number of things can occur not the least of which running out of control input of the elevator.

So the next time you are here and the pilot asks you to sit in a certain place please remember we are only doing it to keep you and your fellow vacationers safe!

As far photography goes balance is also very important! From how you choose to compose your image to the white balance settings are key. Though I would argue that in some cases an image can become more compelling when you push the balance outside of the normal envelope!

I have been reading Ansel Adams "Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs" . It goes without saying that he is an amazing photographer and most inspiring. One of the many statements he makes is that a photographer should see the image before they capture it. Be compelled to take the image and the results will be there. With out inspiration it is likely the result will not be one with which you will be happy with.

Okay lecture over how about those images!

This past week the Western Monsoon relaxed itself and on a few days the visibility as been nothing short of breathtaking. I got a ton of pictures and I hope you will enjoy the following images as much as I!

In this one I managed to catch one of our aircraft touching down on the South Left waterway .

Equipment matters, knowing how to use it matters more! I love my 100 to 400 lens. I can be so far way and still manage to get a result that I have happy to share. In this one is a shot of our docks just in front of the MAT(Maldivian Air Taxi) passenger terminal.

The lineup of the various aircraft that bring the excited travelers to the amazing Maldives.
In the foreground one of the newest airlines to occupy the busy tarmac, Mega Maldives. A Maldivian based carrier.

Cruising along the though the Noonu Atoll
at 1500 feet I was able to capture this image of some of TMA's aircraft at the Hilton Maldives. How inviting does this look!

I am so happy I got this one, and a few more that hope to post a bit later, of our aircraft 8QMAF landing at Dhiggiri Island Resort.

After having the good fortune of timing for the last shot we found ourselves overhead our destination , Alimatha Aquatic Resort. As we did our per-landing inspection I was able to snap off a quick picture of 8QMBA tied to the jetty with all of the passengers at the top of the boarding ramp.

After we landed we waited for our colleagues to get under way to free up the fixed platform for us. Of course I took a picture!

And off they go!

Often times when we clear the landing area in Male' I able to take pictures of the Twin Otters as they land.

With a slight crosswind on landing the pilots get the upwind float on first to allow for a straight and smooth touchdown.

At first glance you'd be forgiven for thinking that this picture was taken while I was airborne myself. In fact it another landing airplane. I love the illusion I was able to create but those of you who know your planes will note that the flaps are extended!

A landing Twin Otter at Lily Beach Lagoon.

From 500 feet above Zitahli Resort and Spa.

South West end of the Lhaviyani Atoll.

South West end of the Lhaviyani Atoll.
from a different vantage point.

Another shot from the Noonu Atoll.

It has been a lot of fun capturing and sharing these images with you. I hope that you liked what you have seen and share the link!

I would like to send a shout out of welcome to those of you who are a part of the PT6 Nation! and PT6 Nation Facebook!

PT6A-27 + Twin Otter = KICK ASS PLANE

A proven formula!!

Thanks for dropping by! Interested in seeing some of my other work well then why not check out some of my other images at my blog at Images Of Victoria or Facebook under SophiePhoto!

Back soon with more images of the amazing Maldives!

Rob, one of the barefoot pilots.......