Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Top 5 Favorites To Date

Having gotten a little more used to posting on here, I thought I would add my top 5 favorite pictures that I have taken to date of the 502 on with a little explanation as to why they are my favorites.

Taking advantage of 3 frequent flyer miles tickets, our family took a trip to Alaska - somewhere we wanted to explore and the pictures I have seen from Anchorage (PANC) have always been spectacular. At first on this trip, I thought I would never have a chance to shoot PANC as the weather was not friendly at all - a lot of cloud and rain, but as this was fall (September), I guess it was a little expected. However, on the Sunday morning of the weekend, there was some sun in the sky, so camera bag in hand, I headed up to one of the spotting locations for what turned out to be 2 hours of great activity. I shot a lot of stuff that I wouldn't normally see - Alaska (including the Disney and Boeing Dreamliner special schemes, Asia cargo, etc) but, this shot was probably one of the first I shot that morning. I didn't have a scanner with me and the first part of the runway was totally hidden, so all you hear is engines in reverse thrust and wonder what is it. A rain shower had just passed and the sun was out again and I hear 4 loud engines in reverse - pick up the camera and get ready to shoot. As this Cathay B744BCF appeared, I just started shooting. When I got home and started editing the shots from PANC, this one in particular took me right back to standing at that spot shooting the pictures. Full right rudder and heavy runway spray just made it my number 1 favorite shot.

One of my guilty pleasure of my hobby is that I get to take some trips just for shooting, and so far, they have always taken me to New York to shoot at La Guardia (KLGA) and John F. Kennedy (KJFK). As I noted in the first post when I opened this blog, I belong to a website in New York ( and have an amazing group of friends that I really enjoy shooting with. This shot was taken on my second trip to New York. I normally try to fly jetBlue direct from PBI into JFK (just a personal preference and I do enjoy jetBlue), but on this occasion, because of a little fare war, I flew Spirit into LGA. After an amazing weekend of shooting, I was on a Spirit A321 back to Ft Lauderdale. We took off from runway 13 at LGA and turned back over the field. As we came abreast of LGA, I just started shooting and loved this result to make it my 2nd favorite. This is also the only picture that I have sold as well which makes it also a little more special.

When I first moved to West Palm Beach, I had been shooting with a Minolta P&S and for a birthday, I received my Nikon DSLR that I shoot with now. Of course, the first thing to do when getting a new camera is to shoot! This was one of those timing things. Taken from the parking garage at PBI, I got 3 MD-80's in a row - one pushing off the stand, the second waiting for that spot and the third in reverse thrust on runway 9L. The timing of this made it my 3rd favorite.

On my last photography trip to New York, I had the most amazing experience - the ability to shoot right next to the runways and taxiways on the field. Having lived in South Africa for the majority of my life, I'm always looking out for SAA planes. This one, SA204 to Dakar and Johannesburg, was a late afternoon departure taxiing out to runway 4L for departure, and just the ability to shoot it right next to the taxiway was an amazing thrill. The light, plane and experience made this my 4th favorite.

And to the 5th favorite. This was taken on the same Alaska trip as my 1st favorite. From Palm Beach, to get to Anchorage, we flew Continental to Houston, and then Continental from Houston via Seattle to Anchorage. Flying into Seattle in the very late afternoon gave me this amazing shot of a sunset light drenched Mt Ranier over the wing of the B757-300. I just love the light and the mountain over the wing which put it as my 5th favorite.

Well, those of my fav 5 pictures - there is another trip to New York on 25/26 April (two weeks time), so maybe there will have to be a top 10 soon!


Len (Barfbag) said...

Hi Mark,

I like your blog. Your photos are far better than the ones I throw out there! You mentioned that you were able to sell one of your photos....How do you go about doing that? I wouldn't mind being able to sell a shot now and then.

Keep up the good work and I'll be visiting your blog quite often.


Mark Lawrence said...


Thanks for the comments!

With regards to the sale of one picture, I had posted that both on and The company that bought it were looking for pictures on there and they saw mine and emailed me about it. Trust me - I wish I sold more! :) But, nothing else has come along since then - I'll keep trying though!

From talking to friends that have sold pictures, it's because they have theirs out on the big photo websites - being out there is the first step.


Anonymous said...

Great to see another aviation blogger hit the web. I found you through your comment on Flight Level 390. I especially like the Cathay Pacific shot...nothing like a 747 doing its thing.
Bob in Minnesota

Anonymous said...


You stated:

"One of my guilty pleasure of my hobby is that I get to take some trips just for shooting, and so far, they have always taken me to New York to shoot at La Guardia (KLGA) and John F. Kennedy (KJFK)"So that was you in that B-747-200 painted up to look like Air Force ONE!Just kidding Mark. Your photographs are fantastic!!