Though not the fastest, sleekest, sexiest aircraft in the inventory, the Predator is the most requested asset in the AOR. Lethal, persistent, and quiet, ground forces will regularly push their mission if a Pred isn’t available to provide overwatch. Despite the naysayers, this aircraft is reshaping the future of the Air Force. Though that may be difficult to see from the GCS, understand that this is Billy Mitchell level of stuff. Don’t be fooled by the aircraft’s limited capabilities, the current limitations of the mission or the frequent monotony. There is an opportunity to make a name for yourself here… if you can open your eyes wide enough to see it.
This photo is no longer possible. The city of Las Vegas saw fit to add a small parking lot in front of the sign and fencing surrounding it. Good luck getting your vehicle up there now. This was taken in August of 2007 before I left for OTS. Unique photo for a unique landmark in a unique city.
On 13 April 2006 I purchased a brand new Toyota Tacoma. Today I rolled over to 100,000 miles. That works out to 65.5 miles per day on average. WOW! Other units: 23,952 miles per year, 1,996 miles per month. Ridiculous. Fortunately it’s a Toyota and has performed marvelously over that time. Aside from smashing the hell out of it 11 days after purchasing it, it has been mechanically wonderful. Oil changes, tire rotations, new spark plugs and brake pads are about it for maintenance and he drives just as well as the day I bought it. He’s paid off, too. Really, I couldn’t be happier with my truck… quite a solid piece of machinery.
The spectacular sandstone formations in Red Rock Canyon are far and away the star attraction, but the rest of the canyon can be just as impressive. Take this photo for instance. Looking south across Red Rock Wash from the scenic loop you see the western cliffs running off into the distance. This picture was taken as the sun was just starting to sink behind the mountains and casting it’s warmer light upon the burned out wash reborn with yellow grasses. Timing can be everything in a photo.
My mom was sitting on a rock atop Oklahoma’s Mount Scott looking out over the plains to the north. It reminded me some of the photo of me sitting at Dog Canyon, NM. So I snagged it. Upped the saturation a bit, adjusted the white balance. Decent enough.
This is a shot of a small waterfall along the creek running through Medicine Creek, Oklahoma. Notice the water coming over the falls. Kinda blurred, almost glass-like. That was accomplished with a low ISO and a tight aperture which forced a longer exposure to properly expose the image. Good stuff. I would have liked to use a neutral density filter to make it an even longer exposure resulting in a more pronounced effect, but I think what I got turned out pretty well.
While in Medicine Park, Oklahoma I spotted this goose and her goslings gallivanting along the canal that runs through the town. Plenty of people were taking pictures of the group, but none of them were getting a good perspective for their pictures. Taking top down photos of a scene like this really doesn’t do it justice. So I crouched down, leaned over and held my camera at the level of he geese and this is what I got. Good stuff.
Sweet little tip for poor photographers… detach your kit lens from the body, flip it around and hold it against the camera body. Shazzam… quick and dirty macro lens. Focusing and getting decent pictures is pretty difficult, but definitely possible. This is a picture of the zipper on my flight suit. Notice how little is actually in focus. Perhaps I’d need to adjust the aperture before removing the lens.
One of the many impressive things about Red Rock Canyon is its proximity to Las Vegas. What used to be a 30-minute drive at a minimum is now a mere ten minutes from the nearest developed land. In fact, there is a pretty major hotel and casino just over the ridgeline visible in this photo. There is an on-going debate over how close we should allow housing and commercial districts get to the site with those against encroachment fighting to defend the sanctity and purity of the area. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to stop the almighty dollar.
Red Rock Canyon supports an impressive amount of life by desert standards. Notice all of the green. There are numerous small pools of water that sit in protected, shaded areas which provide wildlife with a much needed lifeline during the harshest months of the year. Most of that wildlife remains hidden leaving only trails and footprints behind to allude to their presence.