Shhhhhhh….. She’s sleeping…….
Shhhhhhh….. She’s sleeping…….
These photos were taken for some of my assignments from August 12 to August 15.
These photos were taken for some of my assignments from July 23 to August 7.
My first experience doing model photography was a workshop at Studio52 North in Middletown. It was pin-up themed, so I had to do it. For years I have wanted to become good at pin-up style photographs and I hope this was my first step at realizing that desire.
Had the opportunity to photograph and observe this crew at work on a cold and cloudy March day. The business is full of characters, such as the three I went out on Long Island Sound with: Captain Patty, “The Big Handsome”, and James [calls himself “Clamnoum”] Namnoum. From what I saw, beards are part of the life (I felt naked with my three-day old stubble).
…And so after 6 short months I bid adieu to the island of Okinawa…
Farewell Futenma flightline,
Bye bye beautiful beaches, and the snorkeling that went with them,
So long seaside sunsets, with your rich dusk colors,
Goodbye drink vending machines that I could find on every street corner,
Au revoir Orion beer, which is only found on Okinawa,
Adios vodka tonics from Panic Bar (and the associated hangovers the next morning),
Have a nice life Habu Trail, for the countless miles I trampled over you have finished,
Until we meet again, endless open Ocean.
As we prepare to depart Okinawa to return home, these final glimpses appeared before my camera lens.
A (mostly Flightline) Thanksgiving dinner in one of the barracks
A U.S. Air Force HH-60 helicopter crashed while landing at night on Monday, August 5 in the Central Training Area of Okinawa. Unfortunately, one crew member perished and the other three survived as the wreck — partially made up of magnesium — burned up and caught some of the surrounding jungle on fire.
There was very little left of anything resembling a helicopter, but the tiny pieces of melted metal and few larger components totaled thousands of pounds. No military trucks could reach the crash site; it was 1/2 mile from the LZ through thick triple canopy jungle and roughly sloped terrain. The Air Force’s own HH-60’s and the local USMC CH-46’s and MV-22 Ospreys were not capable of performing the external pick-up of the parts. A CH-53E was required.
The exact area was on the 45-degree slope of a hill, so to provide the necessary clearance for the helicopter to be able to hover over the cargo, a nearly football field-sized area of trees had to be cut down. An extra long cargo pendant, also for rotor blade clearance for the trees at the top of the hill, had to be used and was obtained from the Japanese military. All of these complications led to a lengthy delay of the retrieval of the helicopter wreckage, while cultural friction built as some Okinawan civilians voiced their desire to have the debris removed from the jungle on their island.
HMH-772 finally sent a Super Stallion to recover the Air Force HH-60 wreckage on October 12, making over a half dozen externals to successfully bring the metal remains to an LZ with trucks waiting.
We have a hangar, technically, but we aren’t allowed to move into it or perform maintenance in it. The only purpose of the hangar so far has been to shelter the CH-53’s and Cobras inside when the base is at risk from a typhoon. When we stuffed the hangar with all our planes recently, I slowly walked through the quiet open space, taking pictures.
Traditionally, there usually is a squadron and/or shop photo associated with a deployment. Instead of making a mundane shop photo wearing our cammies after the squadron picture, we did ours several days later dressed in our usual working wear of oil-stained coveralls and flight suits. A driving idea behind these shop photos is the aircraft we used had no rotor blades yet, sort of a summary of the difficult battle we’ve had with the helicopters the entire deployment.
Also one trend I’ve noticed over the years is to take one serious-looking picture as well as one with any manner of ridiculous poses. We did both styles for the two different setups.
…..and Goofing off
Meeting up before the “World Peace Through Beer 2013” Hash of the Okinawa Hash House Harriers. Our start point was some small park near Torii Station on the Yomitan peninsula.
Chad Jones, taking a ride on the panda bear
Burroughs and Shane “Train” Hensley
The Grandmaster initiates the day’s event
Instead of working in a traditional hangar, our lack thereof forced us to keep our tools and computers in interlinked white containers called vans. There is something about the sterile quality, and the muted, cool-tone walls that reminded me of a ship. I took several photos of the area over the past several months. The truth is, though, we are hardly ever in them except for a few minutes in the morning, and the last few minutes of the workday before we leave in the evening.
SNCO Van. The Gunny at work
Flightline shop Van
Stanley in the corner
…I caved in and bought a pricey wide angle lens which I had wanted for a while. No longer would I run into the problem of not being able to fit all of the picture I wanted into the frame; this thing can go so wide it warps the photo like a fisheye. So the day I bought it I was driving around already and wanted to play around with the lens.
Central Okinawa Coast, facing East China Sea
Zakimi-Jo Castle ruins
Turning the camera diagonally was the only way to fit the C-130’s wingspan into the picture
Passengers out the side; cargo out with a forklift
I’ll be damned, one of the few photos of me
What bored Marines do when we couldn’t find our computer… make one out of a wooden box
Wolf and Clinger replacing a tail disconnect component
Tail Pylon detail
Rain on the horizon
These are photos from several days before when I was at a Hash House Harrier event. The nice landscape with the waterfall tucked inside it was a surprise bonus to me. I brought my camera along, but since every Hash is in a different place, I had no idea where we would end up at. Reminded me of some of the waterfalls on Oahu, Hawaii that were hidden in the dense growth where the windward side of the mountains rose up from the flatter ground.
Shredded paper, caught in a spider web, casting a floating illusion
Messages etched in stone surrounded the basin of the falls; some in Japanese, some in English
Venting out the fuel vapor fumes
Fuel Cell maintenance
Wolf, draining out the last drops
Futenma flightline sunset
Super Stallion framed by light
Same as above, but achieved a silhouette effect