August 18, 2008
  The Business End

(Oakland, 2007. Image copyright Hamish Reid; click on the image above for larger version).

This is one of those images that could be (about) almost anything: a brochure-ready illustration for a business jet manufacturer or executive jetshare setup; an image for a lifestyle advertisement (oozing that thrusting expensive arrogance so essential to sucking in the insecure); a typical piece of "pilot porn" for the glossy flying mags (all those sleek shiny surfaces and hidden controls)…. Well, all that unless you notice the obvious: no one would let those orange intake covers (let alone those vulgar traffic cones on the ground) intrude on a serious staged photo or illustration, and for real advertising / lifestyle images, a crew of helpers would have sprayed water all over the ramp for that shiny dark reflective effect. And it would probably have been taken early in a soft diffuse pre-dawn light, with a few reflectors and off-stage or interior lights for effect, rather than in the harsh light of a mid-September Northern Californian afternoon.

All of which is kind of the point for me: I saw this as I was refueling a light twin-engined airplane on the ramp at Oakland airport (KOAK) near where I live, and reflexively thought "how the other half live…" (something I think a lot when I see the shiny fleet of business jets parked in front of the Kaiser FBO there). But I looked again and did a doubletake: the cartoonish orange ears, the little flecks of very similar orange around the feet of this and the other planes, the studied serious monochrome of the Kaiser fleet, the smooth geometries… a Photolalia image, for sure.

(The context here is that I'm actually — and rather improbably — a pilot; I fly airplanes (not yet for a living, and certainly not planes like this) out of Oakland airport (KOAK), and I'm around airplanes a lot, both on the ground and in the air; they're a very familiar part of my life. I have a ramp pass at Oakland airport (it's a high security area, so you have to go through background checks, etc., just to be able to walk onto the tarmac unescorted), and I often get to see (and hear — the noise can be indescribable) close-up the sorts of aircraft ranging from large freighters and charter jets through smaller business jets and turboprops to small single-engine Cessnas (and so on) that most people only see from a distance or from tightly-controlled vantage points in terminals or inside the planes themselves).

Photolalia: Some images... and a few brief words about them. (Like Dancing About Architecture).

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About Me
Hamish Reid is a photographer, designer, and software engineer living and working in the Jingletown district of Oakland, California. This is his full profile.

You can get hold of Hamish at xyzphotolalia at ylayalixyz dot com without the xyx's.
Some Previous Posts
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Mission and Third
State Surrealism
The Business End
The New California Barber Shop
East Of Oildale
Castro Street
Right Place, Right Time.
The Indecisive Moment
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
January 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
November 2006
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
April 2010
Around Jingletown
Some Photoblogs I Like
(In no particular order, and rather capriciously:)

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