In 2002, I was fortunate to be flying as a Captain on a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-800 which was one of the first airliners to have a “heads up display” (HUD) for the Captain. This HUD is a piece of glass that hangs in front of the pilot, near the windshield, and displays all of the necessary flight data, including altitude, airspeed, heading. The beauty of this system is that it allows the pilot to fly the airplane much more precisely than with previous instrument systems. Plus, he can do that all while continuing to look out the front windscreen.
This image shows Mt Rainier, in Washington state, not long after take-off from Seattle. The HUD shows that we were climbing through 10,980 feet at a true airspeed of 311 knots and a heading of about 118 degrees. The small double circle with the wings sticking out each side shows that our current flight path will take us above and to the right of the mountain’s peak. Of course, we will turn back on course before we get too close to the mountain.
I made this image with my first digital camera, the Canon D30.
I’ve been interested in photography for almost my entire life, beginning in the mid 1960s when my dad bought a 35mm Argus C44 … wow, fifty years ago! From that I progressed to a nice SLR the Minolta SRT101 and then a Canon EOS Elan. Then on January 8, 2002, I jumped into digital photography and have never looked back.
My first digital camera was the Nikon Coolpix 5000. But that didn’t last long. The battery life was terrible, unacceptable to me. However, it could produce nice results as you can see from the photo of Molly, our Beagle, who loved to lay on the heater vents on those cold January days. The Nikon was 5 Megapixels, which was a lot for that time, especially considering it was in a small sensor point and shoot. But I decided to go a different route, so the next day I took the Coolpix back to the camera store and traded up to a Canon D30.
San Francisco on a foggy morning. Taken from the cockpit, shortly after takeoff.
The D30 only had 3 Megapixels and cost nearly $3,000. That was a lot of money “way back” in 2002! 🙂 But it was a great camera and I ended up keeping it for almost two years, carrying it with me on trips (I was a Captain for Delta Air Lines) and vacations. Again, the image quality was excellent and the files would still be considered excellent for what most of us do with images these days … i.e., put them on the internet.
The next camera in my “digital history” was the Canon 10D, but we’ll save that for another time. For now, here are a couple more photos from the D30.
Sailboat reflection on a calm morning.
Lighthouse on Elbow Cay, near the Bahamian island Abaco.