Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Airship Tour - Fair Weather

Last week I spent several days in San Francisco to ride Airship Ventures zeppelin to get some shots of the city and the Golden Gate bridge. This was my second trip out to try to get a ride. Once again our flight was cancelled due to weather, but we decided to stay another day and try again. Luck was with us and we did get to finally fly. Discussions with others reveal that cancellations due to weather are quite common, so don’t be surprised if you plan a trip and don’t get to go.

We booked the two hour flight as the website showed the flight going up the valley, across to the coast, over the bridge and back south via the bay. Our flight was at sunset so being on the west side of the bridge was going to be perfect. Golden sunset light on the bridge would make for some great photographs.

The zeppelin has two windows which open to allow glare free shots. I was really looking forward to getting some great shots. At an altitude of about 1000 feet you have a great opportunity for photography.

We flew north towards the city. This time of year the sun was setting a bit earlier than I would have liked. I wanted to hit the city about 10-15 minutes earlier. We did not go out over the coast as the website indicated, but since the captain can vary the route as needed I wasn’t too surprised.

As we came up to the bridge I asked about flying over it and was told they were not allowed to fly over. I asked about going around to the front and was told they cannot do that either due to park regulations. So I was not going to get the photographs I wanted as shown on their website. Needless to say I was not happy.

If I had known this was the case, the 1 hour flight would have gotten the same results for much less money.

The zeppelin makes a great photographic platform, just need to be very aware of where it flies.

Orcatek Photography - Phoenix, Arizona

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