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Transportation

FasTracks train on the move

Something a bit different this evening. A friend of mine runs the website Complete Colorado and oftentimes needs stock images. He was wanting pictures of our local light rain system, FasTracks (or TaxTracks as I prefer to call it), and asked me if I could get some images.

Last week I was in the area of one of the stations for the new line that runs to Denver International Airport (when it works) and I stopped to snap some pictures.

The lighting was kind of harsh as it was mid-day but I was able to get some cool captures. By using a slow shutter speed (1/4 of a second) as the train pulled out of the stop I was able to blur the motion. Kind of a fun effect.

One of Denver's RTD FasTracks trains in motion as it heads to the airport. (© Tony’s Takes)

One of Denver’s RTD FasTracks trains in motion as it heads to the airport. (© Tony’s Takes)

Hold your breath: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds opposing pass

Today one of the Thunderbirds crashed after performing at the United States Air Force Academy graduation this afternoon. Thankfully it appears the pilot is okay and the crash occurred in an open field so no other people were injured or property damaged.

In a stunning coincidence on the same afternoon,  Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed when practicing a U.S. Navy Blue Angels performance in Tennessee.

These men and women may perform for ‘entertainment’ and it may not be combat but that doesn’t make what they do any less dangerous. Pushing a supersonic combat figher aircraft to its limits has its risks, big risks.

This image was taken last year on May 31 at the Rocky Mountain Airshow in Aurora, Colorado.

The USAF Thunderbirds perform the breathtaking opposing pass in 2015.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The USAF Thunderbirds perform the breathtaking opposing pass in 2015. (© Tony’s Takes)

Looking up at historical railroad bridge

I don’t venture to downtown Denver very often – urban settings just aren’t my thing. However, a couple of weekends ago I was down there for family pictures and while I wasn’t taking those images, I took along my camera in case anything interesting came along.

While my wife and kids were taking their turn in front of the portrait photographer’s lens, I found myself captivated by this old railroad bridge.

Found at the south end of Wynkoop Street where it meets Cherry Creek, the bridge was constructed in 1908 for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Now it serves as a pedestrian bridge over the creek with access to the regional trail system.

The weathered, cold steel look really brought back memories of a bygone era when the iron horse was king. This image looks almost black and white due to the bridge struts’ coloring and the drab skies but is in fact a color image. I cranked up the clarity to add some ‘grit’ to it.

Looking up at an old railroad bridge in downtown Denver. (© Tony’s Takes)

Looking up at an old railroad bridge in downtown Denver. (© Tony’s Takes)

Weathered railroad signal

Something a bit different this Saturday morning. This old railroad signal stands at the Old Town Museum in Burlington, Colorado where I was sitting waiting for storms to develop when storm chasing back in June. While some of it has been refurbished, the main part still bears the signs of life on the Great Plains.

This town on the Great Plains holds fast onto its agricultural-centric roots and embraces the feeling of community that rural locations are very special for having. If you ever get a chance to stop at this museum, I would highly recommend it. It is extraordinarily well done and provides a look back into life on the plains from the 1800s through today.

A weathered railroad sign in Burlington, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A weathered railroad sign in Burlington, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Light ‘em up!

After my parents retired they volunteered at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta for a number of years.  Three years in a row I went down and spent a few days watching as these beautiful craft took to the skies.

If you ever get a chance to go, I would highly recommend it.  It is held the first full week of October each year so it is coming up soon.

The main image below was taken in 2004 as the balloonists readied for the mass ascension.  Scroll down to view some of the images I took the times I attended the event.

Hot air balloons are illuminated with the flame from their burners just before pre-dawn at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Hot air balloons are illuminated with the flame from their burners just before pre-dawn at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. (© Tony’s Takes)

Thunderbird Thursday

These birds fly a bit faster and higher than the ones I normally photograph.

With the US Air Force Thunderbirds in Denver, Colorado this past weekend for the Rocky Mountain Airshow, I of course had to snap a few pictures. Okay, I took more than just a few, but here is a look at some of my best images of this amazing aerial demonstration team.

This was the first time photographing high-performance military aircraft for me since I was in the Navy so it was a bit of a challenge but lots of fun.

Rocky Mountain Airshow performs amaze

In addition to the main attraction, there were plenty of other things to keep folks entertained at the The Rocky Mountain Airshow. Here are a few of the pics I snapped of them.? Scroll down for the complete gallery.

Matt Younkin's Twin Beech put on an amazing show.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Matt Younkin’s Twin Beech put on an amazing show. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mirror, mirror

I know these aren’t the typical kind of birds I post pictures of but they are the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds? after all. Taken today at the The Rocky Mountain Airshow? here near Denver.

Here, the two solo birds come together, one inverted. You’ll have to indulge me for sharing some of these images in the coming days.

I was in the Navy and worked on jets during my time in the service so aviation is something that has always been of great interest to me. Granted, I am partial to the U.S. Navy Blue Angels? but since neither team has been to the area in so long, I was ecstatic to get a chance to see one of them again. ?

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds solo jets perform a flyby with one inverted. (© Tony’s Takes)

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds solo jets perform a flyby with one inverted. (© Tony’s Takes)

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds practice for Denver airshow

After work I raced out east of Denver where there is a major airshow this weekend in hopes of catching the Air Force Thunderbirds practice. Found a great spot to watch other than the fact the performance smoke was blowing right at me making for a good bit of haze.

Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun to watch. After I got out of the #Navy, the last thing I wanted to do was see more planes. Now that time has passed, I finally can once again appreciate these amazing machines and the extraordinary people that fly and maintain them. I do kind of wish this was the Blue Angels though. 😉

A four ship of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performs a flyby.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A four ship of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performs a flyby. (© Tony’s Takes)