Night photography at SAN

A funny thing happened right after my last trip out to the airport to take pictures: I totally lost interest in aviation photography. Really, it was serious! So serious as a matter of fact that I sold all my gear on eBay and was happy just to wash my hands of the entire hobby. There are two things about that situation which make it very interesting. First, I had just spent the last two and a half years living in a part of the country where there were very few aviation photography opportunities available at any time. So now that I am living in southern California again with great photo locations galore, I became tired of it. Second, I had just purchased a Canon 100-400L for my 10D body – not a small purchase by any means!

But I was just sick of it all. The time spent sitting at the airport, the constant guilty feeling I had when I wasn’t at the airport taking pictures when the weather was nice, and well…I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I just wanted to simplify my life and enjoy the moment. Stressing out about aviation photography was becoming a big distraction for me.

So I sold everything – even my brand new 100-400L. And you know what? It didn’t bother me a bit.

Even though I had given up aviation photography, I still had an itch to take photos from time to time when traveling. One such time was this past weekend. I was on my way to Vegas (just because flights were cheap and I had nothing better to do), and I had some time to spare while waiting for my flight. Like I always do when traveling, I wandered around the airport just looking at things both inside and outside the terminal. I had my crappy little Sony PowerShot s500 with me, so I thought it would be fun to take some night photos of some aircraft sitting at the gates.

I was actually pretty excited to get a pic of the Sun Country 737-800 (N801SY) sitting at gate 38. At the time, I have never seen one of these at SAN even though I know that they have daily flights from MSP. The second shot I got was of an American Airlines MD-83 (N433AA) sitting at gate 23.

After these two pics, I boarded my America West flight to LAS and didn’t take any more pictures along the way. I will say, however, that the turbulence that evening climbing out of SAN was some of the worst I have ever felt in my 600,000 miles of air travel thus far. I’m not one to get scared in-flight, but the butt-pucker factor was high.

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