I am in Sint Maarten sitting at a beach bar next to the airport watching the drama unfold before me. Some people around me have sand caked in their hair, and others are just watching the live version of, “America’s Funniest Videos”. There are participants and observers…happily I’m in the later group.

Because the airport is so close to the beach, well a lot of people think that standing CLOSE (like 50 – 100 feet) behind a Boeing 757 during full takeoff power from the jet is fun. They get the idea from YouTube and from the others that are already standing there…conformity I suppose. “Well if they are doing it, it must be fun!”

So the tourists come…usually they are young…and hang onto the airport boundary fence and others less “courageous” stand on the beach.

For those hanging onto the fence, they are peppered by small stones, dirt and debris from the HOT hurricane force winds coming from the jet engines. Most people hang on, but occasionally one can’t hold on and tumbles across the single lane narrow road with minor injuries as a souvenir. There are YouTube videos but I’ll warn you it’s not pretty!

For those standing in the sand, well they get these same HOT hurricane force winds, but in a different flavor; they get bead-blasted by sand. Fun! So that is how we got the sand encrusted tourists at the beach bar.

And what of the locals? What’s the saying, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Wether on foot or in a car, they wait for the “bird to launch”. Have you seen the MythBusters episode where they blew away a cab and a school bus completely in the air with a Boeing 747?!

So this is another case of, “the locals do know what’s best”.

I thought the photo I took of a jet taking off the opposite direction into the sunset was a bit more…ahhhh…pleasant. I wonder where they were flying too? Well let me show you where we were…

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The sun was going down…yeah thanks Captain Obvious…we get that.

I could have raised the ISO to something around 400 or so, but I was going to be taking the shot right into the sun…so ISO 200 was the lowest I could get my camera.

The jet was pretty fast…so I needed a fast shutter speed. I picked 1/250 of a second. I adjusted the aperture to set the light meter and f/8 worked. Recall that I am doing a landscape shot, so I preferred a deeper depth of field to keep more of the foreground and subject in focus. Make sense?

About David Aronson

Photography & Videography For Real Estate, Interior Designers, Architects & Commercial Buildings - Fort Lauderdale - PhotoGuy.Com