I took a quick break for the holidays and went out to take photographs in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The photography was amazing, and I got a chance to connect with nature. I managed to do some hiking as well. However, the biggest adventure was when flying home. In the winter, United offers a  direct flight from Jackson Hole to San Francisco, which takes just over two hours. So, when I got to the airport, I was hoping to be in my apartment by 6.30 pm, ease into the evening, and get back to work. 

Of course, the weather gods had something different in mind. The flight took off two hours later, primarily due to local weather conditions that had backed up the flights. And as a result, our flight got to San Francisco in the middle of a rainstorm and crazy winds. The smaller planes like ours were having a tricky time landing and instead were routed to San Jose. We sat on the tarmac at the San Jose Airport for about 3 hours. The plane needed to refuel and fly back to San Francisco, where we could get our luggage and go for other connecting flights. 

The onboard staff was as accommodating as possible, but they couldn’t do much. There were a lot of angry passengers who missed their connections. Since the pilots had been on duty for longer than their usual term, they weren’t legally allowed to fly. In other words, the plane was to find fuel and a new crew. And that wasn’t happening anytime. Around 10 pm, it was decided that we could disembark, but our luggage would remain onboard. 

I got home at 11.15 pm, had a snack, and slept. 

Thankfully, I had an AirTag in my bag to keep a close eye on the status of my luggage. The empty plane took off from San Jose Airport at 10.50, and at 11.30, I saw my bag arrive at the airport. I made a beeline to San Francisco International and got my bag. The adventure was finally over!

The first trip of 2023 was a gentle reminder of the reality of life — plans are just plans. I am sure that had I missed connecting flights or misplaced my luggage, I wouldn’t be that sanguine. But no matter, sometimes you have to go with the flow. 

Happy New Year! 

PS: Did I say the photos were amazing? 

January 4, 2022. San Francisco

It was a perfect storm – high winds, blowing snow, and bone-chilling cold. Or, as I like to call it — a perfect time for magic. It helps that I have a camera that helps me do it with minimum fuss. Both images were captured at an aperture of f8, ISO 100, and a shutter speed of 1/640th of a second. I used my f2/50 mm M-APO Summicron lens on a Leica SL2 body. The top image is a jpeg right out of the camera. I use a slightly tweaked version of the B&W High contrast film style built into the camera. The second photo is an edited version of the DNG file.