This week’s photo challenge from Michelle Weber is titled, “Windows” and subtitled, “What do you see through yours?” Michelle goes on to say, “When we take photos, we use all kinds of things to frame our images and get the viewer’s eye to focus where we want it.” She suggests that instead of something that looks like a window frame, to actually use a window frame. You can read her entire challenge post here.
Scrolling through my images, I found very few where I actually used a window to frame the subject. I did some experimenting with some of my existing images that happened to have window frames in them, They even had a visible subject in the window, but I couldn’t make the leap from focusing on the original subject to focusing on an object that happened to be inside the window frame. Then I happened upon a folder of photos focusing on glider flying. The light dawned. Every one of the photos of pilots in the air or just landing was a portrait framed by the Plexiglas “window” canopy. A little judicious cropping resulted in a portrait of concentration as the pilot was either maneuvering to take off or land.
Glider canopies aren’t what most people think of as a traditional window frame. But then, most people don’t find themselves in or around a glider. In the opening image, John is a picture of concentration as he’s just touched down on the runway and is working hard to keep the glider straight and true while he rolls to a stop. In the image immediately above, Raul concentrates on his personal checklist copy as he prepares for his impending flight.
While a glider is capable of flight and of precision landings, they are not so good at taking off under their own power. If a glider isn’t shoved off the edge of a cliff to allow gravity to generate the forward momentum to support flight, a mechanical means must be applied. That means may be a winch pulling a long steel cable at high speed. The cable, attached to the glider accelerates the glider to flying speed and the pilot can launch the glider into the air. Another common method for launching is a vehicle tow where a long rope is attached to a vehicle that will accelerate down the runway, glider in tow. The method most used in our case, however, is an airplane tow. In the photo above, Tony had just returned from pulling the glider to altitude. After landing the tow plane, I captured his portrait just prior to his exiting the aircraft.
My final image in this challenge is a view from the rear window of a camera mounted in the rear of the tow plane. While not strictly a fully framed image, the reflections of the Plexiglas curves at the top and the actual window frame at the bottom allows me the artistic license to consider this image of the glider being towed to be framed by a window.