Ex Forest Light 17: USMC Ospreys in the Wild

Ex Forest Light 17: USMC Ospreys in the Wild

Postby Mictheslik on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 5:28 pm

This is possibly one of the most ridiculous set of photos I've had the pleasure of taking! Yesterday, I got back from 3 weeks in Japan. I've been a couple of times now, so was happy to take a break from sightseeing on a few days to indulge in a bit of photography. In the next few weeks I'll be putting up photos from Iruma, Hyakuri, Komatsu and Gifu, but first, here's a small set from being in the right place at the right time!

Before I set off from the UK I found out that a joint JGSDF and USMC cold weather exercise would be happening during the first week I was there. The key areas of activity were Soma JGSDF base and the Sekiyama training area (a large military establishment similar to Salisbury Plain). By sheer coincidence, our route from Nagano to Niigata took us close to Sekiyama that week. I did some further digging, and with the help of the very friendly Japanese military aviation enthusiast community on Twitter was given a potential location. I really wanted to catch the new snow camouflaged JGSDF Chinooks, which is why I ended up chancing it!

The day comes, and I'm driving on the expressway with a friend who doesn't "get" aviation photography and gets bored quickly...I suggest stopping for lunch at a service station that happens to be a kilometre from Sekiyama. As we eat I can hear movement and a pair of USMC Ospreys start to circle at medium altitude. We stuff down our ramen and make a dash to the road identified by the Japanese photographers on twitter, only to find most of the local town are already there! The osprey is a little controversial in Japan, and so it turned out a lot of local residents were out in the sun seeing what was going on. It was also very cold, and 6ft snowdrifts lined the road. As we pull up, 4 Ospreys are on the approach to the LZ, so I jump out, grab the camera, run up the snowbank for a decent view and proceed to fall in. As a result this sequence was taken waist deep in snow! They landed, dropped off the troops and exited at low level within 5 minutes. Perfect!

1. From the service station: Circling the LZ
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2. Taken as I jump out of the car!
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3
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4
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5
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6
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9
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11. Area secured!
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My hands took a couple of hours to thaw out!

.mic
Mictheslik Aviation Photography

Remember when we went to Payerne on that Wednesday?
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Mictheslik

Re: Ex Forest Light 17: USMC Ospreys in the Wild

Postby D90Man on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 5:33 pm

Very nice Mic - isn't Japan just a wonderful place for aviation photography? :grin:

Leon
"Sharpness is in the eye of the holder"
More at http://www.planephotos.org.uk
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D90Man

Re: Ex Forest Light 17: USMC Ospreys in the Wild

Postby Wes_Howes on Wed 29 Mar 2017, 7:13 am

Great stuff Michael! Saw the ones you posted on Twitter and was very jealous! Shot 4 is my favourite :clap:
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Re: Ex Forest Light 17: USMC Ospreys in the Wild

Postby Calum on Wed 29 Mar 2017, 8:47 pm

They're gorgeous shots. Would love a trip to Japan some day.
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Calum


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