Aircraft lighting was a tough subject to tackle. On the one hand, you want the lights to stand out; but, on the other hand, lights stand out best in total darkness, which makes for a pretty dull image. Making things tougher, unless there's visible moisture in the air, there will be no rays of light, and no glow. I did my best to mix all those considerations for this image. I tried to "force" just enough atmosphere into the scene to show a little light glow, but not enough so that clouds were needed to make it seem more real. And I tried to put it all at a nice dusk time of day so we can still see some of the airplane.
I've flown at this time of the day quite a bit. For me, and I hope for other pilots too, this image invokes memories of how smooth the air can be as the sun sets, and how gorgeous the views can be. This image also reminds me, however, of how I always forget to take off my sunglasses after sunset, which gives the early evening a disturbingly dark flavor. If it was me flying this place, I would definitely still have those sunglasses on at this point.
Oh yeah, the tail number is a special little shout out to a Canadian pilot buddy of mine. He likes to tease me about how long it took me to get my license, and I like to tease him about being Canadian. He'll be visiting this Summer, and it will be the first time we get to fly together. I fully expect to fluster the hell out of him as I catapult him into the complex airspace known as the San Francisco Bay Area. I can't wait to see his maple leaf ass sweat as he tries to negotiate the skies I've called home since I was that loser student pilot who took too long to get his license. ;)