Mount Washington Observatory
New Hampshire, USA
Mount Washington has a reputation for the worst weather in the world. I developed an extensive series of weather exhibits for the Mount Washington Observatory, to be installed on the summit of “The Rockpile” and also at their facility in North Conway, down in the valley. (The National Science Foundation funded this project, which is considered to be the world’s first weather museum.) Since the view from the summit is usually socked in with clouds, I created a mural so visitors could come inside and have the experience of looking out a large window onto the view.
Points of interest — mountain peaks (as far away as Mt. Marcy in New York State), villages, and rivers — were labeled above and below, as were compass bearings.
This mural measured 48 feet long and 4 feet high, printed on backlit Cibachrome transparency material (such as you see for ads in airport corridors), and mounted on a curved wall in the visitor center on the summit.
The biplane was a gift from the heavens. While I was shooting the eastern part of the image, I heard a noise over to the west, and saw a bright-yellow biplane taking a passenger on a sightseeing tour. Hoping that the pilot would return with another fare, I set up my camera to face west and waited. A half hour later my patience was rewarded, although I had only an instant to make the exposure.