Spruce Goose – The story behind the pictures

While I was out in Oregon I was surprised to learn that the Spruce Goose was housed at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnvile Oregon. This was exciting for me since I had never seen it before, having never been to it’s former location in California where it was located. The word huge does not really describe how large this plane really is. It dwarfs everything near it. So how do you photograph such a huge airplane. The widest lens I had, a 21mm, just barely go it all in. The planes around it showed scale to aircraft but not really people. So If I was lucky I was able to get people near the aircraft.


My other problem was getting good light on everything which with the light pouring in through the front windows was not possible. Don’t get me wrong there was plenty of light it was just not even. As you can see from the image above the light changed quite a bit from the front to the back of the building. You can get a feeling for how big it is by the photo above.


This is the middle of the aircraft. There is a small mannequin at middle right which gives you some scale. Forward of this area was closed off and gave access to the front part of the aircraft. Not much to photograph. They actually schedule times to be photographed in the cockpit, costs money however.



Since the “Goose” is a flying boat the size of the mooring lines were very large as well.


Showing a little scale! These two folks reading about the “Goose” show some scale to this very large aircraft. The platform to their left and above them is accessible by a small handicapped elevator and a set of stairs.


One of my favorite things to do is to juxtaposition elements in a photograph. As you can see from the replica of the “Spirit of St. Louis” how big the props are on the “Goose”. Four engines on each side is truly amazing to get this thing off the water, only once of course. The two photos below show more scale.



The photo above is one of my favorites as it shows a WW ll aircraft of the same era as the “Goose” and the difference in size. One is a fighter and the other a transport plane.


This is one of my favorites as it shows a B-17 Flying Fortress in the foreground and the “Goose” in the background. The wide angle lens accentuates the foreground but it is still dwarfed by the “Goose”. They give paid tours of these aircraft on specific days which I would have loved to have done. The insight from aviation historians is over the top.

More scaled shots of the “Goose” the last one really gives the magnitude of how big it is. The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum was awesome – three buildings (and a waterpark on top of a 747) one for aviation and one for space which included some great stuff including a “Blackbird” spy plane! It was a great take, If you are in Oregon and are interested in aviation and space travel at all you need to check it out.





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